HALFWAY - Prairie City volleyball coach Eva Saul said the Panthers played well in some of the matches and were flat in others at the Pine Eagle Tournament on Saturday, Sept. 14.

Prairie City dropped the opening match of the tournament to Powder Valley 25-21, 25-20, and then lost the second match to Cove 25-16, 25-13.

"They are a beatable team, but we were completely flat against Cove," Saul said.

In the third match, Prairie City split with Pine Eagle, winning the first set 25-21 and dropping the second 25-23.

The Panthers concluded pool play with a 25-20, 25-15 victory over Joseph.

"With the new rally scoring system, it was 6:30 by the time we finished pool play so there wasn't time to continue. They just gave the awards to the top teams in pool play," Saul said.

Lindy Black led the Panthers with 28 kills, and teammate Amanda Rockhill added 15.

"This tournament gave us an idea where we stand against some of the teams we will be playing in the league," Saul said. "We were hoping to be able to go up against Long Creek, seeing how poorly we played against them in a dual match on Friday, but they were in the junior varsity bracket so we didn't get the chance."

Long Creek coach James Hixenbaugh said it was a little disappointing that the Mountaineers were placed in the tournament's bracket where they were matched against junior varsity teams.

"We did fine and ended up winning our bracket, but coming off the big win we had on Friday against Prairie City we would have liked to have faced the varsity teams," he said. "It was good in the aspect that I was able to get in all of our bench players in, but it was tough to get everyone's interest up against junior varsity teams. We did work on some different scenarios using different setters and did some different things, so it was a good that we were able to get some work in using different players."

The Mountaineers claimed wins over Union, Powder Valley, Joseph and Wallowa in the round-robin format.

"We ended up playing and defeating the Union junior varsity team twice," Hixenbaugh said.

Long Creek plays its first TriCo League matches of the season on Thursday, Sept. 19, at Spray, and returns home to face Jordan Valley on Friday, Sept. 20. Tipoff for the Spray match is 5 p.m., and the Jordan Valley match begins at 6 p.m.

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