By George Ferguson
This weekend is the last chance for the Havre Blue Pony girls volleyball team to gain some confidence in what has otherwise been a disappointing season.
The Ponies travel to Livingston today for the final regular season conference match against the host Rangers. They will also compete in the Windy City Classic tomorrow that features all of the other Central A teams.
The Ponies come into Livingston with a 5-4 conference record and are currently sitting in second place in the Central A North subdivision standings.
Havre High head coach Lacy Anderson believes this weekend is going to be a time when her team can pick up some confidence for the Central A Divisional tournament.
"We have not had much success in Livingston," Anderson said. "So I think the girls are due for a win there and they are very excited to play this weekend."
The Ponies are coming off of a split in Havre last Saturday with Browning and Lewistown. Havre knocked off the Indians in four games and then were soundly defeated by the Eagles Saturday night. For Havre, it was the fourth loss of the season to the Eagles. This weekend the Ponies will meet the Eagles one more time.
After tonight's match with Livingston, Havre will enter the pool play round of the Windy City Classic on Saturday morning. In pool play, the Ponies will face the host Rangers for the second time in as many days, as well as Butte Central and Lewistown. Saturday afternoon the teams will then be seeded from pool play and enter into a tournament bracket.
Anderson believes that this weekend will be key in her team's mental preparation for the post season.
"These girls are not used to losing and they have worked very hard in practice the last couple of weeks," Anderson said. "It just hasn't carried over into the matches yet and I hope this weekend we can play well regardless of winning or losing."
Anderson also believes that a win over Lewistown in pool play Saturday morning could do a lot for her teams state of mind.
"That would be a huge confidence booster for our team," Anderson said. "To beat them (Lewistown) before divisional would go a long way for us."
Havre does come into the final weekend of the regular season a little shorthanded. Junior outside hitter Kelsey Smith will be unable to play in Livingston due to an injury to her wrist that she suffered in the match with Lewistown last weekend. Several other players have also been suffering the effects of the flu this week.
However, Anderson says her team has been able to adjust to that kind of adversity all season.
"The girls have always responded well when somebody goes down," Anderson said. "Kristin Evanson has done a great job filling in for us so far. She'll step up this weekend for Kelsey, and other girls have stepped up big over the course of the season."
The action gets underway tonight at 7:30 p.m. with the conference match against Livingston. The Windy City Classic pool play begins tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.