May 2, 2013
Another top-notch year for ’Clones
It’s another season in the books for the Cyclones which took third in both the conference and region, earning them a berth to the national tournament.
Despite advancing to the NJCAA tournament for a ninth consecutive season after taking third in the NJCAA Region IV tournament, the team will not compete. Moraine Valley typically only allows its first and second place finishers to compete at nationals. It may not be the way the team wanted to finish, but was still loaded with accomplishments.
There was some solid competition in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference this year as the Cyclones couldn’t get past Elgin Community College and Prairie State College. Between cold and rainy weather, the Cyclones had to take a number of matches indoors, including its first scrimmage against Seward Community College, a school not typically in the schedule. It was another good challenge Moraine Valley faced. Ending the year with a 7-2 overall record and 4-2 record in conference exudes the typical success the Cyclones have year after year.
Dave Smith played aggressive all season at first singles, and 2012 All-Conference player Kevin Davenport earned some hard fought battles at fifth singles. Tim Stewart earned a nod to the All-Region IV team with his third place finish in regionals.
“To finish in third in regionals is respectable. It played out how I thought. We lost to two very good teams. But we had a successful season with a good record,” said head coach Bill Finn. “These were the nicest bunch of kids we’ve had on the team. It was great coaching this group. I’m happy with the season.”
April 29, 2013
’Clones take third in regionals
The Cyclones kept their streak alive after securing their ninth straight berth in the national tournament. Moraine Valley took third place in the NJCAA Region IV Tournament, April 25-27, on the home courts. Although the top three finishers in the team competition qualify for nationals, Moraine Valley typically sends a team if it finishes in first or second place. It will not, however, compete in the NJCAA competition in May.
In the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference, the Cyclones lost only two matches—Prairie State College and Elgin Community College. Both those teams finished ahead of Moraine Valley in the Region IV tournament. Tim Stewart was regional champion at #3 singles while Kevin Davenport was runner up at #5 singles. Dave Smith was narrowly beat in some very close matches at #1 singles.
“We played hard, long, tough, and as well as we could. I’m very proud of the effort we displayed the entire tournament. There was no quit in any Moraine Valley player. Third place is national qualifying, it’s quite an accomplishment,” said head coach Bill Finn.
April 24, 2013
Cyclones make some noise before regionals
Before heading into the NJCAA Region IV Tournament, the Cyclones took care of a couple teams, wrapping up the regular season with a 7-3 overall record.
In both the matchup on April 22 with Sauk Valley Community College and then again on April 23 against Oakton Community College, Moraine Valley took home 9-0 victories. Dave Smith continues to play well at first singles. “These matches were easy for us. We were more equipped to win, and the players didn’t falter. They didn’t give up,” said head coach Bill Finn. “There were a few tough weeks at the start of the season. I think we’re in the mix now for the region tournament.”
The regional tournament starts April 25 and runs through April 27 at the Cyclones home courts.
April 20, 2013
Cyclones denied by Spartans
There was nothing but fight April 19 from the Cyclones as they narrowly lost 5-4 to conference rival Elgin Community College.
Although the Spartans just edge out the Cyclones talent-wise, Moraine Valley played some great tennis all around. Dave Smith was tough all day, which helped him and Tim Stewart upset Elgin in first doubles. Ryan Adamski (six singles), Kevin Davenport (fifth singles) and duo Davenport and Jair Gutierrez Gomez (third doubles) all had wins.
April 17, 2013
Cyclones trump Scots
The Cyclones are on a roll, notching a fifth straight win April 16 over McHenry County College. Thanks to some strong singles play from Brad Smith, Juan De La Parra, Kevin Davenport, and Ryan Adamski, the Cyclones took the match 7-2.
April 12, 2013
Cyclones win fourth straight
The win streak continued for the Cyclones April 11 in their fourth straight, this one coming in an 8-1 victory over conference foe College of Lake County. All three doubles matches and five of the singles were won.
April 9, 2013
Cyclones trump Chaparrals
The Cyclones took down College of DuPage on April 8 with a 9-0 win. With the Chaparrals down a few players, Moraine Valley had a 3-0 lead from the start. Some solid action from number four singles player Juan De La Parra and Tim Stewart at number three, helped in the third straight Cyclone win.
April 6, 2013
Strong play equals win
In some well-played matches, the Cyclones grabbed their second straight win April 5 against conference rival Waubonsee Community College. Dave Smith (first singles and first doubles), Brad Smith (second singles, second doubles), Juan De La Parra (fourth singles, second doubles), and Kevin Davenport (fifth singles) contributed to the 8-1 win.
April 5, 2013
Cyclone grab first win
Starting with an 0-2 record is unusual for the Cyclones, but that was quickly remedied with a narrow 5-4 win at home April 4 over Illinois Valley Community College.
Dave Smith snatched a win at first singles while Tim Stewart had strong showing at third singles and at fourth singles, sophomore Juan De La Parra took his match. Kevin Davenport earned a win in fifth singles after a tiebreaker.
April 3, 2013
First conference loss for Cyclones
The Cyclones were shunned April 2 in their first conference game this season, falling 7-2 to rival Prairie State College. The lone winners were Juan De La Parra at number four singles and number two doubles partners Tim Stewart and Jair Guttierez Gomez. “We were competitive in most matches throughout, but we have a lot of work to do to keep our nine-year national qualifying streak alive, a streak that might be the longest in NJCAA Region IV,” said head coach Bill Finn.
March 18, 2013
Cyclones denied in opening match
It was too cold to play their first match outside on March 15, but things failed to heat up inside for the Cyclones when they went head-to-head with Seward Community College. In the opening match of the season, Moraine Valley fell 2-7.
Seward is typically not in the Cyclones schedule, but was a good challenge to start the season. This was the first match for Moraine Valley and Seward’s 15th. Despite the loss, Kevin Davenport played well at fifth singles, losing in a third set tie breaker. Juan De La Parra and Tim Stewart also had a good match at second doubles for a 3-8 loss.
March 15, 2013
Cyclones gunning for more success in 2013
There hasn’t been a shortage of success for the men’s tennis team at Moraine Valley. The 2013 season looks to continue that trend.
The mostly new crew has a tough act to follow. Last year the Cyclones were undefeated, winning both the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference and NJCAA Region IV championships and placing 24th at the NJCAA Tournament. Although All-Region players Josh and Nate Leininger, Josh Rodig, Dale Van Witzenberg and All-Conference player Mike Giordano are gone, All-Conference player Kevin Davenport (Lincoln-Way Central) and sophomore Juan De La Parra (Colombia) return to lead another strong bunch. Both veterans are expected to be in the lineup after putting forth extra work in the offseason.
The number one singles player position is slated for David Smith (Lincoln-Way North), a transfer who competed one year at St. Ambrose University. Freshman Brad Smith (Sandburg), no relation to David, will take second singles after playing doubles almost exclusively in high school. De La Parra and newcomer Tim Stewart (Stagg) will battle for the third and fourth singles spot. Both have a lot of speed and are the fastest on the team. Ryan Adamski (Tinley Park), Christian Lagunas (Eisenhower) and Jair Gutierrez Gomez (Plainfield Central) round out the Cyclones lineup. First doubles will be the Smiths, Davenport and Stewart will play second and De La Parra and Adamski have third doubles this season.
The Cyclones will face not only tough teams in their conference, but a couple of new colleges not typically in their schedule, including Seward Community College and Grand Rapids Community College.
“I’m excited about the strength of this team. We have a tough schedule, but I’m optimistic because we have better overall players in every spot. There’s more talent right now that will only grow during the season,” said coach Bill Finn, who has led the Cyclones since 2005. “We’ll compete for the Skyway and for a spot to go to nationals. But who knows what will happen? Anything can happen in a match.”
Joining Finn this season are assistant coaches John Kumis and Nicole Selvaggio, who played on the Cyclones women’s team the last two years.