By George Ferguson/Havre Daily News Sportsfirstname.lastname@example.org
One week after a home loss to the Great Falls High Bison, the Havre Blue Ponies will travel to Great Falls Saturday to try to turn the tide on the CMR Rustlers and get back in a winning frame of mind.
The Ponies, 8-6 overall, dropped last Saturday's home match with the Bison in four games, and according to head coach Bill Huebsch, his team is hoping to find some positives from the loss.
"Hopefully the kids learned that we have to be ready to play every match at this point in the season," Huebsch said. "We didn't have a lot of intensity against Great Falls High and we made a ton of mistakes. I am hoping that the match with CMR will show me that the girls learned that we need to be ready to go no matter who we're playing."
In the match against the Bison, the Ponies fell victim to 16 Great Falls High aces and also committed several service errors of their own along with some major hitting mistakes. Huebsch said that for Havre to be successful this weekend, those types of mistakes will have to be eliminated and his team has drilled on that area all week long.
"We have had a very good week of practice and the kids have been working very hard," Huebsch said. "The girls know that this is a game and mistakes are going to happen. But we definitely need to cut back the errors that we're making right now because we are just giving teams way too many free points."
Meanwhile, the Rustlers have had problems of their own in 2003. After a dismal campaign in 2002, CMR has yet to turn their losing ways around. They have won only three times all season and have no conference wins at this point in the season. The Rustlers are also coming off of a straight-set loss at Class A power Lewistown last Saturday afternoon. The Ponies also have a win over CMR at the Electric City Invitational last month.
"CMR is a very young team and the first time we played them they had some trouble passing the ball," Huebsch said. "On paper, we match up very favorably against them, but we will certainly need to be ready to play right from the start."
Huebsch is also hoping that a win Saturday may jump-start his team as it enters the final month of regular season play.
"This is by no means a must-win match for us," Huebsch said. "But we want to play well because we didn't against Great Falls High. We don't want to start developing bad habits because we have a very tough part of our schedule coming up the next couple of weeks."
The match between the Ponies and the Rustlers is set to begin at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday at the CMR Fieldhouse in Great Falls.