A slow start for Minot High made for a quick night of West Region volleyball at Magic City Campus.
Century dominated the Majettes to win the first set by 19 points and the Patriots connected on 12 aces through the sweep for a 25-6, 25-15, 25-12 win.
Starting matches has been a struggle for MHS (10-10 overall, 2-5 region) throughout the season.
Minot High School junior Melora Haagenson takes a swing with Century junior Cassidy Miller (17) waiting during the Patriots’ 3-0 win Thursday at Magic City Campus. Also pictured is MHS senior Jayden Moum.
"We always do that," MHS coach Ellen Jebens said. "It's almost like we need to play a match before we play a match. We're really slow the first game."
Jebens said the lopsided loss represented a fair combination of Century (19-3, 10-1) being that good and error-prone Minot playing that poorly.
The Patriots opened the match with two aces by
senior Shay Bense and after consecutive kills from sophomore Katie Scherr the visitors led 5-0. The deficit quickly ballooned for the Majettes, who presented nearly no blocking ability against Century's deep lineup of hitters.
Miscommunication had multiple MHS players sprawling for routine returns. Bense, who finished with a match-high 32 assists, distributed the ball well to set up five players with at least five kills.
"Our setter did a really good job of making sure she was running lots of different routes," Century co-coach Sara Bohrer said, "and that started with our ball control in the back row. Our passers did a really good job of passing the ball up, giving our setter the ability to have lots of different options."
Scherr finished with a match-high 10 kills followed by junior teammate Hadley Rosales with nine and senior Alaina Furcht with seven.
"I think we started off really strong," Rosales said. "We had a lot of energy right away and we just stuck with it and we kept up our energy and fed off their crowd and our crowd."
MHS senior setter Ashley Gathman led the Majettes with 10 assists and classmate Jayden Moum recorded a team-high eight digs.
"They're all together a really good team," Gathman said. "They work very hard and they don't have their up-and-down spurts. We have up-and-down a lot, like, everything we do."
Said Jebens: "They are a very good team, so give them credit for that, and they took us out of system. We did struggle. We made a lot of errors on our side. I thought we passed the ball pretty well and dug the ball well. Our offense just has to step up and get some kills."
The top three Majettes finished with a combined 12 kills. Century finished with 40.
MHS plays at Jamestown at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Tim Chapman covers Minot High School athletics. Follow him on Twitter @chapmatp.