By Tiffany L. Rehbein
They must have eaten their Wheaties.
The Havre Blue Ponies volleyball team fell to the Class AA C.M. Rustlers 15-9, 15-6, 15-8 in non-conference action at the CMR Fieldhouse Saturday and went on to defeat the Great Falls High Bison 16-14, 15-13, 12-15, 7-15, 17-15 at the Bison Fieldhouse later in the day, rounding out more than four hours of varsity action.
"I don't really think we played that badly," Havre head coach Bill Huebsch said. "They (CMR) really are a talented team and they have got a lot of weapons."
In the first game, with the game knotted up at 8-8, the Blue Ponies committed back-to-back unforced errors. The momentum swayed the Rustlers way en route to the win.
Erin Patera led the Blue Ponies with 14 digs, one block, seven kills, and one ace in the match.
Tiffany Shrauger had 13 digs and one ace.
Jana McPherson and Amy Ranes had four kills apiece, while McPherson, Lisa Wagner, and Kirsten Kuka each notched an ace.
Wagner also had a team-high 20 assists for Havre.
Against CMR, the defending State Class AA champions, the Ponies committed nine hitting errors and missed two serves in the first game loss.
During the match, the Blue Ponies committed 22 hitting errors, equaling their total kills (22). The Ponies served 91 percent in the match.
Mary Lester led CMR with 11 kills.
"It was a long three-game sweep," Huebsch said.
In the 2 1/2 hour match that followed at Great Falls High, the Ponies showed sustenance.
"In the first two games that we won, we were down in both of them," Huebsch said. "I was proud of my kids and how they came back and won."
Havre tallied 91 digs in the contest, led by Patera with 23 and Shrauger with 20.
Patera notched four blocks and Jayla McPherson had two in the win.
Patera smoked 22 kills, while Ranes added 11 of the team's 56 kills in the match.
Wagner had 28 assists and Kuka notched 20 for Havre.
Shrauger had four of the Blue Ponies' eight aces in the winning effort.
The Ponies are 2-2 in conference play and 9-4 overall.
"It was nice to go down there and at least get a split," Huebsch said. "There were some really good things we did."
C.M. Russell High def. Havre High 15-9, 15-6, 15-8
CMR -- Aces 9 (Jodi Wright 5); Digs 40 (Jaci Wright); Blocks 5 (Dianne Radcliffe 4, Lindsey Graham 4); Kills 32 (Mary Lester 11); Assists 24 (Jodi Wright 24).
Havre -- Aces 5 (five with one each); Digs 48 (Erin Patera 14, Tiffany Shrauger 13); Blocks 1 (Patera); Kills 22 (Patera 7, Jana McPherson 4, Amy Ranes 4); Assists 20 (Lisa Wagner 12).
Havre High def. Great Falls High 16-14, 15-13, 12-15, 7-15, 17-15
Havre -- Kills 54 (Erin Patera 18, Amy Ranes 13); Blocks 11 (Patera 3); Assists 48 (Lisa Wagner 28, Kristen Kuka 20); Digs 91 (Patera 23, Tiffany Shrauger 22); Aces 8 (Shrauger 4).
Great Falls -- Aces 9 (Joey Ehnes 3); Digs 70 (Teresa Campbell 12, J. Ehnes 10, Terilee Ehnes 9); Blocks 11 (Lindsey Logan 5, Jackie Gillespie 2); Kills 42 (Mitzu Frazier 11, Gillespie 11, Campbell 18); Assists 18 (Megan Vielleux 15, Gillespie 9).