Ponies up for a big weekend


It's a busy weekend for the Havre High volleyball team.

The Central A Blue Ponies are coming off tough losses to both Hardin and Laurel. But tonight HHS will take to the road and face the Lewistown Golden Eagles in conference play in Lewistown. And on Saturday, the Ponies will make their home debut when they square off with the Class B Conrad Cowgirls at the Havre High gymnasium at 4:30 p.m.

The Conrad matchup will also be the Ponies' homecoming match.

"I know that we are all just really excited to have a home game and for our homecoming," Havre High head coach Melanie Skoyen said. "The girls are going to be fired up and very excited to play."

But the Ponies can't overlook the Cowgirls.

They are a tough Class B program, and can come away with the win if not taken seriously. The Cowgirls have a lot of returning athletes from a very young squad a year ago.

For the HHS to be successful, they Ponies are stressing the fact that they can't give up any major point runs.

"As a coach I always teach no three-point runs," Skoyen said. "It's ok if a team gets one or two points on you because this is volleyball and that's going to happen. But we have to make sure we side-out to make sure teams aren't gaining momentum."

The Ponies know exactly what they need to do to be successful against the Cowgirls on Saturday. And if they con do those things, they are confident they will get their first home win of the season.

"If everybody continues to stay healthy and we keep good attitudes and good energy on the court we should be successful," Skoyen said.

But not looking past tonight, the Blue Ponies have a tough conference opponent on the road.

This will be the first conference game for the Eagles while the Ponies sit at 2-0 in conference play. And though the Ponies have 2 conference matchups under their belts already, the Eagles will be a very tough matchup.

"Lewistown is such a good team," Skoyen said. "They are very solid all the way through and you can tell they have so much discipline. But we are going down there with confidence because we know just like any good team they are still beatable."

The Eagles are made up of all seniors and juniors. And to top it off, they lost only three varsity players form a year ago. The key loss was libero Leah Berry, but they are still a tight knit group. They have played with each other for a number of years and have good chemistry as well as skill. They are very well rounded and the Ponies know they will be tough to beat.

Heading into Lewistown the Havre game plan is to serve tough. The Ponies want to take the Eagles out of their offense and Christina Mack and Sadie Seidel should do that very well from the line. Both Seidel and Mack are very tough servers, using both placement and power.

"When we serve tough we run the risk of miss serves," Skoyen said. "But that's a risk we are willing to take right now. We want tot keep the momentum on our side and make sure we are disciplined on defense too."

Defensively, Davee McLeod should be a factor. She has spent the last week of practice working on her defenseive play, and has come a long way since the beginning of the season.

"Everybody has been working hard," Skoyen said. "But Davee (McLeod), this week it kind of clicked. She is reading the hitters shoulder, and it's not perfect yet, but it has improved so much since last weekend."

The Ponies have had a rough last couple of matches, and starting tonight they are looking to turn their luck around. It will take good overall play team play to defeat the Eagles, but if the Ponies play to their potential it is possible.

"We are just gong down there with high hopes," Skoyen said."And we have to believe we are going to be successful otherwise it won't come true."

Tonight the Ponies will face the Eagles in Lewistown, and on Saturday the Ponies will host the Cowgirls in the HHS home debut at 4:30 at the Havre High gymnasium.


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