It's only fitting that Alex Bolinske's block and kill on consecutive points gave Minot High School its first home victory.
The senior middle hitter combination of Bolinske -celebrating her 18th birthday - and Morgan Milbrath was seemingly everywhere for the Majettes in a 3-1 win (25-23, 24-26, 25-13, 25-22) against Williston at Magic City Campus on Tuesday. The duo combined for 24 kills, 12 aces and six blocks while presenting a constant obstacle for WHS hitters.
"They used their height to their advantage, definitely," Williston coach Josh Wastvedt said.
Minot High School senior Alex Bolinske spikes a ball toward the Williston net as senior outside hitter Aubrey Wunderlich looks on during the Majettes’ win on Tuesday at Magic City Campus.
MHS (10-10 overall, 2-5 West Region) built big leads in each game but allowed a 23-18 advantage in game two slip away.
The Majettes came into the third game motivated and built a comfortable 14-6 lead toward the middle of the game. The margin swelled to 24-9 at one point before Williston scored four times in a row.
"I feel like we've learned from past games and from losing and stuff, I think we've learned to let those games go," Bolinske said. "We need to start finishing those games and we need to start winning because we have the ability to win. We just did it tonight."
The fourth game had five ties but Minot never surrendered the lead. Williston (2-10, 1-4) went on a 4-0 run near the end to cut the Majettes' lead to 22-21 and was still within one a couple of points later before Bolinske finished them off.
After losing their first five West Region games this season, the Majettes have now picked up two region wins a row thanks to a defensive tenacity unmatched by their last two opponents.
"Our theme is relentless defense," MHS coach Ellen Jebens said. "We're trying to keep the ball off the floor is really what we're trying to do. Keep working on our defense and hopefully that'll bring our offense."
A key factor to the Majettes' defense was Jessie Kongelf. The senior libero was on the floor all night for MHS preventing Williston kills. She finished with a game-high 22 digs.
"She played lights out tonight," Jebens said. "Jessie Kongelf, she doesn't get big kills so she doesn't get a lot of recognition but she got a lot of balls off the floor. She got a lot of great touches and really played well in the back."
Minot hosts Jamestown at 7 p.m. on Friday.