The Electric City Classic volleyball tournament is never referred to as an easy weekend, but for the Havre High volleyball program, it definitely makes for a lighter weekend when compared to the Blue Ponies season opening weekend last week.
Friday and Saturday the Central A Ponies will compete in Great Falls, competing against a tough field of Class AA teams. The Ponies and Lewistown Golden Eagles will be the only Class A squads in attendance, while the rest of the field will be filled with teams like Missoula Sentinel, CMR, Skyview, Missoula Hellgate, Helena Capital, and Glacier.
But the pool of talent doesn’t stop there, as the Ponies will face Great Falls High, Billings West, Big Sky, Helena High, Butte High, Billings Senior and Flathead Friday in pool play.
“This is going to be a good weekend for us after having and upsetting weekend last weekend,” Havre High head coach Melanie Skoyen said. “We felt like we didn’t play the way we should have, but we have had a couple of really good practices this week that showed me the girls are taking it serious, and that they do want to win.
“Hopefully we can get a couple of wins,” Skoyen added. “Because this tournament can be discouraging if you don’t came away with a win at all. But this is a chance to get so much better, playing up against these teams.”
And it won’t be easy for the Ponies to grab a win over the two days of competition. The Ponies didn’t earn a win a year ago, and HHS knows any Class AA team they play will be tough.
The Electric City Classic is known for its high level of competition. It brings in some of the best volleyball players and teams in the state, and the Ponies know they have to better their performance from last weekend. Pool play will consist of two games to 20, with each teams scores being added for tie breaking purposes in case of a split. And the tournament will be a best of three format, with game three going to 15 points. In these types of situations and tournament, where the Ponies aren’t exactly familiar with the opponent, they can’t hurt themselves. Last weekend in a match with Belgrade, the Ponies had 26 hitting errors, something that won’t fly this weekend.
Along with limiting the errors, the Ponies have to finish games. They have the ability to gain a lead on some of these teams, but they can’t squander the lead away. That was an issue last weekend, and that is an area of focus this time around. Skoyen is looking for the Ponies to continue hit hard, and be smart with their placement when holding a lead, instead of getting relaxed and suffering the loss.
“We are really working on finishing.” Skoyen said. “We have to be aggressive, but play smart at the same time, and we need to play to win, and not play to not lose.”
Friday and Saturday the Ponies will be in Great Falls for the annual Windy City Classic.