After battling through some injuries, the Havre High volleyball team had settled into a nice groove recently, grabbing three consecutive wins. But falling to the Choteau Bulldogs for the second time this season, the Blue Ponies are now fighting sickness.
The Bulldogs are one of the tougher Class B squads around, and the Central A Ponies have learned that first hand this season. This time around, Saturday in Choteau, the Bulldogs defeated the Ponies in three sets, winning by scores of 25-23, 25-17, and 26-24. HHS fell to 6-8 overall and remain 1-3 in the conference.
Playing without starting setter Peyton Filius, the Ponies found themselves playing just little of kilter. Filius was sick, and didn’t even travel with the team, leaving the Ponies without one of their top contributors, and having to run a new lineup. HHS ran a 6-2, and turned to setters Davee McLeod and Ellery Bresler to help step up and carry the load. The evolved game plan worked out well for the Ponies, but they found their performance just shy of what was needed to get out of Choteau with a win.
“The one thing I really noticed about our team was that everybody really stepped up,” Havre High head coach Melanie Skoyen said. “It was a situation where we knew we had to compensate for two new setters, and Brandy Lambourne did a fantastic job. Her serve receive was right on the money, and really, I could tell that the whole team was focusing, playing with heart, had good attitudes, and really played well as a team. I am happy they were able to do that because I know they missed their setter, and you can tell there is a big difference with her on the floor.”
Lambourne led the Ponies with 37 digs, helping propel the Ponies to three competitive games with the Bulldogs. Sarah Armstrong, who benefits the most from Filius’s sets still had a great evening game with 11 kills, while Sadie Seidel also had nine kills. Armstrong also had two blocks, as did Martha Stocker, while Lexi Olson had the teams only ace.
“Even though we had slow starts as normal,” Skoyen said. “At the end of the games, or even halfway through, they were still playing hard. Neither team was really grabbing the momentum and it was neck and neck pretty much. So that was good that we weren’t allowing any runs, we were siding out right away, and we had real good serve receive, which made a difference.”
The Ponies will face the conference rival Browning Indians on Saturday, their only match this weekend.
And since it is a light weekend for HHS, the Ponies are taking full advantage of the free time. Friday at the Havre High gymnasium in Havre, the Ponies are running a free volleyball clinic for grades five through eight. The clinic will run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and is free. This is a great opportunity for local volleyball players, or those interested in volleyball to come meet their favorite Blue Pony players and coaches, as well as better their game.
Choteau def. Havre
25-23, 25-17, 26-24
Choteau – No Statistics Available
Havre – Kills – Sarah Armstrong 11, Sadie Seidel 9; Digs – Brandy Lambourne 37; Aces – Lexi Olson 1; Blocks – Sarah Armstrong 2, Martha Stocker 2; Assists – not available.