By George Ferguson/Havre Daily News Sportsfirstname.lastname@example.org
It is back to one match a weekend for the Havre Blue Pony volleyball team. The Ponies, 8-5 on the season, will take a break from Central A Conference play and host the always dangerous Great Falls High Bison on Saturday at the Havre High gymnasium.
The Bison enter the match with the Blue Ponies as the fifth-ranked team in Class AA, and they also have a win over the young Ponies earlier this season. Great Falls High downed the Ponies in a two out of three matches at the Electric City Invitational over a month ago in Great Falls.
But that was then. The Ponies are coming into their clash with the Bison playing some of their best volleyball of the season and feeling as confident as they have in some time.
Last weekend, Havre knocked off Livingston and took the top-ranked Lewistown Eagles to five games in a triangular meet in Lewistown.
"We definitely feel good about the way we are playing and I think the girls have a lot of confidence right now," said Havre High head coach Bill Huebsch. "Even though we lost to Lewistown that was definitely a confidence booster because the girls know that we are getting better every time we play."
"The most important thing is to keep improving every match so that we are playing our best volleyball at the end of the season," Huebsch added. "Hopefully that will continue to be the case on Saturday."
When the Ponies and the Bison took the floor in Great Falls last month, Havre surprised the Bison by taking the first game of the match. But GFH rallied to take the next two games because of a breakdown in the Ponies' serve-receive game, according to Huebsch. Taking care of that problem could be the difference in Saturday's match.
"Passing and our serve-receive was hurting us in matches like the Bison match early in the season," Huebsch said. "But I think we have gotten much better in that area. If we take care of that on Saturday we will have a good chance against Great Falls High."
Even though the Bison are off to a solid start in 2003, Huebsch does see some things that his team can take advantage of and it all starts with the aforementioned passing game.
"If we pass the ball and get into our system offense, I think we can do some things against them because they are one of the few teams that we match up well against size-wise," Huebsch said. "Hopefully that will set up some one-on-one block situations and we can utilize our hitters."
"No matter what though, I expect it will be another really exciting match," Huebsch added. "And we are looking forward to it because we are at home. We want to continue to stay undefeated on our home floor."
The match between the Ponies and the Bison will get underway 1 p.m. The freshmen and JV teams will play simultaneously at 11:30 a.m. and all the action will take place at the Havre High Gymnasium.