The Vikings got by perennial rival Tennessee-Martin, 640 to 530 points, winning three of six events. Leading the pack for Valley was senior Cody Metsker of Taylorville, Ill., with 220 points after taking first place in steer wrestling and pairing with junior header Hunter Lewis for sixth place in team roping.
Valley got 150 points with a win in bareback riding from a newcomer: junior Tim O'Connell of Zwingle, Iowa, a transfer from Iowa Central Community College who placed seventh in the 2012 College National Finals Rodeo.
Junior Mason Ormesher of Valentine, Neb., tied for the bull riding title and was fifth in bareback to rack up 120 points. By placing third in the long go-round of team roping, junior heeler Ben Runyon -- joined by East Mississippi Community College's Riley Graham -- provided the Vikings with 35 points.
While the MVC men were fortunate in the line-up selection, the women were not. Junior Shyanne Masters was second in the all-around standings with 173.33 points, tying for second place in goat tying and coming in fifth in breakaway roping -- the Lady Vikings wound up with no score.
Kaitlyn Kraus -- a freshman from Pacific, Mo. -- may also have added 150 points for her second place in breakaway, but was not on the team's three-person line-up card.
That's how it goes in rodeo. However, with nine more meets left, there's plenty of time for the Valley women to make a push. Coming up for the Vikings is the next week's Murray State (Ky.) Rodeo.