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Even more changes to Blue Pony volleyball schedule

Eastern A moves to playoff format


Last updated 10/30/2020 at 9am

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Havre High's Ellie Collins tips a ball during a Northeast A match against Glendive earlier this month in Havre. The volleyball season has been changing of late for the Ponies, and even more change occurred Thursday when it was announced that, due to COVID-19 concerns, the Eastern A divisional tournament will not be held. Instead, the division will hold a playoff next week. The Ponies host a match Monday.

Just one day after Havre High's last home volleyball match was canceled, the Blue Ponies got even more news about scheduling changes due to COVID-19.

Thursday evening, HHS Activities Brian Kessler announced that the 2020 Eastern A tournament, which was set for Lewistown next weekend, has been canceled, as Fergus County decided that the school would be unable to safely host the event.

That means the Eastern A will now shift to a playoff format to determine the four teams that will advance to the Class A state tournament.

Havre will be the No. 2 seed from the Northeast A, and will host a first-round match Monday night according to Kessler. He said in an email that a final bracket would be announced this afternoon.

The Havre High volleyball team's home schedule is also now over. The Blue Ponies were supposed to play Hardin in a varsity-only match this afternoon in the HHS gymnasium, but that match has been canceled.

The loss of the Hardin match means the Ponies, winner's of six straight after Tuesday night's sweep of Sidney, have just one final match left in the regular season. Havre will travel to Billings for a match against top-ranked Billings Central Saturday night. The match is a non-conference affair and will close out the regular season for both teams.

Havre (8-4) currently sits in second place in the Northeast A Conference, and its standing in the Eastern A will not change before the playoffs start next week.

The Eastern A Tournament, orginally slated to be held in Laurel, was then going to be held in Laurel and Billings, per MHSA guidelines during the pandemic. However, Yellowstone County opted to not host tournaments at this time, so Lewistown bid to host the tournament next week. Now, though, that won't happen, as has been the case throughout the state, where surging coronavirus cases have made it tougher on counties to allow events like volleyball tournaments to take place.

Lewistown is also currently supposed to host the Class A state tournament, after the All-Class State Tournament was canceled. Currently, no decision has been made on the fate of the state tournament. Class A could opt to also go to playoff format to determine a state champion this season, as Class AA has already announced it will do just that.

The Havre Daily News will have updates on who Havre plays Monday, as well as any updates if things continue to change.


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