Bittersweet farewell

Dodin departing Majettes tennis after a standout season

Ashton Gerard/MDN Minot High tennis player Haya Dodin poses for one final photo as a Minot High Majette Tuesday at Hammond Park in Minot. After helping the Majettes win the team state championship and becoming the runner-up in state singles as a sophomore, Dodin moves to Wisconsin where she will continue her high school tennis career.

Haya Dodin wanted to improve. She wanted to make her presence known on the tennis court. After spending hours every day perfecting her game over the long winter months, Dodin was ready to have a breakout sophomore season.

“I really just dedicated a lot of my time to the sport because I wanted to put my name out there and I wanted to show everyone that I could potentially play well and do well,” she said.

In March, Dodin received the news that her family would be moving to Wisconsin at the end of the school year. This only shifted her focus to leaving a good final impression on the team.

The hours of training didn’t go to waste, as Dodin earned the No. 1 singles spot on the team. Then, by the end of the season, she had fought her way to the top and became the West Region singles champion and finished runner-up at state.

“Going into the season, people didn’t know I was going to do that well,” Dodin said. “I’m glad I could show people what I have and, although it didn’t end the way I wanted it to, I’m still very glad that I was able to play in the (state) tournament and get that far.”

Majettes tennis coach Scott DeLorme added: “From the beginning of the season to the end of the season, she was a whole new player.”

There were multiple times during the state tournament that Dodin was down big early on in matches. In those situations, Dodin was asking what she could change and DeLorme was there to give her guidance when needed. She embraced being a student of the game.

“When you have that support, you believe in yourself that you know that you can do it,” Dodin said. “I really do think if it weren’t for (the coaches), I don’t know if I would’ve been able to come back.”

During the finals of state team tournament, the championship point needed fell on her shoulders in a singles match with West Fargo Sheyenne’s Preeti Chemiti. The score was tied 2-2 between the teams and with Dodin’s win, the Majettes won their first state title in 27 years.

“During the point, it was very nerve-racking, very scary and I didn’t want to mess up,” Dodin said. “After the point, I just had a sense of relief knowing that, you know, I didn’t let my team down and we all worked really hard for this and we got what we wanted, which was a state championship.”

Not only did Dodin grow throughout the season, but the team grew with her as well. Having a strong core of competitors wearing the same maroon and gold only helped improve themselves. Dodin, coming in as No. 1, moved her teammates down the line and pushed them to be where Dodin was.

“It just gave the rest of our team confidence and pushed everybody down one spot,” DeLorme said. “It deepened and strengthened our team.”

Dodin and the three other departing seniors – Kali Askvig, Alyssa Henson and Gwen Mathews – have left a lasting legacy. The Majettes are state champions and the team to beat once again.

“I’m just glad I played all these years for Minot High tennis,” Dodin said. “My teammates were amazing, my coaches were amazing and I’m just very thankful. I’m thankful I was able to spend these years with these amazing people.”

Dodin’s tennis career is far from over. She will be back to prove herself on the courts in the fall, just not in Minot. A summer of moving and getting familiarized with Wisconsin awaits.

“There’s no doubt we’re going to miss her,” DeLorme said. “She’s going to make some coach on some team extremely happy when she shows up to the first day of practice next year.”