By George Ferguson
It was a successful start to Havre High's homecoming festivities, thanks to a rock solid performance by the Havre Blue Pony volleyball team.
The Ponies downed the Browning Indians in three straight games by scores of 25-13, 25-15 and 25-14 Thursday night.
The Ponies played very well, thanks in large part to a boisterous homecoming crowd at Havre High gymnasium.
"The girls were very excited before this game," said Havre head coach Lacy Anderson. "It was good to have this game during homecoming and the girls responded and played very well tonight."
The Ponies pretty much dominated the match from start to finish. In the first game, Browning managed to keep things close early on, but several Havre runs would finish the Indians off.
With the game tied 4-4, Jeanna McPherson had two straight kills and Crystal Pyrak added two aces to take a commanding lead. Havre would eventually reel off 10 straight points as Brittany Vandersloot served out the first game.
The second game saw more of the same. The Indians managed to keep things close, even taking a 7-6 lead behind several nice kills from Jenna Skunk Cap. However, the lead didn't last long. Sara Suek, Kristi Owens, and McPherson combined for six kills, as part of an eleven point rally, that gave Havre the lead for good in game two. McPherson emphatically finished the game off with a nice cross court kill.
In the final game, the Ponies again raced out to an early 13-4 lead behind solid serving and two aces from Vandersloot. Heather Laprath added a couple of aces late, and on match point Kacie Kitchens finished things off with a final kill.
Overall Anderson was pretty happy with her teams efforts.
"We had a lot of fun tonight," Anderson said. "We put in a new defense on Monday and the girls really got to work on that tonight, and they responded pretty well."
Havre senior Jeanna McPherson was also pretty happy with the night.
"We were really pumped up for tonight because of homecoming and the big crowd," McPherson said. "I thought we played pretty well but we still have some improving to do."
McPherson led the way for the Ponies with a solid 15 kills and 1 blocks.
"Jeanna is just a real solid player for us," Anderson said. "She is just such a smart player with the ball and always does a great job."
Anderson was also pleased with her team's service efforts. Havre had eight aces. Heather Laprath led the way with three, while Pyrak and Vandersloot added two a piece.
"We are a very consistent serving team," Anderson said. "But we don't usually have a lot of aces, so tonight was nice to have that many."
Pyrak also had 16 assists for the Ponies and Sara Suek added nine kills.
The win puts Havre at 4-1 in the Central A conference standings and 7-5 overall.
Before the game the entire crowd was treated to a special Native American dance as part of National Native American Week. Darrell Wright of Rocky Boy along with Havre's Shannon Sherman, Heidi Crawford, and Christine Trottier performed traditional Native American dances for the crowd.
The Ponies will visit Lewistown on Saturday for a triangular where they will face both Lewistown and Livingston.