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Blue Pony spikers home for a Central A showdown

 

October 18, 2018

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Caitlin Terry and the Havre High volleyball team look to continue its winning ways when the Blue Ponies host the Livingston Rangers tonight at the HHS gymnasium.

The Havre High volleyball team has been stringing together a lot of wins recently, however, only one of those victories came within the Central A conference.

But, after playing six of their last seven matches against non-conference opponents, the Blue Ponies will play three straight against Central A teams to close out the season, starting tonight with Livingston. The Rangers and Ponies, who will be meeting for the second time in 2018, will play inside the HHS gymnasium, with the match starting at approximately 4:30.

As things stand currently, the Ponies are sitting in the second position in the Central A, thanks to a 2-1 record. Livingston, on the other hand, is 0-3 in league play and 4-11 overall. While the Ponies can't wrap up the second seed solely with a win over Livingston, Havre needs either two wins over its next three matches, or one win and a Lewistown loss to wrap up the second seed from the Central A for the Eastern A Divisional Tournament.

"It's been nice that we have been playing so well," HHS head coach Tamecia Jarvis said. "We have won seven out of our last eight matches, but most of them were non-conference, so we need to go out and make sure that we take care of business and keep playing at a high level like we have been."

Havre took a match off the Rangers earlier in the season when the two teams met in Belgrade and, this time, the Ponies will look to finish off the season sweep. HHS has already swept Browning, Conrad and Cut Bank and if it wins the second match over Livingston, the Rangers would be the fourth.Yet, after the two teams went to five sets in the first meeting, another win in straight sets might not be so easy.

"We are a much-different team than we were when we played them the first time," Jarvis said. "So we want to come out and and play better this time around. Our serving has been really good and that has helped us start fast and we want to continue that."

Leading the way for the Ponies will be junior Sam Oliver, who is coming off another stellar performance where she led HHS in multiple categories. That was in the win over Cut Bank last Saturday, a match that saw Oliver lead in kills, aces and assists. For the season, she is fourth in the Central A in aces with 47, as well as third in assists with 355. Showing her defensive prowess, Oliver is also sixth in the Central A in digs per set at 2.38.

While Oliver has been a key cog both offensively and defensively, two of her teammates, Cassidy Acor and Jessa Chvilicek, have also been vital in both aspects. Acor is currently third in the Central A in kills with 183, followed by Chvilicek, who is fifth in the conference with 121. Yet, both players have been equally impactful around the net on defense. Chvilicek leads the Central A in blocks with 43 and close behind her in third, is Acor with 33.5. Behind the strength of Acor and Chvilicek, Havre also leads the conference in blocks per set at 1.91. Livingston also brings a strong defense, one that boasts a league-leading 14.17 digs per set. The Rangers also average 1.25 blocks per set, which is second among the four teams.

"They lead our conference in digs and they are pretty solid defensively," Jarvis said. "So we just have to be smart about where we are trying to hit and place the ball."

Havre and Livingston will meet tonight at approximately 4:30 inside the HHS gymnasium.

 

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