Heading into this weekend’s competition, the Havre High volleyball program has just six matches left on its regular season schedule. And after those six matches, the Blue Ponies will enter postseason play.
Over the next six matches, five of them will be conference matches for the Ponies. And as of now, the Central A Ponies are 5-7 overall and 0-3 in the conference, dropping conferences matches to Belgrade, Livingston and Lewistown this season.
But tonight the Ponies have a chance to put together their third straight win, as well as grabbing their first conference win of the season. The Ponies will host the Browning Indians tonight at 7 p.m. at the Havre High gymnasium.
“We have good momentum right now,” Havre High head coach Melanie Skoyen said. “And those last two wins really helped with our confidence. It was a reminder that if we are serving tough, and we have a good serve percentage as team, good things can happen. And it is all about sticking to the basics, everything starts with a good pass, and our defense and passing is what has helped us to win the last two matches. No matter who we are playing, we have to make sure we are taking care of those things.”
Hosting the Indians, the Ponies should be able to earn their first conference win.
In year's past, the Indians have proved to be a very tough program. But if history repeats itself, the Ponies should be able to escape with a confident win. The Indians are typically labeled a scrappy team, forcing teams to win long rallies for their points. The Indians also show a no quit attitude, meaning the Ponies can’t show the inconsistencies they have struggled with early this season, or the Indians could take advantage and steal a set, or even the match.
Shelby St. Goddard is a dangerous player for the Indians as the team’s setter. Everything runs through her, unorthodox or not.
“That is what we have seen in the past., Skoyen said. “So again, I am expecting them have a lot of shots to the deep corners, a lot of tipping, and just a lot of balls over on two, which we aren’t used too. But as long as we stay on our toes, moving our feet and communicating on defense, then we should be able to pick up those different shots.”
Brandy Lambourne leads the team in digs week in and week out, and will have her hands full again tonight. Martha Stocker and Sarah Armstrong could have big days in the middle if they can get a handful of blocks from the Bulldogs attack. And with Lexi Olson working her way back into the lineup, alongside the hitting of Sadie Seidel and Lacey Waid, the Pony hitters could have a solid weekend all around.
“Like I said,” Skoyen said. “I know that we weren’t playing like we should have. If we can play together, keep playing aggressive and not let Choteau go on any big runs, then I feel that we should be successful.
“And we have the ability to split with everybody we have played so far.” Skoyen said. “And then (the losses) we weren’t’ playing like ourselves, and now we are, so we just have to make sure we keep the momentum, keep the good energy and keep the good attitudes.”
Tonight at 7 p.m. the Ponies host Browning at the Havre High gymnasium.