Even with the ups and downs the Havre High volleyball team has experienced this season, the Blue Ponies were still in control of their post season fate this weekend.
With three conference games on the line the Ponies had the opportunity to finish the regular season as high as the No. 2 seed. But if unable to find their way into the win column, the Ponies also were at 4 seed in the Central A.
Friday night, the Ponies were at home when they suffered a three-game loss to the undefeated Lewistown Golden Eagles. The Eagles earned wins by scores of 25-17, 25-20 and 25-0 as they moved to 22-0 on the season. And on Saturday, the Ponies were in Browning where they faced the Livingston Rangers and Belgrade Panthers. The Ponies defeated the Panthers in five games (scores not reported), but lost in three to the Rangers. The Rangers defeated the Ponies 25-22, 25-13 and 26-24 in a very tough contest.
After going 1-2 on the weekend, the Ponies' conference record now sits at 4-4, while their overall record dropped to 6-11. HHS had a shot to take the No. 2 spot in the conference outright, but with the two losses, the Ponies now sit in a three-way tie with Livingston and Belgrade behind the league leading, undefeated Eagles.
But despite the loss at home on Friday to the Eagles, the Blue Ponies looked very strong on what was also senior night for Juletta Don, Sammy Evans and Michaela Boles.
“I am not disappointed,” Havre High head coach Melanie Skoyen said. “We played hard, but Lewistown showed that they are a great team. There were moment where we showed that they can make mistakes too, but their block really took control at the end of the game and we aren’t used to a block like that. Even though we cover well, it was a solid block and it is very hard to hit around that. But for the most part, we held our heads high and made some strides.”
In game one, th Ponies got off to a slow start and were never really able to shake it off. Th trailed 14-8 early, and eventually got outscored 11-9 in the loss. But in gam two of the evening, the Ponies were much more competitive as they battled the Eagles point for point nearly the entire set. Lexi Olson had two kill for the Ponies in set two, but a couple of hitting errors and just a tough Eagles squad cost the Ponies the loss.
But HHS bounced right back and challenged the Eagles again in game three of the match. The Ponies came out hot and even took the early 11-7 lead with Sadie Seidel, Olson, Sarah Armstrong and Evans combining for four kills and Seidel grabbing two aces in the stretch. But as well as the Ponies were playing, the Eagles proved to be too tough. The Eagles put together three nice runs to overtake the Ponies and eventually grab the win.
The Eagles blocked well all night, but put together four blocks in the final set to limit the Ponies offensive production and keep them from going on much needed runs to pull away. The Eagles had nine blocks on the night and were led by McCalle Feller with four. The Ponies had just four blocks, with Seidel leading HHS with two.
“Their experience of playing together for so long really showed why they are a good team,” Skoyen said. “They just don’t allow teams to make runs on them and they are able to do whatever it takes to get the momentum back.”
The Ponie finished with 22 kills, Armstrong led with six, while Evans and Olson both had five each. And they also had 24 assists and three aces. Seidel had two aces and Peyton Filius had 23 assists. Brandy Lambourne and Seidel both led the team with 12 digs each, while the Ponies racked up a total of 45 digs.
It was the end of the regular season for the Ponies and the rest of the Central A, and the divisional tournament is next on the calendar. Friday and Saturday the Blue
Ponies will hos the divisional tournament at the Havre High gymnasium.
Lewistown def. Havre
25-17, 25-20, 25-20
Havre leaders — Kills 22 (Sarah Armstrong 6, Sammy Evans 5, Lexi Olson 5);
assists 24 (Peyton Filius 23); aces 3 (Sadie Seidel 2); digs 45 (Brandy
Lambourne 12, Sadie Seidel 12); blocks 4 (Sarah Armstrong 2).
Lewistown leaders — Kills 39
(McCalle Feller 13), assists 31 (Allie Adams 30); aces 7 (McCalle Feller 3,
Jaden Scheffelmair 3); digs 39 (Lissa Quinlan 11); blocks 9 (McCalle Feller 4).