The season is winding down for the Havre High volleyball team. The Blue Ponies will finish the regular season this weekend with three conferen
ce matches, and hopefully enter the post season with some much-needed positive momentum.
This weekend the No. 2 Central A Ponies (5-9, 3-2) will play three conference games. And while they sit in the No. 2 spot as of now, that is as good as they can enter the divisional tournament. But if the Ponies drop enough games this weekend, they could enter at worse as the No. 4 seed.
Tonight the Ponies will host the league leading, 21-0, Lewistown Golden Eagles for senior night. And on Saturday, the Ponies will be in Browning where they will face Belgrade and Livingston for what will be the Ponies’ regular season finale.
“We must have the attitude in all three of these matches that we can get three victories,” Havre High head coach Melanie Skoyen said. “People may think that is over confident, but we believe that if you don’t go into a match believing you have a shot to win, you are already defeating yourself. But we need to be competitive at least in all three matches against three very good conference opponents.
“A couple of wins would really be the confidence we need,” Skoyen added. “But whatever happens our seeding isn’t going to change a whole lot. But that won’t even matter because whoever we play at divisionals can be tough to beat. We are mostly just excited to see these teams late in the season and see how they have improved and changed since we last saw them.
Belgrade was the first opponent of the year for HHS and the Ponies were fortunite to get the win in five games. And Lewistown was the second match of the season for the Ponies, and that resulted in a loss in four. It has also been a while since the Ponies saw the Eagles, that match coming in late September, when the Ponies lost in three.
This time around the Ponies are looking to play well against all three opponents. And that will not be easy as the Eagles are the No. 2 team in the state with a heavy dose of talented seniors on the roster. The Eagles are a very well rounded team that has no visible week spot. Every position has a talented player and they have really dominated every team they have played this season, Class A or not.
For the Ponies to be successful they have to play their best volleyball of the season. And while they have struggled with consistency this entire season, that is going to be key as they try not to hurt themselves with hitting errors in the mean time.
“We need to be consistent and we can’t hurt ourselves with hitting errors,” Skoyen said. “Lewistown is beatable and we would love to be the first team to give them a loss.”
There is no doubt that Lewistown will be the toughest match of the weekend for the Ponies, but HHS still has to play well against the Panthers and Rangers on Saturday.
Jordan Porter leads the Panthers and can hurt teams in a hurry. HHS has to limit her hitting and attacks and know where she is at all times. She is also the setter for the Panthers so the Ponies can’t help her out with easy hits from Sammy Evans and Sarah Armstrong, two of the top hitters this season for HHS. And against the Rangers, the Ponies have to take care of the middle with Juletta Don and Armstrong taking control with the block.
Overall it is just going to take good play all weekend by the entire Blue Pony lineup.
Seniors Evans, Don and Michaela Boles will be honored on Friday as they say farewell to the Havre High Gymnasium for the last time this regular season. All three have been key for the Ponies this season, and will be missed in the coming seasons.
All three seniors have been important parts to Havre High's season, and for their success in recent years. And all three will have an emotional farewell tonight.
“They have all been great for us,” Skoyen said. “Sammy Evans, her hitting percentage is the best that it has ever been and she is really connecting well. She is always a positive leader on our team and will be hard to replace. And Juletta Don is an inspiration to have on the team. She never has a bad attitude and she is always optimistic and it is contagious. And Michaela (Boles), she has been our spark plug. She comes in to serve and play a little back row for us, and she is just so fun to have on the team and I know the girls really enjoy having her around.”
Tonight the Ponies will host Lewistown at the Havre High gymnasium at 7, and on Saturday, the Ponies will face Belgrade and Livingston in Browning.
Tonight's home match won't be the last time the Blue Ponie splay on their home floor however. The Ponies are the host team for the Central A Divisional Tournament which runs next Friday and Saturday in Havre.