It was the second meeting in two weeks between Choteau and the Havre High volleyball team, but unfortunately for the Blue Ponies, they found similar results in both matches.
Saturday the Central A Blue Ponies were in Choteau, where they faced the Class B Bulldogs. And while the Ponies were hoping to remain in the win column for a while, the Bulldogs were the ones who came away with the win in four games. The Ponies lost game one 25-20 and game two 25-19. HHS rebounded to take game three 25-19, but then fell in game four 25-13. Choteau defeated Havre in four games in their first meeting this season as well.
“I am not disappointed,” Havre High head coach Melanie Skoyen said. “I feel like we are still getting better and some really good things happened for us this weekend. I felt that there were moments that we did play to our full potential, but we just need to do it more often."
HHS did have a bright spot in the third game. The Ponies found a way to win, and Skoyen was very impressed with what she saw.
“That was the best we played all year,” Skoyen said. “It was a fun match and we have talked about playing consistent, and we definitely did that all the way through game three. Now we just need to make sure we take the baby steps to be consistent through a whole match and not just one game.”
The Ponies, in preparation for the divisional tournament were hoping to play more patient volleyball. They wanted to cut down on mistakes, avoid panicking, and even switched up some formations. HHS used Peyton FIlius as the main setter, after using two setters all season long, and this change tweaked the entire offense, as well as serve receive. HHS also worked on their blocking this week in practice, and that showed on Saturday.
The Ponies looked especially good with their serve-receive and blocking after only one week of practice.
“I saw it working for us,” Skoyen said. “And I was impressed." Filius led the Ponies with 30 of the team's 33 assists. The hitters also benefited from Filius’s solid play, racking up 35 kills. Sarah Armstong led the Ponies with 11 kills. Brandy Lambourne also had five of the team's nine aces, while Lambourne also had 33 of the teams 75 digs. Armstrong also led the Ponies with five of the teams nine blocks.
“(Armstrong) had the match of her life,” Skoyen said. “It was unbelievable and she was unstoppable hitting, did well closing the block and penetrating over the net.”
The Blue Ponies (2-9) have two more games this week, both on the road. On Thursday the Ponies will take on Conrad in Conrad, and on Saturday the Ponies will return to conference play when they face the Browning Indians in Browning.
Choteau def. Havre
25-20, 25-19, 19-25, 25-13
Havre — Kills 35 (Sarah Armstrong 11); assists 33 (Payton Filius 30); aces 9 (Brandy Lambourne 5); digs 75 (Brandy Lambourne 33); blocks 9 (Sarah Armstrong 5).
Choteau — Kills 37 (Alisha Breen 12); assists 37 (Kelci May 34); aces 4 (Kelci May 2); digs 82 (Nicole Munoz 20); blocks 8 (Alisha Breen 4).