May 19, 2014
Cyclones finish with heart and soul at nationals
The Cyclones played some of their best tennis all season at the NJCAA Division I
Tournament in Plano, Texas, May 12-16, even earning some points in the
Facing athletes from across the country and internationally, the Cyclones finished in 23rd place out of 27 teams. At fourth singles, sophomore Tim Stewart (Stagg) earned some points with a big 6-2, 6-2 victory in the first round over New Mexico Military Institute. He played at a high level for the win, losing in a tight second round to finish in the top 16 in the nation. “This was the best I’ve seen him play all season,” said head coach Ben Thompson.
At first singles, Kevin Karczynski (Andrew) played well but lost in the first match. He earned a victory in the consolation round and advanced to the semi-finals, but was unable to compete because the team had to fly home. Sophomore Brad Smith (Sandburg) muscled through a tough match at second singles with an injury, and Mike Broderick (Providence), Ryan Adamski (Tinley Park) and Christian Lagunas (Eisenhower) also played well at third, fifth and sixth singles, respectively.
The dynamic duo, Karczynski and Broderick (first doubles), won their first set, 6-3, against Temple College, but had some setbacks in their remaining two sets. Despite an attempted comeback, they were knocked out of the main draw. At second doubles, Smith and Stewart battled through three sets with College of DuPage. Smith had to use his non-dominant left hand because of his injury and gutted out most of the sets with heart, Thompson said. Bryan Jimenez (Shepard) and Alec Mikes (Tinley Park) lost in a tough tiebreaker at third doubles to Harford Community College.
“Everyone stepped up at nationals and played well. I’m looking forward to all the freshmen who come back next year because of this experience,” Thompson said.
April 28, 2014
Cyclones headed to nationals
After a second place finish at the NJCAA Region IV Tournament, April 24-26, the
Cyclones are headed to the NJCAA Championship.
Although Moraine Valley was gunning for a first-place finish, they nearly overtook their rival, Prairie State College, but had to settle for second. Last year the team took third place in the tournament. The Cyclones were disappointed, putting up a good battle in the process. As usual at first doubles, Kevin Karczynski and Mike Broderick won their match and were runners-up in the singles finals (at first and third, respectively), as was Christian Lagunas at sixth singles. Duo Brad Smith/Tim Stewart (Stagg) and Lagunas/Bryan Jimenez reached semifinals at second and third doubles, respectively. Smith (second singles), Stewart (fourth singles) and Jimenez (fifth singles) also played into the semifinals.
“There were many good things that came out of regionals. Our guys handled themselves with class. Second place is a disappointment, but it still gets us into the dance,” said head coach Ben Thompson. “We will get to see the level of competition that we are striving for in Texas.”
The Cyclones head to Plano, Texas, for nationals, May 11-16.
April 19, 2014
’Clones win again, gearing up for regionals
Moraine Valley tacked on a final win in the regular season April 18 before
competition starts in the NJCAA Region IV Tournament (April 24-26). Illinois
Valley Community College was no match for the Cyclones, who won 8-1.
Kevin Karczynski, Brad Smith, Mike Broderick, Tim Stewart, and Christian Lagunas grabbed singles wins. Broderick is 9-0 for the season at third singles and at first doubles with Karczynski. Smith was down in the second match, but came back in the tiebreaker.
The Cyclones ended the season with an overall 8-1 record, going 5-1 in conference. Now they are preparing for the regional tournament, which will determine their participation at the NJCAA championship next month in Texas. The veterans crave redemption from just missing a trip to nationals last year.
“Finishing second in conference is a step up from last season. We had a hiccup in our first match of the season, but that pushed us. The conference doesn’t dictate if we go to nationals. The players have it in their heads to redeem themselves from that one and only loss this season,” said head coach Ben Thompson. “I’m happy with the improvements. We still have a long way to go, but we’re taking it one day at a time. We’re working hard in practice, and I’m happy with them.”
April 18, 2014
Cyclones clinch second in conference
With another victory (8-1) over Waubonsee Community College (April 17) the
Cyclones clinched a second place finish in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate
All the singles players earned victories: Kevin Karczynski, Brad Smith, Mike Broderick, Tim Stewart, Ryan Adamski, and Christian Lagunas. Broderick maintained an unblemished record at third singles and at first doubles with partner Karczynski.
April 17, 2014
Cyclones on a roll
As the season nears the end, the Cyclones have to make every win count. And they
are. Moraine Valley grabbed a sixth straight victory, going 7-2 over Oakton
Community College, on April 16.
For the first time all season, Kevin Karczynski lost at first singles. He was pitted against a player who also was undefeated and fell 6-7, 4-6 in a tough battle that he hopes to avenge at the regional tournament. Karczynski did maintain perfection with his first doubles partner, Mike Broderick, in a 6-4, 2-6, 12-9 victory. At third singles, Brad Smith defeated a player in a tiebreaker who had yet to lose this season. Smith and Tim Stewart clicked at doubles and won solidly, 6-0, 6-0.
April 12, 2014
Cyclones trump Chaparrals
There was nothing weak about the Cyclones’ fifth straight win April 11, this one
7-2 over College of DuPage.
For their sixth straight match, Kevin Karczynski and Mike Broderick maintained a perfect record by winning in singles and doubles. Brad Smith (second singles), Tim Stewart (fourth) and Christian Lagunas (sixth) also earned wins at singles. Partners Brian Jimenez and Lagunas won at third doubles.
April 11, 2014
’Clones grab fourth straight
The Cyclones grabbed their fourth straight win (8-1) April 10 against McHenry
Kevin Karczynski, Mike Broderick, Tim Stewart, Ryan Adamski, and Brad Smith won at singles while Karczynski/Broderick, Stewart/Smith and Brian Jimenez/Christian Lagunas had a sweep in doubles. Lagunas and Jimenez won 7-5, 5-7, 10-7 in a tight match. Karczynski and Broderick remain undefeated (5-0) at first and third singles as well as in first doubles.
April 9, 2014
Cyclones knock down Lancers
The Cyclones tacked on another victory April 8, going 8-1 over conference rival
College of Lake County.
Kevin Karczynski, Mike Broderick, Tim Stewart, Ryan Adamski, and Christian Lagunas won at singles. Adamski claimed victory after losing the first set. Doubles team Smith and Stewart lost their second set, but bounced back for a win as well.
April 2, 2014
Cyclones shut down Spartans
The Cyclones captured their second straight 9-0 shutout, this one on April 1
against Elgin Community College.
Wins came from Kevin Karczynski, Brad Smith, Mike Broderick, Tim Stewart, Ryan Adamski, and Christian Lagunas at singles. Broderick went three close sets at third singles while the rest won in straight sets. There also were wins by doubles teams Karczynski/Broderick, Stewart/Smith and Lagunas/Bryan Jimenez.
March 31, 2014
Cyclones dominate Skyhawks
In their second match of the season, the Cyclones threw the hammer down in a 9-0
victory over Sauk Valley Community College at home on March 29.
Ryan Adamski, Alec Mikes and Bryan Jimenez earned their first wins this season at fourth, fifth and sixth singles, respectively. Mikes made a comeback after losing the first set 4-6. Kevin Karczynski (first singles), Brad Smith (second singles) and Mike Broderick (third singles) contributed in the other wins.
March 28, 2014
Cyclones fight, but come up short against Pioneers
The fight was there, but the win was not. In the March 27 opening match for the
Cyclones, they were pitted against 24th-ranked Prairie State College, falling
just short in a 4-5 loss.
First, second and third singles players Kevin Karczynski, Brad Smith and Mike Broderick, respectively, each won solid matches. After losing his first set, Karczynski swept the rest. First doubles team Karczynski and Broderick earned a win. The determining match came in third doubles. They were 3-3 in the protest when Christian Lagunas rolled his ankle, soldiered on, but came up short.
“We will see Prairie State again. Their coach said they got lucky, but we still have a lot of work to do,” said coach Ben Thompson.
March 24, 2014
Recruits and vets plus new head coach spell success in 2014
Times are changing for the Cyclones. Former coach Bill Finn will now watch men’s
tennis while the new head coach, Ben Thompson, leads the team to what he
anticipates as a continuation of Cyclone success.
Four returning players want to avenge a third-place finish in regionals without a trip to the national tournament last season and are joined by four talented recruits. All-Region player Tim Stewart (Stagg) is back along with Ryan Adamski (Tinley Park), Christian Lagunas (Eisenhower) and Brad Smith (Sandburg). Freshman Kevin Karczynski (Andrew) has already stepped up and looks to be the number one player. Fellow newcomers include Mike Broderick (Providence), Bryan Jimenez (Shepard) and Alec Mikes (Tinley Park).
Thompson comes from, among other teaching stints, University of St. Francis as a former assistant coach and Providence Catholic High School as current coach of the girl’s tennis team. He continues to hit the courts himself where he’s ranked 351st in the nation. He is happy to join the Cyclones and his skilled squad. “I’m very excited for the season and happy with everyone on the team. They put in more work than I asked and have gone above and beyond before the season even started,” he said. “Moraine Valley has competed at the national level, and I’m happy to be coaching here. The student-athletes have more intensity and put a priority in playing tennis.”
So far Thompson has pushed his players to work hard and play smart. He doesn’t want to change their game, but teach them how to identify not only their own strengths and weaknesses but that in their opponents as well. In addition to conditioning, Thompson has drawn a lot on a dry erase board to discuss strategies on the court, particularly in doubles.
As long as everyone stays healthy, the Cyclones aim to do well in regionals and return to nationals. The athletes have those goals on the forefront of their minds which keeps them motivated.
“We’re excited to avenge some regional disappointment last year. We’re taking it one match at a time,” Thompson said.