Havre High senior is dedicated to her volleyball
Over the last four years, Havre High’s Sarah Armstrong, has put a lot of focus, energy, and preparation into Blue Pony volleyball. Now, in the midst of her senior season, all of Armstrong’s hard work has definitely paid off.
Armstrong has played volleyball for the Central A Ponies for four years. She has been a major contributor to the varsity squad since her
sophomore season, and has grown into one of the top middle hitters in the conference, Class A, and maybe even state. As of now, Armstrong leads the Central A in kills with 171, and was also third in blocks, according to the conference stats released last week.
And it is the preparation and dedication that Armstrong is willing to put in on and off the court that has made her a star.
She played basketball her freshman year, an participated in track in middle school, but for most of her prep career, her focus has been volleyball. And not only does Armstrong put all of her focus into the volleyball team during the season, she also works on her game year round. Armstrong attends local camps like the Havre High camp in the summer, but also traveled north of the border to hone her game. She was one of three HHS volleyball players to attend a weeklong volleyball camp in Saskatoon, Canada, where Armstrong said the camp was filled with intense gameplay as well as mental and physical training.
Her hard work has been noticed. As a junior, Armstrong was named All-Conference, as well as the team's Best Offensive Player and the blocking leader with 61 blocks. She was also named Most Improved as a sophomore, and has accomplished an academic letter.
Hopefully her volleyball career won’t end this season, she also hopes to play college volleyball, if the opportunity presents itself.
Here's five questions as Armstrong helps guide the Ponies through the halfway point in the season
HDN: The team has a lot of returning starters this year, what expectations do you guys have for yourselves as a team?
Armstrong: “We know we can be a pretty good team if we play how we should and play to the best of our abilities. But some games, we can’t all focus and play together and that is hard, but we know we have the talent and can have big games if we put everything we’ve got onto the court. Our warmups influence us a lot, we have to have good mindset. And the practice the day before kind of influences us a bit also, so everything kind of contributes.”
HDN: Which conference team do you enjoy playing the most?
Armstrong: “You could say that one of our biggest rivals is Belgrade. And we might not always win when we play them, but they are definitely a big rival, and we know girls on the team so it gets really competitive. I think we do have the ability to beat them, so it definitely forces us to play our best and just keep stepping up to keep up with them.”
HDN: You guys have a cheer or chant for everything on the court, but how does the team decide which ones to use each season or match?
Armstrong: “Our ace cheers and our kill cheers don’t really change. But one that we really think influences, whether it does or not, is our first cheer before the match. We don’t know if we are going to say something like ‘fired up’ or ‘big lead,’ or anything like that, so we focus on that one a lot. But if anybody thinks of a new one or anything creative to get us going, then we are open to that, but kind of stick to our set ones that we are used to.”
HDN: How have you been able to lead the conference in kills so far this season?
Armstrong: “I actually became aware of that last week when I saw the conference stats. But that has been one of my main goals and concerns, to do better than last year. I just want to do the best I can, and I play middle and that is more about placement, so I have to place the ball right. But it is all a mental game and you just have to be smart about it.”
HDN: As a star on the volleyball court, are there any other sports you wished you would have stuck with, or tried while at HHS?
Armstrong: “I am glad I just focused on volleyball because with multiple sports it just gets really busy with different camps and practices. But I was able to just focus in on volleyball and go to Canada like I have for volleyball, and do multiple camps. That has helped me get better all around at volleyball.”
The Blue Pony volleyball team will play at home on Saturday against Conrad.