Valley cowboys win UAM Rodeo

Friday, April 5, 2019

MONTICELLO, Ark. -- With three events remaining in the season, the Missouri Valley College men's rodeo team has the NIRA Ozark Region championship all but wrapped up.

The Vikings lead the standings by a whopping 2,495 points over Tennessee-Martin following last week's victory at the Arkansas-Monticello Rodeo. It was the sixth title in seven outings for Valley, which was second in the Viking Stampede by a mere 15 points.

Junior Shannon Warren of Ash Flat, Ark., set the pace by garnering 320 points. He won the saddle bronc riding competition with an average of 122, the only contestant to complete both the long and short go-rounds. He had an average of 132 points in bareback riding for second place.

Also placing first was senior Ben Kilburg of LaMotte, Iowa, with a score of 9.3 seconds over two attempts in steer wrestling, slightly ahead of junior teammate's Connor Gentry 9.6 average. Senior Briar Runnels won the second go in bareback, averaging a 131 for third place.

The Vikings got by UTM, 690 to 600 points, for the crown. The Valley women tallied 200 points to place fourth, East Mississippi Community College winning the meet with 490 points.

The highest point-getter for the Lady Vikings was freshman Haley Jones with fifth place in barrel racing. Sophomore Cara Hilzendeger picked up 75 points for placing fourth in goat tying and freshman Morgan Chappell got 60 points for coming in fourth in breakaway roping.

Valley gets a one-week break in the action before heading to the Tennessee-Martin Rodeo on April 11.

Men's Volleyball

DES MOINES -- The Valley men's volleyball team advanced to the semifinal round of the Heart of America Conference Post-season Tournament with Thursday's 25-22, 25-17, 25-12 victory over Graceland.

The Vikings led the first game 13-12 before running off five straight points. However, the Yellowjackets rallied and came back to tie the score at 22. Three straight Graceland errors finished the set, with freshmen Victor Santos and Brandon Johnston combining for a block on the final point.

Valley broke out to a 9-4 lead in the second game and didn't allow the Yellowjackets to pull closer than four points the rest of the way. A pair of Johnson kills helped the Vikings stretch the margin to 19-12, with Santos and senior Ivailo Enev knocking down shots during the closing stretch.

A 6-1 spurt early in the third frame -- with kills from Enev, Johnston and Santos -- allowed Valley come back from an early deficit to take a 10-6 lead. After seeing the lead shrink to three points, one shot put down by freshman Michail Kagialis, a pair of spikes from freshman Luis Dos Santos and Johnston's two solo blocks bumped the cushion to 18-10 and the Vikings weren't threatened afterwards.

Senior Keone Coronado and sophomore Jeminae Solomua each had seven kills for Graceland (9-16).

Freshman Simon Joly topped Valley with 10 kills, with senior Tsvedan Todorov and freshman Lucas Ledur each providing 14 assists. The Vikings will play in the semifinal round Friday against fourth-ranked Grand View.

Lacrosse

The MVC men's lacrosse team won the second game of a KCAC doubleheader Wednesday at Ottawa (Kan.), 18-16, following a 7-6 loss by the women to open the day.

The fourth-ranked Valley men trailed by a one at halftime, but two goals by junior Tyler Wilkinson during the final 91 seconds of the third quarter put them in front. The Braves opened the final frame with a 5-1 run, but Wilkinson began the comeback with a power-play goal off a pass from Smith, who then set up Wilkinson for the game-tying shot with 2:55 to play. Wilkinson scored the go-ahead goal on a power play with 1:38 to go and senior Zach Heesh provided insurance 38 seconds later.

Senior Aidan Baker had six goals for Ottawa (3-5, 1-1 KCAC). Wilkinson and Smith combined for 13 goals and six assists to pace Vikings (5-1, 2-0).

The Valley women jumped off to a 5-1 lead in the first quarter as junior Payge Farewell scored three goals, but they couldn't add much to it afterwards. The Lady Braves got a pair of goals from senior Monica Otero to kick off a 5-0 run to take the lead, but junior Jordan Anderson's goal with 4:40 left in the half evened matters.

Only one goal was scored during the second half, and it was the game-winner -- senior Ady Barraza finding the net with 2:48 left in the third period. Senior Bailey Williams came up with four second-half saves to pick up the win for Ottawa (2-6, 1-1).

Junior Jacie Willison had 12 stops for the Lady Vikings (4-5, 0-2), who host St. Mary's (Kan.) on Saturday after the men's contest.

Men's Golf

Valley senior golfer Hamish Gorn of Dunfermline, Scotland, was named the Heart of America Conference "men's golfer of the week" for his performance in two tournaments.

Gorn led the 16th-ranked Vikings to the championship of the MVC Spring Invitational at Indian Foothills Park with a two-round score of six-under-par 138 to claim the gold medal by two strokes. Gorn shot a minus-1 71 in the single round of the rain-shortened Purgatory Intercollegiate at Noblesville, Ind., to finish in eighth place. Valley finished fourth in the team standings.

This is the second weekly honor for Gorn, who received it Oct. 8.

Contact Chris Allen at callen@marshallnews.com

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