Chris Peterson Havre Daily News email@example.com
Another challenging weekend lies ahead for the Havre High volleyball team, with another critical Central A conference match in front of the Ponies tonight, as well as a trip to the prestigious Electric City Classic tournament in Great Falls. But before the Ponies turn their attention to the Electric City Classic, they must focus on conference foe Browning, who will invade the HHS gymnasium on tonight. The varsity match is slated to start at around 6:30 p. m. Browning has struggled so far this season and remains winless in Central A play, with their last defeat coming at the hands of Belgrade on Friday by the scores of 25-18, 25-9 and 25-9. “I don’t know a whole lot about Browning,” HHS head coach Bill Huebsch said. “We got a little bit of a look at them last weekend in Livingston. We know that they have some athletic kids, but that they are also fairly inexperienced. However, they do have their coach back this season which should help them play more consistent volleyball.” The underdog Indians will be led into their contest with Havre by outside hitters Shanel Tatsey and Chelsey Higgins, the Indians top scoring threats. Crystal Tailfeathers will also contribute with her defense, which is no doubt the best of any of the Browning players. Unfortunately for Browning, the Ponies counter with a deep and talented group that gets contributions from just about everyone on the floor. The stout HHS front line consists of standouts Signe Hillson, Steph Stremcha and Karla Hellegaard, while Hanna Wells and Mariah Armstrong also pitch in as outside hitters. Chelsea Harper has already established herself as one of the top passers in the Central A, and senior Katie Mariani has been a strong contributor on defense as well as passing the ball and serving the ball. Shayla Preeshl been strong serving the ball for the Ponies this season. “I think that all of the girls have been playing pretty well so far this season,” Huebsch said. “I think that there are still a few things that we need to fine tune and stuff, but those are all things that we can fix over the course of the season. They aren’t things that can’t be fixed at all.” After the Ponies square off against Browning, they will head to Great Falls for the prestigious Electric City Classic. The two-day tournament, which starts on Friday, will feature 16 teams, including all Class AA schools as well as Havre and Lewistown. Teams will be split into two pools of eight for Friday’s play, then split into a championship bracket and a consolation bracket, depending on each teams win-loss record in pool play on Saturday. The Ponies will participate in the Great Falls High pool. The eight-team pool will include Glacier, Billings Senior, Bozeman, Helena Capital, Missoula Hellgate, Billings Skyview and Havre as well as GFH. The teams joining CMR in the CMR pool will be Missoula Big Sky, Billings West, Lewistown, Missoula Sentinel, Butte, Flathead and Helena High. “We are really looking forward to going down and playing,” Huebsch said. “It gives us a chance to get in a lot of volleyball against some pretty good competition. It will give us a great chance to mix and match with some different lineup combinations so we can find which work well together and which combinations don’t go so well together. “I think it will also give us a great chance to fine tune some of the things that we need to work on,” he added. “So it will give us a chance to get a lot of things done because of the amount of matches we will get to play.” The top four teams in each pool will advance into the championship bracket on Saturday at CMR, while the bottom four teams in each pool will advance into a consolation pool, which will be held at GFH. Havre and Browning will play at the HHS gymnasium tonight at around 6:30 p.m. The Electric City Classic will run all day Friday and all day Saturday in Great Falls.