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Havre High netters visit Conrad Saturday

 

September 14, 2018

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Syndey Wilting and the Havre High volleyball team travel to Conrad Saturday for their only match of the week. The Blue Ponies have two home matches next week.

The Havre High volleyball team has been busy during the first month of the season, but this week, the Blue Ponies get a bit of a break with just one match on the schedule.

After competing in a number of preseason tournaments to open the season, Havre, which is 3-5 overall and 1-1 in the Central A conference, will get back to a more regular schedule and that starts Saturday night in Conrad. The Ponies and Cowgirls will begin their varsity match at approximately 5 p.m.

The match against Conrad will also be the last one away from the HHS gymnasium in about a month, as the Ponies won't be on the road again until Oct. 11, with Browning, Cut Bank, Great Falls High, Lewistown and Conrad all set to pay the Ponies a visit in the coming weeks.

"It will be nice for the girls because they won't be so tired," HHS head coach Tamecia Jarvis said. "It will also be good for us to be able to play at home. We haven't got that chance much early in the season."

The Ponies played at home during the Eastern A Tip-Off the first weekend of the season and haven't been back since. They took part in the Windy City Classic two weeks ago and last weekend, HHS competed in the Electric City Classic against Great Falls. On top of that, the Ponies played both Livingston and Belgrade in Belgrade Aug. 31.

While the schedule was grueling at times for the Ponies, Jarvis said she believes her team is better off, especially after some self-evaluation.

"The best part of all those matches early is you get to find out what your strengths and weaknesses are," Jarvis said. "I think for us, we have done some really good things at times. We just have to find a way to be more consistent."

One area where the Ponies would like to improve is hitting. Currently, Havre ranks third in the Central A in both hitting percentage (.131) and kills per set with 7.95. Belgrade leads both categories and is averaging 10.6 kills per set.

While Havre isn't killing the ball with the same efficiency Belgrade is, the Ponies are getting a strong early-season performance from Cassidy Acor, who is second in the conference in total kills with 110 and third in kills per set with 2.56. Acor also had the third-best hitting percentage in the conference at .278. Her sister Kadyn Acor has also been really productive, hitting .246, which is sixth in the Central A. Additionally, Jessa Chvilicek has been a force near the net for Havre, notching 76 kills, fourth-best in the conference.

Another player who has been productive this season for the Ponies is Sam Oliver, who is among the Central A leaders in aces, assists and digs. Oliver is second in the conference with 215 assists and 94 digs. Sydney Wilting and Peyton Brown also rank among the top-10 in the Central A in the same category. Havre is even stronger when it comes to blocks. Chvilicek and Cassidy Acor both lead the Central A with 22.5 and not far behind them is Kadyn Acor, who has 10.5.

"I think we are going to try a few different things," Jarvis said. "I am going to try a 6-2 and I think we will move Sam around a bit so she can be near the net and hit more, instead of just setting."

Conrad comes in fresh off a sweep at the hands of Choteau, another Northern B rival. The Ponies swept Conrad last season and will look to keep their winning streak over the Cowgirls alive Saturday night at 5 p.m.

 

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