MHS volleyball can’t keep pace in 3-0 loss to Mandan

Justin Martinez/MDN Senior Carrie Otto, right, extends for a tip in Minot High's home match against Mandan on Monday night.

With the Majettes constantly knocking on the door, Mandan stood its ground.

The Minot High School volleyball team put forth its best effort Tuesday night against Mandan, mounting a number of comeback attempts against the second-best team in the West Region only to see the Braves (21-5, 10-3 West Region) respond and earn the 3-0 sweep.

Despite the tough loss, the Majettes (9-17, 4-9 West Region) feel the tough competition will ultimately help in the long run.

“(Mandan) really has good defense,” senior hitter Caitlyn Messner said. “They don’t let the ball drop easily, but this will help us moving forward. We’re more prepared.”

The game got off to a rough start for Minot High in the opening set as the Braves dominated the Majettes to take a 24-15 lead.

But Minot High didn’t give in. Messner got the ball rolling for the Majettes, landing three straight kills to make it a 24-18 game. Each kill woke up the once-silenced home crowd as momentum began to shift.

Senior outside hitter Sydney Beck added to the cause, delivering two aces and forcing the Braves into a timeout. The Majettes stayed hot out of the break, scoring another four straight points to tie the score at 24.

That’s when Mandan put an end to the chaos, scoring the next two points to escape with a 26-24 win.

“I’m just glad we didn’t give up,” MHS head coach Sherry Carlson said. “It’s hard when you’re down by so much to push on, but we got a couple good plays and got that momentum back on our side. That was good to see.”

After dropping the first set, the Majettes attempted to even the score in the second set. Messner led the charge for the home team again, delivering a pair of kills as Minot High claimed an early 11-8 lead.

But the lead proved to be short lived as the Braves responded, launching an 11-4 lead to force the Majettes into a timeout. The quick break didn’t help as Mandan rolled to a 25-19 victory.

Messner and the Majettes tried to muster up a comeback one last time in the third set, as the senior inflicted damage from the serving line. Messner delivered three aces in the opening moments, giving the Majettes a commanding 8-0 lead.

But Mandan refused to break. The Braves went on a 16-4 run, claiming a 16-12 lead. The Majettes never managed to get the lead back as they fell, 25-21.

Messner finished with six kills and three aces, while senior libero Morgan Theis totaled 15 digs.

Next up for the Majettes is a home match against Dickinson on Friday at 7 p.m.

It’ll be a crucial match as Minot High attempts to climb the West Region standings with the regular season slowly coming to an end.

“That’ll be a big one for us,” Carlson said. “There’s going to be some pressure, but we just need to stay together. Hopefully we can make it happen.”

Justin Martinez covers Minot High School and

Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JTheSportsDude.