There was no quit in Minot on Thursday, but in the end the Majettes simply could not come up with an answer for Whitney Thomas.

 Thomas whanged out 19 kills and added 21 digs to an outstanding night's work as Legacy blanked Minot 3-0 in the first round of the West Region volleyball tournament.

 The 25-16, 25-22, 25-23 victory improves Legacy's record to 25-11 going into tonight's 7 p.m. semifinal with second-seeded Century. Minot, 18-18, meets St. Mary's in a loser-out consolation match at 3 p.m. at the Mandan High School gym.

  Legacy led almost from start to finish in the first two games, but had a hard time putting the tenacious Majettes away. The third set was a good, old donnybrook.

 "(Minot) came back with some hard hits" said Thomas, a 5-foot-9 senior. "They played pretty well at the end of games, and we stopped playing a little bit. ... But we fought back."

 Thomas said this scenario has played out before.

 "It's been happening a lot this year, but when we do get ourselves in a situation like that we're able to dig ourselves back out," she observed.

 Legacy jumped on Minot to the tune of 14-5 in the first game, but Minot regrouped and cut the deficit to 20-16 before falling 25-17.

 The second game had much of the same flavor, except things got tighter.  Down 12-5 in the early going, Minot closed the gap to 24-21 with a 7-3 run. A wide hit by the Majettes' Kali Askvig gave the set to Legacy.

 There were six ties, the last at 17-17, in a third game that didn't lack competitiveness or entertainment value. Legacy moved ahead for good on a kill by Thomas that made it 18-17.

 Minot didn't go quietly, though. Back-to-back kills by Elise Klein trimmed the deficit to 24-23 before the Majettes' Kaitlyn Messner misfired on a hit, sending the ball into the net to give Legacy the point, game and match.

 Askvig, a 5-8 senior, and Klein, a 5-10 senior, led the Minot offense with 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Klein added three blocks.

  Becca Nitsch, a 5-7 junior, backed up Thomas with 13 kills and 11 digs for Legacy.

 Legacy head coach Jennifer Astle said Legacy and Minot hadn't tangled since September, so she knew they'd be improved.

 "Minot is a good team. ... They didn't give up on a single ball," Astle said. "It's hard to play a team like that that's so relentless. You can get frustrated. Minot increased their level of play throughout. In the third set we definitely had a lot more unforced errors."

 Eight of Legacy's nine hitting errors occurred in the third game.

 Astle said the Sabers will see more strong defense tonight in their clash with Century.

 "Century is a very strong defensive team. If we can keep regrouping and taking a breath again we'll be good," she said.

 Legacy and Century will be meeting for the third time tonight. Century won 3-0 (29-27, 25-21, 25-18) on Sept. 19 and 3-1 (26-24, 25-21, 16-25, 25-17), on Oct. 26.


Sports Reporter