By George Ferguson/Havre Daily News Sportsemail@example.com
The Havre High volleyball team suffered its first minor setback of the season Saturday afternoon as it fell to the Great Falls High Bison in four games at the Blue Pony gymnasium.
The Bison, ranked fifth in Class AA, defeated the Ponies by scores of 25-13, 28-30, 25-16 and 25-19.
According to Blue Pony head coach Bill Huebsch, the setback was not the loss itself, but the manner in which his young Ponies played.
"We did not play well at all," Huebsch said. "We made a ton of errors that were uncharacteristic of this team. Our serve-receive broke down and our own serve game was very poor. We just didn't play with the intensity that we needed to have and that was very disappointing."
The Ponies opened the match by falling in game one 25-13. The Bison used a 9-0 run in the middle of the game to pull away and never looked back.
However, Havre got back on track in game two. With the Bison leading 16-14, Havre senior Kristi Owens came up with a powerful kill that ignited an 8-0 run for the Ponies. The first five of those eight points came as a result of Owens' play at the net. The two teams then battled back and forth until Alicia Overcast came up with a block that gave Havre the 30-28 edge.
"The second game was the only one in which I thought the girls played with any urgency and we won that game," Huebsch said. "Kristi Owens was huge in that game and she had a big day overall. She played really well."
As exciting as the second game was, the Ponies would never really threaten the Bison again. Hitting and service errors gave the Bison enough of an edge to overwhelm the Ponies and cruise in the match's final two games.
"What is really disappointing is I thought that Great Falls High really didn't do a whole lot offensively against us," Huebsch said. "We showed in the second game that we could play with them when we played well. But our mistakes really were the difference. We served only 88 percent, and we are not going to be successful against anybody when we do that. We also had a ton of hitting errors, so we basically handed them the match."
Owens led the way for the Ponies with 13 kills and 1 blocks. Overcast added nine kills and Kelsey Smith had eight. Alexa Lipp had 30 assists and a pair of aces. The Bison were paced by Cari Schiller's 13 kills. Baily Sorenson had 30 assists and six of the Bison's game-high 13 aces.
"Hopefully the girls will take a positive from this game and learn that we have to be ready to play every match," Huebsch said. "This match doesn't hurt us in the conference standings, but we need to learn from our mistakes and continue to get better."
Havre (8-6) will travel to Great Falls on Saturday afternoon and take on the CMR Rustlers at 4:30 p.m. at the CMR Fieldhouse.