Ponies take on Dillon in key Central A match
For the second straight weekend, the Havre High volleyball team will play only one match. But also for the second straight weekend, that single match will have huge implications towards the rest of the Blue Ponies' season.
Havre is coming off of an emotional homecoming victory over archrival Chinook last Saturday night at the Havre High gymnasium. Now the Ponies will travel to Lewistown Saturday morning to face the Dillon Beavers in an untraditional triangular meet at Fergus County Gymnasium.
"This isn't a true triangular meet in the sense that we only play one match," Said Havre High head coach Bill Huebsch. "But this match against Dillon is very important. It is one that we have been looking forward to for a while now."
The Beavers were touted as one of the favorites in the Central A conference coming into the 2003 season and they are the only conference opponent that the Ponies have not faced this year.
Dillon comes into the match with Havre with a 6-1 overall record and like the Ponies, they are undefeated (4-0) in conference play.
"I expect that Dillon will be very tough for us on Saturday," Huebsch said. "They are a very strong team serving the ball and they have a lot of strength at the net."
"However, I think if we come out with the same intensity that we showed in the first three games against Chinook, I think we'll be just fine," Huebsch added.
The Beavers have a lot of talent and depth overall and were a state tournament team a year ago. They are led by Tiffany Stoddard who is currently leading the Central A conference in kills. Dillon has also gotten very consistent play from sophomore Theresa Bennett. Bennett is among the league leaders in overall serve percentage, and she will play a large factor in Saturday's match.
The Ponies also have a talented group of players who have guided the team to a terrific start this season.
Havre has a trio of seniors in the top 10 for overall kill stats in Central A. Kristi Owens has 103 kills while Alicia Overcast has 97 and Kelsey Smith comes in with 83 total kills.
Sophomore Kelsey Evans is third in the Central A in aces with 35, while senior Brittany Vandersloot is fifth in digs and third in serve percentage at 97.9 percent.
"This is a very big match for us for a lot of reasons," Huebsch said. "If we beat Dillon, we will be 4-0 against the southern division of our conference. And, I think we have an opportunity to make another statement to the other teams in our conference that we are going to be a team to deal with at the divisional tournament."
The match between the Ponies and Beavers will get underway at 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. The Beavers will also face Lewistown with all the action taking place at the Fergus County Gymnasium in Lewistown.