Havre Daily News Sports Editor
Six years. That's how long it has been since a Havre High volleyball team defeated Lewistown. On Saturday afternoon on the Eagles' home floor, the Ponies finally put an end to all of the anguish.
Havre defeated Lewistown in three grueling games by scores of 25-22, 27-25 and 27-25 to run its Central A Conference record to 6-0 on the season. The Ponies are now 12-4 overall.
“This was a very special win for this team,” said an elated HHS head coach Bill Huebsch. “Six years is a long time to lose to the same team.
“These kids made beating Lewistown one of their big goals this season,” he added. “They went out and started the match off with a lot of emotion and intensity, and it carried us all the way through.”
Havre didn't just beat its nemesis for the first time in six seasons, the Ponies swept Lewistown. Whenever the Ponies were threatened, they responded. Lewistown erased early Havre leads in all three games, but Havre stood tall and never let the Eagles steal even one game.
“We jumped out on them big in every game,” Huebsch said. “But then we would seem to have a lull and let them back in a little bit.
“The thing I really liked is when each game got close, our kids responded big time,” he added. “In the third game, Kelsey Evans, Keelie Solomon and Karissa Olson played perfectly when things got tight, and they made sure we closed the match out.”
While the Ponies didn't play perfectly throughout the night, Huebsch said everyone on the floor contributed to the victory.
“Carmen Neuens hit the ball great on Saturday,” he said. “And we have a rotation where Keelie plays in the front row, and she did a great job of hitting and getting sets when she was up there.
“The whole team really played great volleyball from start to finish, and this was a really big win for us, especially from a confidence standpoint.”
Lena Suek and Signe Hillson paced the Ponies with nine kills apiece.
Hillson also led the Ponies with two blocks, and Suek and Solomon paced Havre with 15 and 12 digs, respectively. As a team, the Ponies recorded 63 digs in the three games.
Havre will now prepare to travel to Butte on Thursday for a Central A Conference clash with Butte Central. The Ponies will also host Class B Choteau on Saturday evening.
Havre def. Lewistown
25-22, 27-25, 27-25
Havre - Kills 40 (Lena Suek 9, Signe Hillson 9), Blocks 4 (Hillson 2), Assists 37 (Alexa Lipp 35), Digs 63 (Suek 15), Aces 2 (Suek 1, Keelie Solomon 1).
Lewistown - Kills 32 (Lyndsi Bayless 14), Blocks 7 (Tara Cecerle 4), Assists 30 (Ashley Boettger 26), Digs 62 (Heidi Rettig 17), Aces 6 (Arielle Allen 2, Cecerle 2)