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Valley soccer teams advance in HAAC tourney

Monday, November 5, 2012

The 12th-ranked Missouri Valley College soccer team was pushed into overtime Saturday before pulling out a 3-2 home decision over Graceland in the first round of the Heart of America Conference Tournament.

The sixth-seeded Yellowjackets were en route to an upset with a 1-0 lead on a goal by junior Matheus Miranda with under six minutes remaining in the first half. However, the Vikings struck twice during the second period, sophomore Thiago Ferreira tying the match in the third minute and junior Nicholas Alexander giving them a lead with fewer than seven minutes left in regulation.

Valley was unable to hold on, though, as freshman Cody Bletlinger evened the contest with only 28 seconds to go in the set.

It took six minutes, but the Vikings finally subdued Graceland (6-10-1) with a "golden goal" off the foot of junior Miguel Jiminez, assisted by freshman Carlos Berastain.

It was a hard-fought match, with nine yellow cards issued -- including warnings to both benches down the stretch of regulation. Junior Josh Wells came up with six saves for Valley.

In a tilt between the second and third seeds, the Vikings (12-5-1) will play at Baker in the semifinal round Wednesday.

Women's Soccer: Valley 4, Avila 1

Less than a week after dropping a 2-0 home match to Avila, the Valley women's soccer team avenged the loss Friday with a 4-1 victory on its own pitch in the first round of the Heart of America Conference Tournament.

Junior Breann Kinworthy opened the scoring for Valley in the second minute, but the Lady Eagles tied it midway through the first half on a shot by senior Alyssa D'Egidio -- and that's how the teams went into the break.

The Lady Vikings took control during the second half, allowing Avila (10-8-1) only two shots on goal -- both stopped by freshman Irene Sanchez. A kick by senior Laurie Gilbert in the sixth minute of the period put Valley on top, extending the margin later on goals by junior Kayla Clark and senior Yessica Hernandez.

Valley (11-7-1) moves into the semifinal round Tuesday at No. 13 Graceland, the league's regular season champion.

Women's Volleyball: Evangel 3, Valley 1

SPRINGFIELD -- The MVC women's volleyball team closed the regular season with a 10-match win streak, but were stopped in the first round of the Heart of America Conference Tournament with a 25-14, 23-25, 25-17, 27-25 loss Saturday at Evangel.

The Lady Crusaders feasted on a .299 to .133 advantage in attack percentage over the visitors, with six-foot senior Kaley Lyons knocking down 25 hits and getting in on five blocks. Freshmen Micah Cribbs and Haley Watson combined for 17 kills and junior Mallory Sidwell came up with 18 digs for Evangel.

They Lady Vikings (19-12) got 12 spikes from junior Ana Calito and 10 each by sophomores Kaitlyn Kell and Megan Hardin. Junior Tarrah Sweet assisted 35 of the team's 45 kills and senior Jessica Gates made 23 saves and served three aces.

The Lady Crusaders (22-13) advance to the semifinal round Wednesday at Graceland.

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