Majettes rally from 0-2 deficit, pull off improbable comeback vs. Coyotes
Coming to the Magic City for a Class A, West Region match were the Williston Coyotes (11-11 overall, 2-7 conference), who are looking to pick up their first regional victory since Sept. 13 when they hosted Mandan.
The Coyotes were sitting at 6-9 overall before they catapulted to a 5-1 record in the Dickinson Tournament which took place on Sept. 23. With momentum building on their side, they aim to continue the display of excellent play as they face the Majettes on Thursday.
Following a five-set loss in a thrilling match against Bismarck, the Majettes (7-10 overall, 4-6 conference) have their sights set on closing out September on a positive note, where they can bring their monthly record to 4-5 with a win against the Coyotes.
As both teams hit the court wanting to pick up an always important regional win, it was the Majettes who showed an incredible display of fight in them, beating the Coyotes in five sets (22-25, 15-25, 25-17, 25-23, 15-9) after being down in a 0-2 hole.
Throughout the early portions of set one, both teams were taking some time to feel out what the opposition wanted to do, as they were trading points and waiting for an opportunity to establish their offensive attack.
Ready to establish their identity on the night, the Coyotes grabbed an early three-point lead at 9-6 which was the largest lead through the opening points. A smooth set up from Zoe Zarr to Tayler Falcon and capped off by an Erin Palmer kill disrupted the Coyotes offense, as the Majettes began to put together a rally of their own to take an 11-10 lead.
Swinging the score to grab a three-point lead was the Majettes, who jumped out to a 16-13 lead. From there, the teams would fall back into trading points as they were locked into a 17-17 tie.
Grace Sanders of the Majettes would help bring the team back into it, paired with timely sets from Falcon and a late kill by Avery Lunde cut the Coyotes lead to 24-21. The Coyotes, however, who controlled the lead for most of the first set would pull away with a 25-22 win.
Utilizing kills to open set two, followed by a few mistakes from the Majettes, created an early 7-2 lead for the Coyotes. Wanting to regather themselves, the Majettes would take a timeout. Trying to scratch and claw their way back into the set, the Coyotes would not be overmatched as they extended their lead to 16-8.
Kendra Hall and Madison Collings were cogs for the Coyotes in set two, utilizing powerful spikes at the net to help their team remain in control in set two. Leah Walter of the Majettes was playing a well-rounded game on Thursday, trying to help spark the Majettes on multiple occasions and especially in set two.
With the Coyotes establishing a ten-point lead early in set two, the Majettes were unable to generate any momentum, as the Coyotes cruised to a 25-15 win moving into the third set.
With their eyes on a sweep, Williston was playing an excellent game on Thursday night. Granted there were some mistakes made by Minot, however, when the Majettes were looking to establish an attack, the Coyotes were right there with an answer on the defensive side of the ball.
Additionally, the Coyotes had no trouble setting up what they wanted to run on offense. The team seemed to be locked in from the start and they would capitalize on the mistakes that were made.
Hoping to shake things up and avoid a sweep, Rachel Nwankwo was put into the game for the Majettes in set three and immediately made her presence known with a kill. Mirroring Nwankwo, Gracia Tong of the Coyotes picked up multiple kills on the evening, as she continued to be a force into the third set.
Showing signs of life, the Majettes would enter multiple rallies with the Coyotes in set three as the teams were knotted up at 6-6. Lunde helped keep the Majettes in it with her serving prowess and Samantha Van Bibber played tough defense at the net as the team was looking for positive momentum late in the game.
Keeping things close, the Majettes grabbed an 11-10 lead in set three. However, it seemed like whenever the team would get something going, the Coyotes were right there with a response. Ready to change the tale of the contest, the Majettes would pull away with a 25-17 set three win.
Behind the serves of Falcon and Mackenzie Dufner helping run the offense, the Majettes kept showing signs of life and started set four with an 8-4 lead. With the lead extended to 14-8, Zarr and the rest of the Minot offense would develop into a consistent threat.
At 23-20 with the Majettes holding a late lead, the Coyotes would not go down quietly. However, a set ending kill by Lunde gave the Majettes a 25-23 win to force a fifth and final set.
Going from struggling to get anything going, to showing late signs of life, heading into the final set brought the feeling that this was the Majettes game to lose now.
Both teams traded points early, as they were looking to bring their best to the court one last time. The Majettes had an early advantage, leading 7-5 as the Coyotes were now making a couple of mistakes.
Inching closer to an improbable comeback, the Majettes were holding the lead at 11-7 as Zarr and Falcon were vital to their team’s success down the stretch. After seeming like they were completely out of it, the Majettes took set five 15-9 to pull off a remarkable comeback, beating the Coyotes in five sets.
Up next for the Majettes will be another important game, as they host Century in what will be a two-point match on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m.