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Blue Pony spikers begin conference play on the road


August 30, 2018

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Havre High's Devyn Huebsch, right, goes for a kill during an Eastern A volleyball match last Friday at the HHS gymnasium. After hosting the Eastern A Tip-Off Tournament last weekend, the Blue Ponies hit the road for the first time this season, traveling to Belgrade to take on Livingston and Belgrade Friday.

The Havre High volleyball team got a taste of regular-season play last week at the Central and Eastern A Tip-Off Tournament at the HHS gymnasium. However, this week, with two conference matches on the schedule, the conference season at least starts for real.

While the Blue Ponies will still take part in a tournament, the annual Windy City Classic held in Livingston Saturday. Prior to that, HHS will play both Belgrade and Livingston in Belgrade. Havre will play Belgrade at 4 p.m. and Livingston at 6 p.m.

"Belgrade is always good," HHS head coach Tamecia Jarvis said. "It's just on us to not go out there and be intimidated. We need to make sure we play our best and relentless pursuit is something that I am trying to instill in these girls. As long as they are hustling and playing hard, that's all I can ask for but I want to see them giving 110 percent."

The Ponies, who were winless in the Central A conference last season are hoping to reverse that trend this season and if they are going to do that, one thing that will need to improve is the hitting, especially against a talented team like Belgrade, which was the Class A runner-up last season to Billings Central.

"We just have to be smart about where we are hitting the ball," Jarvis said. "Last week against Sidney, the girls played really well together. They worked hard and found spots for each other to hit the ball and that's what we need to do. We can't just try to hit it into the block all the time."

One difference between this season and past seasons is the height the Ponies have inside especially with Cassidy Acor, Jessa Chvilicek and Kadyn Acor. Cassidy Acor and Chvilicek both had more than 30 kills during the tip-off tournament last weekend and that's something Jarvis said they will hope to improve on this week. Sam Oliver, who is a setter and one of the teams top all-around players will also have a role in the team being more productive on both ends of the floor.

"We hit the ball pretty well at times but we had too many misses still," Jarvis said. "We just need to be a little more consistent at times. We also need to be a little more consistent when we are defending on the block, too."

The Panthers have boasted one of the top programs in the state for years, and it has been a long time since the Ponies have left Belgrade with a win over them. However, Havre has had success against Livingston, at least until last season when they were swept by the Rangers, something Havre is hoping to avoid this season.

"The girls know that we have to do better than we did last year," Jarvis said. "We want to do better than we have the last two seasons. We know we have the talent, it's just a matter of applying everything we have done in practice to the games."

After battling it out in back-to-back conference matches Friday, the Ponies will head to Livingston Saturday to take part in the Windy City Classic. That will get underway Saturday morning at 10.


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