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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Three Vikings picked for all-HAAC hoops squads

Friday, March 9, 2012

Valley junior Michael Connor (4) was fifth in the conference in scoring with 13.9 points per game.
(Chris Allen/Democrat-News)
The Missouri Valley College men's and women's basketball teams had three players selected to the all-Heart of America Conference teams.

Junior guard Michael Connor of Fort Worth was named to the men's first team after leading the Vikings (10-21, 5-13 HAAC) with 13.9 points and 2.0 assists per game. Connor was the team's high scorer in 14 of its 31 games, ranking fifth in the league in point average.

Making the women's list were senior guard Hannah Young of Ponca, Ark., on the second team and junior guard Sami Jackson of Barnard as an honorable mention. Young averaged 11.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.3 steals per game for the Lady Vikings (10-19, 6-12) and Jackson logged 9.8 points, 3.6 boars, 3.3 assists and 1.4 steals.


The Valley baseball team broke a four-game losing streak last weekend, but then experienced another one.

Senior Weston Loftin scattered seven hits Friday, March 2, to earn his second win of the season with a 3-2 decision over Concordia (Neb.) at a triangular in Bartlesville, Okla. The Vikings scored all of their runs in the top of the fourth inning, freshman Garrett Burke stroking an RBI double and senior Deante Bernstein following with a two-run single.

Valley's pitching didn't hold up in the nightcap, a 10-2 loss to host Oklahoma Wesleyan. Five hurlers combined to yield eight hits and issue nine walks. Already leading 3-0, a seven-run fifth made the margin comfortable for the Eagles (11-7), who got two hits and four RBIs from sophomore Jose Ruiz.

In a rematch with Concordia on Saturday, the Vikings got a two-run single from senior Geread Filippi to take a 4-0 lead in the third, but didn't score again during an 8-4 loss.

Junior Kyle Ivanoff allowed only three hits and one walk for the Bulldogs (4-8), all four runs charged against him unearned. Freshman Andrew Yerrell had four of the team's 13 hits.

Missouri Baptist swept a non-conference doubleheader Tuesday from the visiting Vikings, cruising to a 14-3 victory in the opener. The 15th-ranked Spartans added to a 4-2 lead with an eight-spot in the fourth, two runs coming in on both senior Scott Krutel's single and senior Carlos Ruiz' triple.

Junior Michael Avila pitched around seven singles for a 7-0 shutout in the late game. Ruiz had three hits and drove in three runs for Baptist (7-7).

Valley (2-11-1) will be home Tuesday for a twinbill against the College of the Ozarks.

Men's Volleyball

The fifth-ranked Vikings' men's volleyball team won five of six matches over the past week.

Valley posted four straight wins in the Johnson and Wales Invitational at Denver, opening Friday, March 2, with a 25-19, 25-17, 25-23 sweep of the host Wildcats behind 10 kills from sophomore Pederson Silva and nine by freshman Caio De Souza -- named NAIA "player of the week" for Feb. 20-26.

De Souza and Silva combined for 20 spikes Saturday during a 25-16, 25-19, 25-22 win over No. 9 Clarke (Ill.). The Vikings followed that up with a 25-18, 25-22, 25-18 victory over Cardinal Stritch (Wis.), De Souza knocking down 18 shots and senior Stephen Valdez pulling up 11.

In a Sunday rematch against the Wolves, Valley got 13 kills each from De Souza and Silva and 10 from sophomore Jacob Pederson for a 25-20, 25-20, 24-26, 25-22 decision. Valdez came up with 15 digs and senior Sezer Dundar set 41 of the team's 49 attacks.

Clarke avenged its earlier loss in the tourney finale, beating the Vikings 25-17, 26-28, 26-25, 25-15. Valley's offense had an off match, with a season-low .053 attack percentage.

The Vikings returned home Tuesday to notch a 25-20, 25-17, 25-19 upset of No. 3 Missouri Baptist in a MAMVIC West contest. The Spartans (14-10, 6-3 West) got 11 kills and nine digs from senior Jonathan Roldan, but De Souza put down 14 shots and Valdez pulled up 11 for Valley.

The Vikings (18-6, 5-3) have a two-week layoff before closing the regular season with four matches, starting March 20 at second-ranked Park.

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