By Tiffany L. Rehbein
The Havre senior spikers probably don't remember the last time they started a conference season 1-2. Neither does the coach.
So, the Blue Ponies have shaken up the lineup a little, searching for the winning way.
The Ponies (1-2, 7-3) will boast a slightly smaller, but much scrappier lineup when they host the Park High Rangers (Livingston) on Saturday.
"What we have been doing has not been bad, but this should be better," head coach Bill Huebsch said.
The Ponies will begin with three of their better passers in the back row, in seniors Erin Patera, Tiffany Shrauger, and Jana McPherson.
The Blue Ponies will have the option of a four-person serve receive when senior Teri Sherrill enters the game for sophomore Jayla McPherson, who will start in the front row.
Sophomore Amy Ranes and senior setter Lisa Wagner will also get the start.
"I think we will have more stability in serve receive," Huebsch said. "We need to keep getting better, and we are going to see if this is going to work."
Patera leads the Ponies in kills, averaging 2.41 per game. She also leads the team, and the Central A, in aces, with 32 on the season.
Shrauger, who notched a season-high six aces last week against Chinook, is second on the team with 28. She and Patera also lead the team in digs.
Wagner leads the team, and the division, with individual serve percentage. She has missed just three serves this season, averaging 98.3 percent.
Nikki Grant and Ranes can put up the block for Havre.
Most recently, Havre fell to Lewistown in four games. Patera and Ranes led the team in kills, digs, and aces.
On the opposite side of the net, Angela Bausch leads the Rangers. Bausch leads the Central A in kills, averaging 4.48 per game. She also leads the Central A in stuff blocks, averaging 1.33 per game. And she can serve and serve receive well for the Rangers.
Leanne Sudbeck and Molly Bleken can also hit the ball well for Livingston, who is 2-0 in conference play and 7-1 overall.
Becky Hancock leads the Central A in assists, averaging 11.0 per game to help her hitters.
The Ponies, who are second in the league with an 89.2 team serving percentage, might have their hands full with Park's defense, who operates behind the forces of Rae Stevenson, Sudbeck, Erin Blakely, Bausch, and Hancock.
The Ponies will face the Rangers at the Havre High School gym on Saturday at noon, and the Browning Indians will play Livingston at approximately 1:30 p.m. The Rangers are bringing a varsity team only. Havre will not play Browning on Saturday.