Over the last two weekends the Havre High volleyball team has played 16 different opponents. Now heading into a weekend where Havre will face just two opponents, the Blue Ponies are looking forward to a more focused set of matches.
Saturday the Central A Ponies will be in Lewistown where they will face the Hardin Bulldogs and the Laurel Locomotives in non conference play. The Ponies are sitting at 1-3 overall and 1-1 in league play.
“Its nice playing just two schools,” Havre High head coach Melanie Skoyen said. “And we are going back to play two schools in the Class A. Last year we were pretty evenly matched with both Laurel and Hardin, and it was actually one of the only times I felt disappointed about my team last season. I felt like were playing not to lose rather than playing to win and that is a huge difference in volleyball. I think that hopefully the girls will remember that, and just play really tough and get that aggressive instinct to help them dominate.”
Both the Locomotives and Bulldogs can be dangerous teams.
Neither team has a shining bright spot, but are very solid all around. They play god defense, have decent hitters and can’t be overlooked. If HHS wants to grab a couple of wins they have to have to play well on both sides of the net, as well as limit their errors and stay competitive.
The Blue Ponies are also looking to focus on a couple specific areas on route to what will hopefully be a successful weekend.
HHS has been working on a quicker attack on offense. Middles Juletta Don and Sarah Armstrong will play key roles this weekend and should look to surprise the defense every chance they get. Skoyen is looking to mix things up and keep the opposing defense guessing; all the while they better their own attack as they go further into the season.
“It is just going to help so much with deterring the block from the other team,” Skoyen said. “We have only been trying the last few days in practice, but we are just going to have to really try and see if we can execute it for the first time in a game.”
The Ponies serve receive is also still an area of focus. But the Ponies have also been hard at work improving that the last week of practice as well. Skoyen has been serving to her squad extremely tough at practice, giving them different looks and hitting towards all areas of the floor. This will hopefully get the Ponies used to tough serving squads and leave them better prepared for tough serving situations in the future.
For the Blue Ponies to find success this weekend, they just have to play sound, fundamental volleyball. They are already planning to mix things up with their middle hitters, but Sammy Evans, Lexi Olson and Sadie Seidel also have to hit well from the outside, as the continue to gel with two new and young setters.
“Just from last weekend I feel that we have improved,” Skoyen said. “I see us getting a couple good wins this weekend, or at least one win this weekend. I know we will definitely be competitive and we should have two good matches.”
Saturday the Ponies are in Lewistown where they will face Hardin and Laurel in nonconference play.