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Pony spikers corral Cowgirls

Havre High's Peyton Filius sets a pass during Saturday's volleyball match between the Bue Ponies and Conrad at the HHS gymnasium.

The Conrad volleyball team showed signs of life at times on Saturday, but the Cowgirls were no match for Havre High, as the Blue Ponies strung together their second straight win.

Saturday at the Havr

HHS's Lexi Olson (right) smashes a ball during Saturday's match against Conrad at the HHS gymnasium.

e High gymnasium in Havre, the Central A Ponies defeated the Class B Cowgirls in three straight sets. The Ponies earned wins by scores of 25-19, 25-10, and 25-16. It was the Ponies second consecutive win, both over the Cowgirls, and improved the Ponies' overall record to 5-7.

"I can tell attitudes were much better tonight." Havre High head coach Melanie Skoyen said about the previously struggling Ponies. "We are really taking care of the ball better and really taking charge in the back row, especially on broken plays. That is important because that brings down all of you momentum when a ball drops, but we were tougher and more aggressive.

The Cowgirls got off to hot starts in the first and second sets, but once the Ponies settled into a groove, they breezed by Conrad on Saturday evening.

And a big reason for the Blue Pony success came from the play of Sadie Seidel and Sarah Armstrong. Armstrong led the Ponies with 13 kills, while also recorded a stuff block. Seidel pitched in six kills, but also racked up nine digs and a team high three aces.

Martha Stocker also had one block, while Davee McLeod and Breck Don both had two aces each. Brandy Lambourne earned 12 digs, and Peyton Filius led the team in assists, finishing with a match high 28.

"This was a real confidence booster." Filius said. "We have been in kind of a slump lately, but we tried to eliminate three point runs (by Conrad) and serving errors (by us). That was the biggest different, just focusing on the little things I guess."

And the Ponies did keep the errors down as well as the Conrad runs for the most part, but it took the Ponies a minute or so to get rolling.

The Cowgirls were using a lot of pushes and short sets over the net to find holes in the defense in game one. They kept pace with the Ponies and even held a 16-15 lead. But HHS overcame the point for point race, and closed game one with a 10-3 run for the win.

Game two also started out tight, but the Ponies overcame a 4-1 deficit and ran away with the 15-point victory. And the solid play in the second set rolled right into the third set, with the Ponies jumping out to a dominating 16-5 lead. The Cowgirls did manage to go on a six-point and a four-point run late in the set to close the gap, but on a kill by Lacey Waid, the Ponies put away the Cowgirls for the win. HHS had seven kills in the third set, four by Armstrong, as her play sparked the Ponies' efforts all night long.

"I think the rotation we are using is really working for us." Skoyen said. "And when we play like this, no matter who we are plying, I feel like we can win. Everything is starting to click again, and it is hard to say who really stood because it was a team effort."

And it truly was a team effort, as McLeod looked very good behind the service line, Seidel, Armstrong, Olson and Waid hit very well up front and on the sides, while Filius passed and set extremely well, and Lambourne earned plenty of tough digs. Conrad was held to just four aces, 17 kills, 13 assists, two blocks and 61 digs.

The Ponies are back in action when they host Browning on Thursday. HHS will also face Choteau on the road on Saturday.

Havre def. Conrad

25-19, 25-10, 25-16

Havre – Kills 33 (Sarah Armstrong 13, Sadie Seidel 6), Blocks 2 (Martha Stocker 1, Sarah Armstrong 1), Assists 30 (Peyton Filius 28), Digs 34 (Brandy Lambourne 12, Sadie Seidel 9), Aces 7 (Sadie Seidel 3, Davee McLeod 2, Breck Don 2).

Conrad – Aces 4, Kills 17 (Taylor Dudisch 7, Margari VanDyke 4, Krista Judisch 4), Assists 13 (Michaela DeBoo 7, Hayley Orcutt 6), Blocks 2 (Emily Harwood 1, Krista Judisch 1), Digs 61 (Morgan VanDyke 16, Michaela DeBoo 14, Taylor Judisch 10).


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