March 12, 2015
Cyclones ready to continue tradition of success
Last year the Cyclones had a pretty good run—only one loss in the regular
season, second at the NJCAA Region IV tournament and a trip to nationals. In
2015, they hope for more.
New head Coach Robert Gates knows about the high level of success these Cyclones have had over the years, including nine trips to nationals, and wants to elevate those achievements.
“I’m excited about building this program. As a team, our goal is to be Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference and region champions. I’m confident in our players,” he said.
And he has some talented athletes to build with. Returning top singles player Kevin Karczynski (Andrew) and his doubles partner Mike Broderick (Providence) should be stronger than ever in 2015. The duo were undefeated at first doubles last year while Broderick went 9-0 at third singles during the regular season. They earned 2014 All-Region and All-Conference honors. Gates wants to continue molding those two into better players as well as other talented returners Bryan Jimenez (Shepard) and Alec Mikes (Tinley Park).
Some strong newcomers should add to this season’s success: Casey Case (Andrew), Reigh Lamparas (Reavis) and Gregorio Illner (Brazil).
“I’m excited to help the returners develop and see the first years grow into more leadership roles. I’ll be supportive of who’s here and will build on that. I’m going to give everyone a chance to compete for spots. And for doubles we’ll look for the best matchups,” Gates said. “I’m looking forward to our match against rival Prairie State, the only team we lost to last year. It’s our first home match this season.”
The Cyclones lost 4-5 to the Pioneers, and that lone loss has been on Gates’ mind. He’s also talked with Karczynski, who wants to avenge his lone singles loss to an Oakton Community College player he hopes to face again. In addition to those desires, the team is focused on becoming sharper on the court, on their strengths, moving well with good footwork and not getting unforced errors. Gates said he’s a big advocate of clean serves and returns on serves, not giving any points away.
Gates takes the reins of this men’s squad after 13 years of coaching individual and professional-level athletes. He played NCAA tennis at Alcorn State University where he was ranked 116th in the nation and won the 2003 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) singles player national championship. Gates also competed at some smaller professional tournaments. He’s joined by another high-level tennis player, Robbye Poole, who was ranked in the top 400 worldwide by the Association of Tennis Professionals.
“I’m happy with this great opportunity to coach at the college level. I’m excited to recruit and have this become a well-known program,” Gates said. “And having Robbye here is great. I thought he’d be a perfect fit for the team.”
September 26, 2014
Tryouts set for 2015 season
The Cyclones men's tennis team has a history of championships and competing at nationals. Now's your chance to be part of that tradition. Tryouts will be held Wednesday, Oct. 1 at 3 p.m. on the college courts on the southwest side of campus near Building H. Athletes must have a physical prior to trying out. For more information, contact the Athletics Office at (708) 974-5727.