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Self-inflicted wounds derail Majettes volleyball against St. Mary’s

Alex Eisen/MDN Minot High senior outside hitter Morgan Wheeler (9) attacks the ball in a WDA volleyball match played Tuesday against Bismarck St. Mary's in Minot.

Knocking the ball over the net and into play was easier said than done for the Minot High School volleyball team Tuesday evening.

Bismarck St. Mary’s (2-2, 2-2 WDA) took advantage for a 3-0 sweep by set scores 25-20, 25-15, 25-23.

“We created more errors than we have had the whole season,” MHS head coach Sherry Carlson said. “We shot ourselves in the foot. We tried to hang in there that first game. But, once we lost it, it’s like our belief system went right out the door.”

The Majettes (2-2, 2-2 WDA) played with the Saints in the opening set. The score was last tied at 17-17 before St. Mary’s pulled away for good and coasted to a 25-20 win.

“For some reason, these girls think that they are lesser than and they are not,” Carlson said. “We have to battle that mental game. These kids are physically able to do it. They just have to take charge mentally. It was the little things that killed us. It was things that these kids have been doing for years.”

The Saints took control of the second set early on. After a handful of attacking errors, Carlson called a timeout with the Majettes down 19-10.

“We are going to get back to practice and do more training to toughen up the mind,” Carlson said. “We are going to do pressure games with a lot on the line. It’s not the most fun thing to do because there are consequences. But you discipline in practice and let them play the games.”

Marissa Messer buried a kill down the line in front of the Majettes’ bench to end the frame at 25-15.

“It was pretty much all of our own mistakes,” MHS senior outside hitter Morgan Wheeler said. “Our passing needs to be better. But we will get it together.”

Minot fell behind early in the third set as well and trailed 13-8 at one point. However, the Majettes fought back to make things interesting.

Wheeler dropped in an ace and a kill. That was followed by back-to-back aces by Reese Terrel and a lofted kill into the back corner by Mariah Evenson to tie the set at 17-17.

Wheeler, who finished with a team-high 13 kills with no other Majette finishing with more than three, hammered down another point to even the score at 20-20. A Saints’ attack error and another kill from Wheeler had Minot up 22-20.

St. Mary’s scored the next three points, including a controversial kill that the Majettes argued never touched the ground.

After the two teams traded service errors, Brooke Haas ended the match for the Saints with a kill the Majettes weren’t able to return.

Haas finished with a team-high seven kills with three Saints behind her with six: Eden Schlinger, Marissa Messer and Mykendra Messer.

Schlinger and Haas stepped up on defense with four blocks each.

For Minot, Wheeler added 15 digs to go with her double-digit kills. Libero Reese Terrel had nine digs and three aces.

Setters Cambry Frantsvog and Paige Ackerman combined for 20 assists.

Minot was missing defensive specialist Alex Nesheim due to illness.

“(Nesheim) is such a big voice,” Carlson said. “I think that played into it also. But, the ones that were here could have done it.”

Wheeler added: “We were missing one of our key players and our unity kind of fell. We are going to get back in the gym and get better tomorrow.”

Next up, the Majettes travel to Mandan on Thursday to face the Braves. The match is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

Alex Eisen covers Minot State athletics, the Minot Minotauros and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.

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