By Tiffany L. Rehbein
The Havre Blue Pony volleyball team needed some big shovels to dig themselves out of the hole they dug at Lewistown.
They only shoveled deep enough to win one game in the 14-16, 15-8, 15-8, 15-5 conference loss to the Golden Eagles Saturday.
The Ponies, who were down 11-3 in the first game, rallied behind an aggressive offense and strong serving en route to the win.
However, numerous unforced errors, lack of intensity, and inconsistency plagued the Blue Ponies throughout the match. With the loss, the Ponies slipped to 1-2 in conference play and 7-3 overall.
"We are going to go into practice Monday and make some adjustments," said head coach Bill Huebsch, who has helped lead the Ponies to state championships in 1998 and 1999. "There are too many people standing and watching instead of making things happen."
The Blue Ponies tallied 39 kills, while the Eagles managed 51. Senior Erin Patera had a team-high 14, and sophomore Amy Ranes added 11 for Havre. Janalee Stokken notched a game-high 15, and Lindsay Garcia chipped in 14 for Lewistown.
Lisa Wagner and Kirsten Kuka combined for 26 of Havre's 35 assists, while Lewistown's Jamie Slagel had 40 assists.
"If Lewistown has 51 kills and only 40 assists, that means Havre had 11 overpasses that were kills for Fergus," Huebsch said. "We are not playing with very much intensity right now."
Patera also had a team-high 14 digs, while Ranes tallied 11. Patera led the Ponies with three aces in the match.
Lewistown (3-0, 9-2) notched 94 digs and 12 aces in the contest.
Going into the match, Huebsch said, the Ponies needed to do four things to win: control the net with the block, have great ball control, not get beat with easy points, and not get frustrated if the offense doesn't work right away.
"They had 12 aces on us, so that tells me we didn't get done what we needed to do," he said.
In both the second and third game, the Ponies were down 12-4, but managed to dig themselves out only to lose by seven points.
"If we had played the rest of the match like we did the first game, we would have done fine," Huebsch said.
In other action, the Havre freshman fell to Lewistown 16-14, 13-15, 13-15, 17-16, 15-13, and the junior varsity lost 15-10, 15-0, 15-8.
The Blue Pony varsity will host their first match of the season on Saturday when the Park Rangers (1-0, 4-2) come to Havre for conference action.
Lewistown def. Havre -- 14-16, 15-8, 15-8, 15-5.
Havre -- Kills 39 (Erin Patera 14, Amy Ranes 11); Blocks 8 (Amy Ranes 2); Assists 35 (Lisa Wagner 14, Kirsten Kuka 12); Digs (Erin Patera 14, Amy Ranes 11); Aces 5 (Erin Patera 3)
Lewistown -- Kills 51 (Janalee Stokken 15, Lindsay Garcia 14); Blocks 10 (Stokken 5, Garcia 2); Assists 40 (Slagel 37); Digs 94 (Cassie Chapman 16; Slagel 13); Aces 12 (Janelle Phifer 5, Amanda Bakkedahl 3)