By George Ferguson
Havre High head volleyball coach Lacy Anderson went into the Lewistown Triangular this weekend a little unsure of how her team would compete. She came home feeling a little better as the Ponies split matches with Anaconda and Dillon on Saturday at the Fergus High Gymnasium.
"We had been practicing at a very low level for the last couple of weeks," Anderson said. "And this weekend we still struggled in some key areas, but I also saw things start to come together a little bit as well."
Havre opened the day with a victory over the Anaconda Copperheads. It was a rematch of an earlier season meeting in which the Copperheads prevailed. This time it was the Ponies who came out on top as Havre took the Copperheads in three straight games by scores of 25-23, 25-15, and 25-15.
"We struggled with our serve-receive and we didn't pass the ball like we're capable of against Anaconda," Anderson said. "But the girls played well enough to win."
Havre was paced by Jeanna McPherson with 10 kills and 2 stuff blocks in the victory. Crystal Pyrak also turned in a fine all-around game with 18 assists and two service aces. Sara Suek added six kills and a block in the victory as well.
In Havre's second game of the day, the Ponies fell to Central A south subdivision powerhouse Dillon by scores of 25-20, 18-25, 25-22, and 25-18.
While Anderson thinks Dillon was as good as advertised, she also said some key errors on her team's part contributed to the loss.
"Dillon is really tough," Anderson said. "They are really scrappy and aggressive on defense, but they are definitely beatable."
"We killed ourselves in errors in that match," Anderson said. "If we could have eliminated some of our errors, we could have extended that match to at least another game."
The Ponies got another solid game out of McPherson. She had six kills and six blocks while Suek added 11 kills, eight digs, and two blocks. Kari Bolken had 14 assists in the losing effort.
"I saw some positive things this weekend," Anderson said. "Kacie Kitchens passed the ball really well, and Brittany Vandersloot had some nice serves and Heather LaPrath played well all the way around for us."
The split leaves the Ponies sitting at 3-1 in conference play, and 6-5 overall on the season. It also leaves Anderson feeling a little more positive as the Ponies hit the stretch run in their season.
"I told the girls that these teams are peaking right now and don't have much room for improvement," Anderson said. "We have a lot of room to improve."