What is the deal with Minot High School senior Megan Sherven and three-set matches?
“Nothiiing,” Sherven initially insisted Monday after her fourth three-setter of the season.
Sherven (5-2 overall) leads the team in three-set matches and has been effective. She is 3-1 this season and finished 4-1 last season when pushed to the final set. It is almost routine for her.
“It is. I don’t understand why,” she said. “I guess I like the long matches. I feel like I need the exercise or something.”
Sherven fell apart late in the first set of Monday’s No. 2 matchup with Williston junior Keely Kleven, but rebounded smoothly to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-0. The Majettes (4-4 overall, 4-2 West Region) beat the Coyotes 6-3 at Magic City Campus.
“For the last two years, she’s been a three-setter and she’s just in phenomenal shape,” MHS coach Scott DeLorme said. “She’s in the best shape of everyone on our team and, I think it’s safe to say, she’s one of those girls that isn’t afraid to wake up in the morning and go for a run in the middle of the winter. And it shows. She just never quits.”
Kleven won two break points late in the first set with one coming on a Sherven double-fault. At various moments of frustration, Sherven whipped her racquet over a shoulder for a healthy, get-it-together tap on the back.
“I couldn’t get any ball in at the beginning and I was really frustrated because I felt like I was there,” Sherven said, “but the ball wouldn’t go where I wanted or even over the net.”
Sherven, the only senior that is a mainstay in the varsity lineup, settled in during the second set and took a 4-0 lead. Kleven was unable to move her opponent and continually hit the ball straight down the center to an increasingly patient Sherven.
“That was a lot easier ’cause I didn’t have to worry about getting there first and then hitting the ball over,” Sherven said. “I just had to worry about getting it over.”
Just getting it over quickly turned into completely taking over. Kleven took a 40-love lead in the fourth game of the third set, but Sherven fought back for a break.
“She picked up the momentum and it stuck her through the second and the third set,” Kleven said. “It was a lot of forced errors for me.”
DeLorme had little doubt that Sherven would pull through.
“She was just swinging the racket the first set and just her footwork and following through (improved),” he said. “She was really struggling with her serve in her head and I just told her just to ‘Take a little bit off your first serve, take the pressure off it and get it in.’ And she said she served a lot better the second set.”
The teams split the singles matches, but MHS grinded through three doubles wins. Sherven and seventh-grader Jenna Coggins won No. 2 doubles by the same score as Sherven’s singles match.
The team match proved to be one of the Majettes’ closest yet as three singles and three doubles matches had to be decided in the third set.
The Majettes host Mandan at 4:15 p.m. today.