Moraine Valley Community College || Athletics || Women's Volleyball

Women's Volleyball—Archive

December 10, 2013

Cyclone star earns another award

The volleyball season ended last month, but Kara Kentner is still earning awards, this time a nod from the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA).

Kentner was named to the 2013 Two-Year College All-America second team by the AVCA. This award adds to Kentner’s collection this season which includes All-American Division II first team, NJCAA Championship All-Tournament team, All-NJCAA Region IV team, All-Region IV and All-Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Tournament teams, All-Conference first team, and Conference Player of the Year.

“We are incredibly proud of Kara being one of just four players in two-year college Division II volleyball to be named to the AVCA All-America Team,” said head coach Gloria Coughlin. “Kara is very deserving of this and all of the awards that she has received so far in her collegiate career. She is a dedicated student athlete and the ultimate team player. She is one of those players that makes me sad that this is a two-year college, not a four year.”

November 25, 2013

Cyclones finish 10th in nation

From start to finish the Cyclones have been impressive all season-long, ending their run in the national tournament (Nov. 21-23) with a top-ten finish.

Going into the NJCAA Championships for their second consecutive season, the Cyclones were seeded 15th. They were challenged right away with their first match against #2 seeded Parkland College on Nov. 21. Kara Kentner led the team with 11 kills in 30 attempts and 14 assists. Both Taylor Serrano and Gina Ryan scored on seven kills with Serrano adding four blocks and Ryan digging 11 attacks. Despite their fight, a faster, bigger and deeper Parkland squad defeated the Cyclones in three straight sets: 15-25, 19-25, 20-25. This first loss sent Moraine Valley to the consolation bracket with a chance to reach ninth place, their highest possible finish. Parkland ultimately finished second to Cowley County Community College.

In their Nov. 22 match, the Cyclones were pitted against #7 seed Catawba Valley Community College from North Carolina. In a total slugfest, the Cyclones earned their first win in a national championship in head coach Gloria Coughlin’s 21 years at the helm: 26-24, 27-25, 17-25, and 25-22. Kentner was the hot hitter once again with 17 kills to go with two ace serves and 26 assists. Serrano also was efficient, hitting .384 with 14 kills, four blocks and two aces. Ryan added another 14 kills, a block and 13 digs. Alexandria Bojan was big at the net with 12 kills and five blocks. Joanna Curtis distributed 32 assists while Kayla Manthei was tough in the backcourt with 17 good receptions and 14 digs.

Defeating Catawba Valley re-energized the Cyclones and allowed them the chance to play #6 seeded Glendale Community College (Arizona). The Cyclones earned their second nationals victory after four tough sets: 25-22, 24-26, 25-22, 25-18. Kentner was red hot in this match, hitting .439 with 19 kills in 39 swings. She scored on three blocks and assisted on 24 teammate kills. Serrano also was huge at the net with 15 kills in 25 attempts, hitting .520 along with blocking for six points. Ryan added nine kills, an ace and 18 digs. Autumn Seiler and Bojan were effective both offensively with eight kills each and defensively with five and four blocks, respectively. Curtis assisted on 35 kills. Coming off the bench, Olivia Lindner sparked the team with two ace serves and 10 digs to help Manthei out defensively who notched 17 digs. These exciting matches on Friday brought the Cyclones to the Saturday morning top 10 showdown.

When the Cyclones first watched New York-based Monroe Community College in August, they witnessed a squad of strong and athletic players but not highly skilled in the game of volleyball, according to Coughlin. When these two teams met Nov. 23, Monroe showed much improvement with players who could attack from anywhere on the court. Monroe served aggressively the entire match and grew more confident. Moraine Valley controlled the tempo in the first set, winning 25-20, but struggled to take good swings in the second, losing 16-25. The next two sets were well played on both sides of the court. There were a few opportunities for the Cyclones to win, but they came up short: 25-27 and 21-25. “Even in the final set loss, this was a fun match,” Coughlin said.

“This week was a wonderful opportunity for the Moraine Valley Cyclones. We played our best volleyball this week, competing in every match. My assistant coach, Donna Zidek, and I are incredibly proud of this group of young women in their perseverance, their team effort and their sportsmanship during the entire tournament. They were wonderful representatives of the college, receiving many, many compliments on their skills and achievements,” Coughlin said. “And of course, this was the best way to finish my collegiate coaching career—10th in the nation.”

In further evidence of her skills, Kentner was named to the NJCAA National Championship All-Tournament team, which is highly unusual for a 10th place finishing squad. “This is a testament to Kara’s skills, leadership and relentless efforts on the court,” Coughlin said.

November 11, 2013

Cyclones make triumphant return to nationals

They've done it again, and they're heading back to Ohio. The Cyclones had to play one more game than they would have liked, but they are going back to the national championship for their second consecutive year.

A lot of hard work went in to this season, and the Cyclones were tested in three matches on Nov. 9 at the NJCAA Region IV Championship—Final Four. The first match was a walk-in-the-park as Moraine Valley defeated the #1 overall seed, Kishwaukee College, in three straight sets: 25-12, 25-23, 25-13. Kara Kentner owned the right pin with 16 kills in 28 swings and had a block, an ace serve, 10 digs, and 15 assists. Gina Ryan was hot as well with nine kills, three solo blocks and 14 digs. Also big in the match was Taylor Serrano with eight kills and Alex Bojan who had seven of her own. Joanna Curtis assisted on 26 kills and added three ace serves and 12 digs.

During a brief break, the Cyclones waited patiently to see who they would face after a five-set match between South Suburban College and Waubonsee Community College. South Suburban outlasted that match before defeating Moraine Valley in a five-set battle to win the first of two bids to nationals: 25-17, 17-25, 22-25, 25-18, 12-15. That was a heart-breaking loss for the Cyclones, but they regrouped for a chance to earn the second bid by playing Kishwaukee College.

Although a little rougher the second time around, the Cyclones defeated the Kougars again in three straight sets: 27-25, 25-20, 25-20. This time Ryan hoisted the team on her shoulders, and maintained her high energy for the entire match, with 15 kills, 0 errors in 31 swings, a solo block, and 11 digs. Kentner was her usual workhorse with 13 kills, one error in 29 attempts, two blocks, 11 digs, and 23 assists. Middle hitter, Serrano, also was huge at the net with 14 kills, 0 errors in 19 attacks with 2 blocks while her counterpart, Bojan, added nine error-free kills. Libero Kayla Manthei held down the defense with 30 good serve receptions and 11 digs. Curtis ran the offense with 30 assists, finding the middle hitters early and often. For their overall performance, Ryan and Kentner were named to the Region IV Tournament Team.

This was one of the Cyclones’ most complete matches of the year with 58 kills and a mere four hitting errors in 116 swings in their return to the nationals in back-to-back years.

“We are very excited to get the bid and look forward to representing Moraine Valley once again at this prestigious tournament. The girls deserve it. They have worked very hard and have learned a lot about the game, themselves and their teammates throughout this season,” said head coach Gloria Coughlin.

The Cyclones continue their run at nationals, where they are seeded 15th, at Owens Community College in Toledo, Ohio, starting Nov. 21. Watch all the action live online as they compete against Parkland College at 10 a.m. Follow the game here:

November 7, 2013

Cyclones in Final Four

Carl Sandburg College didn’t have a chance against a strong Cyclones team with nationals on the brain. In another step on the playoff ladder, Moraine Valley defeated the Chargers in four sets at home on Nov. 6 to advance to the Final Four on Saturday.

The Cyclones reached 31 wins in their latest victory: 25-21, 25-12, 19-25, 25-12. The NJCAA Player of the Week, Kara Kentner, continued her stellar hitting with 18 kills, 0 errors in 30 swings, with a .600 kill percentage. She added two blocks, an ace, nine digs, and 23 assists to lead her team in the Quarter Final match. Alexandria Bojan was hot in the middle with 12 kills and three blocks along with Autumn Seiler’s 10 kills and Taylor Serrano’s eight kills and two blocks. Joanna Curtis distributed 32 assists while Kayla Manthei was big on defense with 27 digs.

This also was the final home match for head coach Gloria Coughlin and assistant coach Donna Zidek as the two are hanging up their clipboards after this season. “I don’t know if I touched many lives, but I am certain that I have been touched by each and every player I have ever coached. I am a better person for having had them in my life. I’ve been so fortunate to have worked in a great place with great people. I have a heart full of memories that will last me forever. I would like a few more memories; perhaps from one more national tournament,” Coughlin said. “I expect to go to the Final Four every year but this year will be particularly special, being the last time for me. This group of young women have bought so much into our program from the first day of the season and worked extremely hard to achieve this goal. We are all pumped for the weekend.”

The Cyclones play Kishwaukee College in one Semi Final match this Saturday at 10 a.m. at College of Lake County. South Suburban College competes against Waubonsee Community College in the other Semi Final match.

November 6, 2013

Kentner named NJCAA Player of the Week

Not only is Kara Kentner ranked number one in the NJCAA Division II polls for her .440 hitting percentage, but was named Player of the Week (Oct. 28-Nov. 3) for her outstanding numbers in all facets of the game. She had 4.44 kills per set, hit .637 and had 5.77 assists per set, 2.20 digs per set, .33 blocks per set, and .88 service aces per set.

November 5, 2013

Cyclones advance in playoffs

Thirty is a nice round figure. The Cyclones reached that number of wins for the second consecutive year by soundly defeating McHenry County College on Nov. 4 in the NJCAA Region IV playoffs: 25-9, 25-19, 25-20.

Kara Kentner once again led her team with 11 kills, two blocks, an ace, seven digs, and 14 assists. Both Gina Ryan and Taylor Serrano added seven kills apiece with Ryan digging 14 attacks and Serrano blocking three and scoring an ace serve. Libero Kayla Manthei notched 13 digs while Joanna Curtis dished out 21 assists.

This latest win advanced the Cyclones to the Region IV Semi-Finals on Nov. 6, 6 p.m., at home against Carl Sandburg College. The winner moves onto the Final Four on Saturday.

November 4, 2013

Cyclones top conference tourney; Kentner ranked #1

The Cyclones continued doing what they do best this season—winning. These sixth and seventh consecutive wins came on Nov. 2 during the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Semi-Finals and Finals and are good preparation for the NJCAA Region IV playoffs this week.

In the Semi-Final match, the Cyclones defeated Prairie State College in three sets: 25-13, 25-10, 25-19. Kara Kentner led the team with 10 kills in 16 attempts along with three aces and 14 assists. Both Autumn Seiler and Gina Ryan were hot with eight kills and seven digs each. Seiler added five ace serves. Taylor Serrano also was big at the net with seven kills, three blocks and scored at the end line with four aces. Joanna Curtis assisted on 22 kills while Libero Kayla Manthei defended the back court with 17 digs.

In the championship match with Waubonsee Community College, Kentner lit up the gym with 21 kills, a block, two aces, and 20 assists in the three-set win: 25-19, 25-20, 25-23. Ryan scored on nine swings while Serrano blasted eight kills to go with two blocks and an ace serve. Curtis assisted on 30 kills and Manthei, as Libero, had another big match with 16 digs and 22 good receptions.

After the weekend, five Cyclones were named to the All-Tournament team: Kentner, Ryan, Serrano, Seiler, and Curtis. Kentner, Ryan and Serrano also were named to the All-Region IV team.

On the national level, Kentner was ranked number one in hitting percentage (.440) this week in NJCAA Division II.

November 1, 2013

Three Cyclones reach 1,000 mark this season

It’s not often that college athletes hit major milestones, but three Cyclones reached the 1,000 mark this season.

Sophomores Joanna Curtis, Kara Kentner and Gina Ryan each recently hit the momentous number in their college careers. Curtis notched her 1,000th kill assist on Sept. 11 after giving Kentner a set at the right pin. Kentner reached her 1,000th kill assist on Oct. 5 in a match with Joliet Junior College. Ryan earned her 1,000th dig on Oct. 19 while playing Rock Valley College.

According to head coach Gloria Coughlin, the combined 2,000 assists are a reflection of how efficient the Cyclones’ attack game has been throughout last season and the current season while Ryan’s digs are a product of her relentless pursuit of the ball.

In order to receive a setting assist, the ball must be attacked for a kill. With that in mind, an assist relies on many factors before and after the actual contact takes place. “This shows the strength and balance of the team—that two setters have reached the 1,000 assist mark. They have teammates who consistently pass and dig the ball,” said assistant coach Donna Zidek. “Kara and Joanna make good decisions with their set distribution to get the ball to the right attacker to hit for a kill.”

Ryan established herself as a solid all-around player early on last season, and teams try to keep the ball away from her. She has quickness and keen court sense allowing her to get to balls that would be out of range for many defenders. “The box score doesn't tell the whole story after a match. Stats that lead to points, mainly hitting and blocking, hold a higher value than those that don't. However, you can't have one without the other. We would not be as successful as we are this season without the solid foundation of setting and digging that our offense relies on,” Zidek said.

October 30, 2013

’Clones take charge in Quarter Finals

To no one’s surprise, the Cyclones glided through the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Quarter Finals Oct. 29 with a three-set win over College of Lake County: 25-13, 25-9, 25-13. Another home win advances Moraine Valley to the Semi-Finals on Saturday against Oakton Community College.

There was a lot of great hitting with Taylor Serrano and Autumn Seiler leading the way with 10 kills apiece, each adding a block assist and ace serves. Kara Kentner was just behind them with nine kills in 11 swings, hitting an impressive .727 to go along with her three ace serves and a block for point. Gina Ryan added six kills and three aces while Joanna Curtis distributed 22 kill assists. It was a great team effort to move forward in the playoffs.

October 25, 2013

Cyclones end regular season on top

It was a nice way for the Cyclones to finish the regular season Oct. 24, with a quick three-set win over Elmhurst College: 25-18, 25-14, 25-16.

A nicely balanced offense gave the Cyclones a final win at home before playoffs. Kara Kentner led the Cyclones with nine kills in her 14 swings and Gina Ryan had seven kills and a solo block. Middle hitters Taylor Serrano and Alex Bojan added six kills each in 11 attempts while Autumn Seiler contributed six kills and an ace serve. Serrano was the hot blocker with four plus three points at the service line. Joanna Curtis distributed 19 assists along with Kentner’s 17.

October 24, 2013

Cyclones are conference champs again; Ryan joins 1,000th club

Lucky seven. The Cyclones earned their second consecutive Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference championship on Oct. 22 with a perfect 7-0 record after a quick defeat of Morton College: 25-20, 25-10, 25-13. Not only did they post a perfect conference record, but they won every set.

It was another Kara Kentner display as she scored on 12 kills from the front court and nine service aces from the back court. Taylor Serrano also was hot in the match with 10 kills, three blocks and three ace serves. Alex Bojan chipped in eight kills and two blocks while Joanna Curtis assisted on 20 kills.

With this win the Cyclones prepare for their final home game tonight before playoffs start Oct. 29 at home. During tonight’s game, Gina Ryan will be presented the game ball from a match with Rock Valley College on Oct. 19 where she earned her 1,000th dig. She joins the 1,000-club this season for the Cyclones as Kentner and Joanna Curtis were recently recognized for their 1,000th kill assists.

While being crowned conference champions, the team also jumped in the NJCAA Region IV ranks from 20 to 17 this week.

October 21, 2013

Splitsville for Cyclones

With a couple matches left before playoffs, the Cyclones faced top teams in the nation in the Kishwaukee College Tournament (Oct. 18-19) to prepare them for tough future challengers. Although Moraine Valley split the weekend, they gained strength going into the final weeks of the season.

In the first match, the Cyclones faced #5-ranked Muskegon Community College, their second meeting this season. Moraine Valley’s offense struggled against Muskegon’s big block and suffered a second defeat to the Michigan team: 14-25, 22-25, 19-25. The Cyclones were competitive in sets two and three but didn’t have enough left to keep the match going. Kara Kentner led the team with seven kills and two blocks while Autumn Seiler added five kills combined with Taylor Serrano’s four.

After a short break, they were back against a tough Owens Community College. Although Moraine Valley started out tentatively and lost the first set 17-25, they bounced back to take control in the next three sets for the win: 25-15, 25-14, 25-23. Kentner was the offensive stud and put on a show with 17 kills, no errors in 37 swings and assisted on 18 kills to go with 12 digs. Serrano also was big at the net with 12 kills and three blocks. Gina Ryan chipped in eight kills and 15 digs while Alex Bojan added another five kills and three blocks.

The tournament continued on Oct. 19 with the Cyclones pitted against #4-ranked Oakland Community College. Moraine Valley had trouble getting around their opponent’s big and quick front row players in the first set. Once they made some adjustments they competed much better in the second and third sets. Oakland then regrouped and took down the Cyclones in the fourth: 16-25, 20-25, 25-21, 16-25. Once again, Kentner led the team with 14 kills, a block and an ace while distributing 15 assists. Serrano added nine kills with both Seiler and Ryan scoring on six kills each. Joanna Curtis assisted on 23 kills.

The Cyclones ended the weekend with a big win against #8-ranked Rock Valley College: 25-17, 25-22, 17-25, 25-16. Serrano was the hot hitter with 12 kills in 18 swings, four blocks and an ace serve. Ryan also was successful at the net with 10 kills plus 14 digs. Kentner chipped in nine kills, two blocks and an ace serve while assisting on 21 kills.

Moraine Valley faces one more conference team—Morton College—on Oct. 22 and then Elmhurst College on Oct. 24 before playoffs.

October 18, 2013

Sixth straight for Cyclones, Kentner recognized for 1,000th kill assist

In their sixth straight, the Cyclones dominated another opponent with only a tournament and two regular season matches to go before playoffs. Illinois Valley Community College was the next victim on Oct. 17, falling to the Cyclones in three: 25-19, 25-16, 25-15.

As she has all season, Kara Kentner led the team with 13 kills, no errors in 21 attempts and assisted on 20 kills from her teammates. Gina Ryan was hot with 10 kills and 14 digs while Taylor Serrano was big at the net with nine kills and error free in 13 swings. Joanna Curtis distributed 25 assists and added two ace serves on the night.

Although Kentner reached her 1,000th kill assist back on Oct. 5 in a match with Joliet Junior College, she was recognized for this achievement after the first set when she was presented a game ball with the date of her accomplishment.

October 16, 2013

’Clones take down another Skyway foe

The Cyclones tacked on another win to their Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference record, making it 6-0, with one more conference team left to face next week. Moraine Valley played a quick three sets on Oct. 15 to defeat McHenry County College: 25-11, 25-15, 25-18.

Three players had 10 kills each: Taylor Serrano, who also had five blocks and an ace, Autumn Seiler, who added three blocks, and Kara Kentner, who scored twice on blocks and assisted on 19 kills. Olivia Lindner wore the Libero shirt for two sets and had a good night pass serving while adding five digs.

In addition to another win, the Cyclones retained their 20th ranking in the NJCAA Division II.

October 9, 2013

Cyclones hold on to perfection; ranked in NJCAA

There were questions as to which undefeated conference team would maintain perfection when they met Oct. 8. As it turned out, the Cyclones held firm, knocking off Waubonsee Community College in a solid three-set win: 25-15, 25-20, 25-15 to reach their 20th win this season.

Autumn Seiler led the effort with 10 kills, two blocks and 17 digs. Gina Ryan added eight kills and two blocks. Kara Kentner and Alex Bojan chipped in seven kills each. Bojan was stellar at the net with eight blocks while Kentner added 12 kill assists and Joanna Curtis distributed 19 assists. Kayla Manthei was tough in the back court with 19 good receptions and 18 digs plus an ace serve.

The Cyclones now remain the only undefeated team in conference play. Additionally, in NJCAA Division II the team is ranked fourth in kills per set with 13.05 and third in assists per set with 12.43 and overall is ranked 20th. Kentner is second nationally in hitting percentage at .427 and first in the conference with .541.

October 7, 2013

Cyclones sweep tri-match weekend

The Cyclones added two more wins to their season record after a tri-match Oct. 5 with Joliet Junior College and Black Hawk East.

In the first match with Joliet, Kara Kentner continued to lead her team in Region IV play with 10 kills, three blocks, three aces, and 15 assists. A balanced offense from Taylor Serrano, Gina Ryan and Autumn Seiler, who each had eight kills, gave the Wolves little chance to fire back. Joanna Curtis assisted on 26 kills while Serrano and Alex Bojan combined for six blocks. It was a quick three-set win for the Cyclones: 25-17, 25-10, 25-15.

The second match against Black Hawk East proved equally as dominant as Moraine Valley wasted no time in winning: 25-17, 25-15, 25-11. Kentner led again with nine kills, five blocks, three service aces, and 12 assists. Seiler added seven kills along with Serrano’s six kills and nine blocks. Curtis assisted on 20 kills and Sam Newhall helped out at the service line with two ace serves.

October 2, 2013

Cyclones take down another conference rival

The Cyclones continued an unblemished streak in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference by solidly defeating Elgin Community College on Oct. 1: 25-9, 25-12, 25-14.

Taylor Serrano was top attacker with nine kills, hitting .538 with three blocks and an ace. Kara Kentner followed with eight kills, no errors in 14 attempts with a block, two service aces, and 14 assists. Both Gina Ryan and Autumn Seiler chipped in seven kills each with Seiler contributing to four blocking points.

September 30, 2013

Three out of four ain’t bad at MI tourney

If the Cyclones had to lose one match at the Grand Rapids Invitational Tournament, at least it was to last season’s national champions. Moraine Valley dominated their other three matches the weekend of Sept. 28, winning in three sets each time, but narrowly lost to Grand Rapids Community College.

The Cyclones first defeated Michigan school Lansing Community College: 25-10, 25-19, 25-15, then took on Alpena Community College: 25-10, 25-19, 25-15. On Sept. 29, the Cyclones outplayed a very strong Kalamazoo Valley Community College: 25-18, 25-13, 25-14 before losing their only match to number six-ranked Grand Rapids: 14-25, 25-21, 25-27, 16-25.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to see and play good teams from outside our region. We were very excited to play Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids–both big, strong, very athletic teams,” said head coach Gloria Coughlin.

For the weekend, Kara Kentner notched 38 kills of 81 swings, hitting .395 with 66 assists. Gina Ryan was strong with 26 kills and 57 digs. Kayla Manthei added 60 digs and eight ace serves while Joanna Curtis distributed 73 kill assists.

September 27, 2013

Cyclones battle to defeat Harper

There was some battling in the Cyclones’ latest victory on Sept. 26, but they still came out ahead of Harper College: 21-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-16.

Autumn Seiler led with 14 kills and 26 digs. Taylor Serrano was strong with 12 kills and five blocks while Gina Ryan and Kara Kentner both added 11 kills. Kentner also assisted on 20 kills from her teammates. Joanna Curtis assisted on 33 kills.

September 25, 2013

Cyclones make statement at home

No question about it, the Cyclones were in control of their latest win at home. In a decisive three sets, the Cyclones overpowered Prairie State College, 25-10, 25-15, 25-7, to grab their 12th win this season.

Hitting .417 as a team had a lot to do with the win. Both Gina Ryan and Kara Kentner led with nine kills each with Kentner going error free in yet another game. Both players added two ace serves while Ryan blocked for three points to go with her 17 digs. Kentner and Joanna Curtis both assisted on 18 kills. Taylor Serrano was tough at the net with six power kills, two blocks plus three aces from the service line. Jessica Chaput came off the bench and made an impact right away with three kills in as many attempts.

September 23, 2013

Cyclones take two at tri-match

It only took six collective sets for the Cyclones to defeat both Kankakee Community College and Kellogg Community College at a tri-match on Sept. 21, getting Moraine Valley to double digit wins this season.

First up was Kankakee and a quick win for the Cyclones: 25-18, 25-12, 25-17. Autumn Seiler led the team with 10 kills but Gina Ryan and Kara Kentner were right behind with nine kills each. Kentner hit with no errors in her 17 swings and also had a solo block, 15 digs, assisted on 17 kills, and served two aces. Taylor Serrano added six kills, a block and two ace serves while Joanna Curtis assisted on 24 kills.

For the second match Moraine Valley defeated Kellogg: 25-19, 25-19, 25-17. Kentner was still hot at the net with 10 kills in 17 error-free swings, two blocks and 15 assists. Also tough at the net was Serrano with nine kills, six blocks and two aces at the service line. Ryan added eight kills with seven digs while Curtis assisted on 22 kills and scored on two attacks.

September 20, 2013

Cyclones fall to Bulldogs

It was a slugfest between two good teamsa little more than the Cyclones could handle. Despite putting up a good fight, Moraine Valley lost to South Suburban College on Sept. 19 in five sets: 26-28, 25-17, 25-20, 31-33, 12-15.

Kara Kentner led with 20 kills, three blocks, an ace serve, 26 digs, and 30 assists. Gina Ryan was a force at the net with 15 kills, three blocks, an ace, and 20 digs. Taylor Serrano also had a big night with 14 kills and six blocks to go with two ace serves while Autumn Seiler chipped in another 12 kills and 22 digs. Kayla Manthei worked hard in the back court serving 17, passing 46 opponent serves and digging 42 attacks. Joanna Curtis assisted on 39 kills.

“South Suburban is a solid team with good ball handling and a big hitter that swings from all along the net. We had several opportunities to put the match away in the fourth set but eased off the gas pedal a little and let them back in the game. Their momentum from set four really helped them in the fifth set,” said head coach Gloria Coughlin.

September 18, 2013

Solid victory for ’Clones

The Cyclones continued a three-game winning streak Sept. 17 with an easy three-set victory over College of Lake County: 25-11, 25-14, 25-11.

A very balanced offense did not give Lake County a chance to set a defense. Kara Kentner led the team with 10 kills, but Autumn Seiler was right behind with nine kills of 15 attempts while Alex Bojan led in the middle with eight kills of 15. Taylor Serrano and Stephanie Dagenais were strong, each adding six hard, fast kills with Serrano notching a solo block as well. Kayla Manthei and Gina Ryan did most of the passing off serves and combined for 16 perfect passes. Joanna Curtis assisted on 28 kills while Kentner added 16 more. Samantha Newhall helped out from the bench with four digs and three good passes.

September 11, 2013

Cyclones dominate, Curtis earns 1,000th kill assist

The Cyclones notched their first conference win of the still young season on Sept. 10 with a dominating performance over Oakton Community College: 25-14, 25-14, 25-10. In addition to the win, setter Joanna Curtis was recognized for assisting on her 1,000th kill.

Kara Kentner led the team with 12 kills, two service aces, a block, and 12 assists while Gina Ryan followed with eight kills and 12 digs. Taylor Serrano had a huge night at the net with seven kills of 10 swings and no errors, hitting a whopping .700 kill percentage in addition to two blocks and an ace serve to total 10 points. But the night really belonged to Curtis and her 1,000th kill assist of her college career. She came into the match at 995 assists so it didn’t take long to notch her 1,000th by giving Kentner a beautiful set at the right pin. She was presented with a game ball at the break between the first and second sets.

Cyclones maintain status in NJCAA Div II poll

The Cyclones maintained a standing in the NJCAA Division II poll, dropping from seventh in the pre-season to 14th for the week of Sept. 11.

September 5, 2013

Cyclones take three from Cavaliers

There are always fireworks when Moraine Valley meets Kankakee Community College. The two had their first match on Sept. 4 with the Cyclones being the victor in an important regional win: 25-16, 25-18, 25-23.

It was a big night for the middle attackers with Alex Bojan scoring on 13 swings for a .647 kill percentage along with her counterpart, Taylor Serrano, who added 10 kills and hit .500. Kara Kentner also was strong with 11 kills and just one error in 17 attempts. As a team, they hit .386 which is generally going to earn the win. Being able to run the middle attack means the Cyclones passed well and dug a lot of balls right to the setters. Joanna Curtis assisted on 27 kills while Kentner added 20 assists. Kayla Manthei dug 20 attacks while Gina Ryan and Kentner added 10 and 12, respectively.

The two teams meet again at Kankakee’s campus on Sept. 21.

September 3, 2013

Cyclones split four in Ohio

Practice makes perfect and the Cyclones spent the weekend, Aug. 30-31, working out the kinks and getting a feel for the competition and the space where the next national tournament will take place. Dealing with some tough competition, Moraine Valley split four at the Owens Community College Tournament in Toledo, Ohio.

“This ‘season kickoff’ tournament brings teams from all over the country to play on the courts where we all strive to compete in November. It’s a tough tournament that has the top-level teams slugging it out with each other with the end goal not necessarily winning but more learning about our teams’ strengths, weaknesses, character, stamina, and general personality. We all want to find out what we need to do between now and November to attain our long range goal of qualifying for the national tournament and, of course, winning it,” said head coach Gloria Coughlin.

The Cyclones were pitted against all Michigan teams, starting with Schoolcraft College, and a quick win in three sets: 25-18, 25-14, 25-12. Kara Kentner led the team with 14 kills, three aces, 14 digs, and 12 assists. Autumn Seiler also was hot with 11 kills, three aces and 10 digs. Taylor Serrano, Gina Ryan and Alex Bojan each chipped in five kills with Bojan adding two blocks. As libero, Kayla Manthei scored on two serves and was tough in the backcourt with 17 receptions and 16 digs. Joanna Curtis distributed 24 kill assists.

For their second match, the Cyclones had another easy win, this time over Macomb Community College: 25-9, 25-21, 25-17. Bojan was on fire in this match hitting .641 with 13 kills, just two errors in 17 attempts. Kentner added 10 more kills along with two aces and 14 kill assists. The Cyclones were efficient as a team in the attack stat with a .329 kill percentage overall.

On the second day of competition, the Cyclones didn’t have the same ease when facing their opponents. A big Oakland Community College team posed trouble from the start as Moraine Valley struggled to stop the big pin and get control of the fast line-drive serves. Final scores were not indicative of the effort the Cyclones gave in the loss: 20-25, 20-25 and 15-25. Taylor Serrano and Seiler each had six kills while Ryan and Kentner added five kills each. “This is one of those matches that helps us plan the next few practices to include lots of hard serving at our own passers and more blocking drills to protect the net,” Coughlin said.

After watching Muskegon Community College earlier in the day, the Cyclones were ready to face this high-level team to gauge how to improve their own game. Although Moraine Valley lost the first two sets, 23-25 and 19-25, Coughlin was pleased with the way her squad competed and fought to stay in it. After making some adjustments, the Cyclones won the third set, 25-21, with momentum going into the fourth. Although they fell 24-26, the Cyclones learned about their team character, which will help them throughout the season. Ryan was the go-to hitter with 16 kills of 32 swings, and only two hitting errors against a much bigger blocker than herself. She also had 16 digs and 14 good receptions. Seiler added 13 kills while Kentner had 10 and Serrano notched nine. Kentner also assisted on 23 kills while Curtis set the other 31 assists along with 15 digs. Manthei was strong in defense with 45 digs and 21 serve receptions.

“We want to continue to build upon what we learned this weekend as we start our Skyway Conference play next week,” Coughlin said.

August 28, 2013

Cyclones take Sauk Valley in home opener

The Cyclones made some noise Aug. 27 in their home opener with Sauk Valley Community College, winning easily in three: 25-20, 25-16, 25-17.

This was an efficient attacking match as Gina Ryan led the team with 13 kills of 20 swings with only one error, hitting .600 in kill percentage. Kara Kentner scored on eight attacks and had no errors while Alex Bojan swung on another four without error. Those three combined hit at a .477 kill percentage for the match. Autumn Seiler added 11 kills and Taylor Serrano pitched in six more. Kentner also had a great night at the service line with five ace serves as well as setting 20 assists. Libero Kayla Manthei was tough in the back court with 18 good serve receptions and 16 digs. Meanwhile, setter Joanna Curtis distributed 21 kill assists.

August 26, 2013

Cyclones come out ahead at South Sub tourney

It wasn’t flawless, but the Cyclones did come out ahead August 22 and 23 at their season opener, the South Suburban Tournament. Overall Moraine Valley was 3-1.

In the tournament opening match, the Cyclones defeated Harper College in four sets: 25-20, 25-19, 23-25, 25-18. Kara Kentner (Sandburg) was hot with 11 kills of 19 attempts, starting the season hitting an efficient .473 while her teammates Gina Ryan (Oak Forest) and Taylor Serrano (Mother McAuley) added another 11 kills each. As a newcomer to the team this season, Serrano made her presence felt at the net with four blocks. Autumn Seiler (Oak Forest) added 10 kills while freshman Alexandria Bojan (Guerin Prep) chipped in six kills and a block in her first appearance as a collegiate player.

It only took three sets for the Cyclones to defeat Carl Sandburg College: 25-16, 25-15, 25-15. Ryan led the offense with 12 kills of 22 swings, hitting .454, followed by Seiler with eight kills and three service aces. Kentner notched seven kills while Serrano had five kills, three blocks and an ace serve.

Friday afternoon’s first match was a slug-fest with Indian Hills Community College. The Cyclones battled for the win: 25-19, 19-25, 25-19, 25-21. Kentner led the offense with 12 kills, no errors in 23 attempts for an amazing .521 kill percentage. She also scored on two service aces, had 17 kill assists and eight digs. The two left side pin hitters—Ryan and Seiler—both added 10 kills each along with Serrano’s eight kills. Joanna Curtis (Sandburg) distributed 27 kill assists. Libero Kayla Manthei (Lincoln-Way North) was strong in the back court with 12 digs and two service aces. This was a big win for Moraine Valley, requiring much more energy than the first two games.

There was no time in between matches before Moraine Valley was pitted against Des Moines Area Community College, which proved too tough for the Cyclones: 16-25, 26-28, 13-25. Serrano led the team with six kills, a block and two service aces. Ryan added another six kills, 10 digs and an ace. Kentner and Seiler both scored on five swings with Seiler adding two aces.

August 21, 2013

Cyclones set high standards, ready to outshine last season

The Cyclones are ready for revenge in 2013. Yes, the team was undefeated all season-long last year, tallying a 35-0 record, claiming the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference and NJCAA Region IV championships before competing in the national tournament. But the fifth game, two-point loss in the first round of nationals still eats up the returners who want to finish even better than last season. They are already off to a good start, ranking seventh in the NJCAA Division II preseason poll.

Expectations are high, but the Cyclones are loaded with talent including five returning starters and seven newcomers. All-American Division II setter and Conference Player of the Year Kara Kentner (Sandburg) is back along with All-Conference setter Joanna Curtis (Sandburg), All-Region and All-Conference left side hitters Gina Ryan (Oak Forest) and Autumn Seiler (Oak Forest), and All-Conference right side hitter Stephanie Dagenais (Oak Forest). The Cyclones bring some size to the net with Taylor Serrano (Mother McAuley/Illinois Central College), Jessica Chaput (Shepard), Colleen Kull (Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences), and Alexandria Bojan (Guerin Prep.) who will all contribute at middle hitter/blocker as well as be significant threats at the left and right side pins. Moraine Valley also added three defensive players—Kayla Manthei (Lincoln-Way North), Samantha Newhall (Shepard) and Olivia Lindner (Oak Lawn)—to keep the ball off the floor in the backcourt. Last season’s top rated Libero—Colleen Gardner (Mother McAuley)—has moved on, so the new players have to work hard to give the setters opportunities to take advantage of the added height of the attackers. As the new hitters get acclimated to the setters, there will be more offensive options available, making for exciting volleyball this season.

“We have a tough schedule ahead of us, and we’re looking forward to those first few tournaments that allow the players to get to know one another on the court. We have great potential and are very excited for the possibilities as things start to come together for this team,” said coach Gloria Coughlin, who is in her 22nd year at the helm. “Our 2012 undefeated regular season was grand. However, the fifth game loss in the first round at nationals still burns this team, and these players welcome the additional talent to help get us back to the tournament. They understand that every new season brings new challenges. This team is happy to be back in the gym preparing for tasks ahead of them.”

2013 Season

Season Record: 35-10
Conference Record:

*2013 Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Champions
2013 NJCAA Region IV Champions

All-American Division II first team: Kara Kentner (second consecutive year)
American Volleyball Coaches Association second team:
NJCAA Championship All-Tournament Team:
All-Region IV Team:
Kentner, Gina Ryan, Taylor Serrano
All-Conference Tournament Team: Kentner, Ryan, Serrano, Autumn Seiler, Joanna Curtis
All-Region IV Tournament Team: Kentner, Ryan
All-Conference First Team: Curtis, Kentner, Ryan, Serrano
All-Conference Second Team: Alex Bojan, Autumn Seiler
Conference Player of the Year: Kentner (second consecutive year)
Region IV Coach of the Year: Gloria Coughlin
Conference Coach of the Year: Coughlin

Day Date Opponent Location Time W/L
Fri. 8/16 Trinity Christian College  (scrimmage) Away 9 a.m. N/A
Mon. 8/19 Purdue University Calumet (scrimmage) Home  6 p.m. N/A
Thurs.-Fri. 8/22-23 South Suburban Tournament Away 4 p.m. and 9 a.m. W 25-20, 25-19, 23-25, 25-18 vs. Harper College
W 25-16, 25-15, 25-15
W 25-19, 19-25, 25-19, 25-21 vs. Indian Hills
L 16-25, 26-28, 13-25 vs. Des Moines Area Community College
Tues. 8/27 Sauk Valley Community College
Home 6 p.m. W 25-20, 25-16, 25-17
Fri.-Sat. 8/30-31 Owens Community College in Toledo, OH  Away Noon W 25-18, 25-14, 25-12 vs. Schoolcraft College
W 25-9, 25-21, 25-17 vs. Macomb C.C.
L 20-25, 20-25, 15-25 vs. Oakland C.C.
L 23-25, 19-25, 25-21, 24-26 vs. Muskegon C.C.
Wed. 9/4 Kankakee Community College Home 6 p.m. W 25-16, 25-18, 25-23
Tues. 9/10 Oakton Community College* Home 6 p.m. W 24-14, 25-14, 25-10
Sat. 9/14 Whitewater Tournament Away 9 a.m. Canceled
Tues. 9/17 College of Lake County* Home 6 p.m. W 25-11, 25-14, 25-11
Thurs. 9/19 South Suburban College Away 6 p.m. L 26-28, 25-17, 25-20, 31-33, 12-15
Sat. 9/21 Tri-match @ Kankakee Community College Away 10 a.m. and  Noon W 25-18, 25-12, 25-17 vs. Kankakee C.C.
W 25-19, 25-19, 25-17 vs. Kellogg C.C.
Tues. 9/24 Prairie State College* Home 6 p.m. W 25-10, 25-15, 25-7
Thurs. 9/26 Harper College Away 7:30 p.m. W 21-25, 25-22, 25-23, 26-16
Sat.-Sun. 9/28-29 Grand Rapids Tournament-
Kishwaukee College, Alpena C.C. on Sat.
Kalamazoo C.C. and Grand Rapids C.C. on Sun.
Away 10 a.m., Noon W 25-10, 25-19, 25-15 vs. Lansing C.C.
W 25-10, 25-19, 25-15 vs. Alpena C.C.
W 25-18, 25-13, 25-14 vs. Kalamazoo Valley C.C.
L 14-25, 25-21, 25-27, 16-25 vs. Grand Rapids C.C.
Tues. 10/1 Elgin Community College* Home 6 p.m. W 25-9, 25-12, 25-14
Sat. 10/5 Joliet Junior College Tri-Match w/Black Hawk East Away 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. W 25-17, 25-10, 25-15 vs. Joliet Jr. College
W 25-17, 25-15, 25-11 vs. Black Hawk East
Tues. 10/8 Waubonsee Community College* Away 6 p.m. W 25-15, 25-20, 25-15
Tues. 10/15 McHenry County College* Away 6 p.m. W 25-11, 25-15, 25-18
Thurs. 10/17 Illinois Valley Community College Home 6 p.m. W 25-19, 25-16, 25-15
Fri.-Sat. 10/18-19 Kishwaukee College Tournament Away 6 p.m. L 14-25, 22-25, 19-25 vs. Muskegon C.C.
W 17-25, 25-15, 25-14, 25-23 vs. Owens C.C.
L 16-25, 20-25, 25-21, 16-25 vs. Oakland C.C.
W 25-17, 25-22, 17-25, 25-16 vs. Rock Valley College
Tues. 10/22 Morton College* Away 6 p.m. W 25-20, 25-10, 25-13
Thurs. 10/24 Elmhurst College Home 6 p.m. W 25-18, 25-14, 25-16
Tues. 10/29 Skyway Quarter Finals vs. College of Lake County Home 6 p.m. W 25-13, 25-9, 25-13
Sat. 11/2 Skyway Semi-Finals and Finals vs. Oakton Community College Away 11 a.m. W 25-13, 25-10, 25-19 vs. Prairie State College
W 25-19, 25-20, 25-23 vs. Waubonsee C.C.
Mon. 11/4 Region IV Quarter Finals vs. McHenry County College Home 6 p.m. W 25-9, 25-19, 25-20
Wed. 11/6 Region IV Semi-Finals vs. Carl Sandburg College Home 6 p.m. W 25-21, 25-12, 19-25, 25-12
Sat. 11/9 Region IV Final Four vs. Kishwaukee College Away 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. W 25-12, 25-23, 25-13 vs. Kishwaukee College
L 25-17, 17-25, 22-25, 25-18, 12-15 vs. South Suburban College
W 27-25, 25-20, 25-20 vs. Kishwaukee College
Thurs. 11/21 NJCAA Tournament vs. Parkland College Toledo, OH 11 a.m. L 25-15, 25-19, 25-20
Fri. 11/22 NJCAA Tournament vs. Catawba Valley C.C., Glendale C.C., Monroe C.C. Toledo, OH 10 a.m., 4:30 p.m. W 26-24, 27-25, 17-25, 25-22 vs. Catawba
W 25-22, 24-26, 25-22, 25-18 vs. Glendale
L 25-20, 16-25, 25-27, 21-25
Finished 10th in nation

* Denotes Conference Game

2012 Season

Season Record: 35-2
Conference Record:

* NJCAA Region IV Champions (clinched Nov. 3)
*Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Champions (clinched Oct. 9)

All-American Division II first team: Kara Kentner
All-Region IV team: Colleen Gardner, Kentner, Gina Ryan (number one player in Region IV), Autumn Seiler
All-Region IV tournament team: Kentner, Ryan
All-Region IV Coach of the Year: Gloria Coughlin
All-Conference first team: Gardner, Kentner, Ryan, Seiler
All-Conference second team: Joanna Curtis, Stephanie Dagenais
All-Conference tournament team (ISCC): Gardner, Kentner, Ryan, Seiler
Conference Player of the Year: Kentner
All-Conference Coach of the Year: Coughlin

Day Date Opponent Location Time W/L
Tues. 8/21 Purdue University Calumet (scrimmage) Away 6 p.m. N/A
Fri.-Sat. 8/24-25 College of DuPage Tournament Away 4 p.m. & 9 a.m.  W 25-16, 25-12, 25-20 vs. Lincoln College
W 25-11, 25-20, 25-16 vs. Ancilla College
W 25-15, 25-18, 25-22 vs. Harper College
W 25-19, 25-21, 25-20 vs. Highland College
Fri.-Sat. 8/31-9/1 Owens Community College in Toledo, OH Away Noon W 25-18, 25-19, 25-17 vs. Kellogg CC
W 25-10, 25-21, 25-12 vs.
Lansing CC
W 25-21, 25-17, 25-18 vs.
Macomb CC
W 25-5, 25-9, 25-17 vs. Genesee CC
W 25-17, 10-25, 25-20, 25-22 vs. Kalamazoo Valley CC
Wed. 9/5 Kankakee Community College Home 6 p.m. W 25-27, 19-25, 25-22, 25-21, 17-15
          Thurs. 9/6 College of Lake County* Away 6 p.m. W 25-8, 26-16, 25-12
Tues. 9/11 Prairie State College* Away 6 p.m. W 25-19, 25-18, 25-16
Fri. 9/14 Tri-match vs. COD & Oakton at Oakton Community College Away 3 & 5 p.m. W 25-19, 25-13, 25-11 vs. College of DuPage
W 25-14, 24-26, 16-25, 25-6, 15-9 vs. Oakton C.C.
Tues. 9/18 Elgin Community College* Away 6 p.m. W 25-11, 25-12, 25-10
Thurs. 9/20 South Suburban College Home 6 p.m. W 25-11, 25-20, 25-15
Sat. 9/22 Tri-match @ Kankakee Community College  Away 10 a.m. & Noon W 25-23, 25-20, 25-16 vs. Kankakee Community College
W 25-18, 25-23, 25-14 vs. Goshen College JV
Tues.  9/25 Waubonsee Community College* Home 6 p.m. W 25-10, 25-8, 25-23
Thurs. 9/27 Harper College Home 6 p.m. W 25-20, 25-23, 25-13
Sat. 9/29 Tri-match w/Lincoln College & Joliet Junior College Home 10 a.m.,
2 p.m.
W 25-22, 25-13, 25-12 vs. Joliet Jr. College
W 25-12, 25-18, 25-18 vs. Lincoln College
Tues. 10/2 McHenry County College* Home 6 p.m. W 25-13, 25-14, 25-12
Thurs. 10/4 Morton College* Home 6 p.m. W 25-10, 25-9, 25-16
Sat. 10/6 Harper College Tournament Away 9 a.m. W 25-7, 25-12, 25-16 vs. Elgin C.C.
W 25-20, 25-21, 15-25, 18-25, 15-12 vs. Harper College
W 25-13, 25-17, 25-21 vs. McHenry County College
Tues. 10/9 Oakton Community College* Away 6 p.m. *W 25-22, 25-20, 25-20
Tues. 10/16 Milwaukee Area Technical College Away 7 p.m. W 25-7, 25-8, 25-8
Sun. 10/21  Skyway Conference Tournament @ Morton College Away 11 a.m. W 25-14, 25-14, 22-25, 25-13 vs. Oakton C.C.
W 25-23, 25-13, 25-14 vs. McHenry County College
Fri. 10/26 Lincoln Land Community College  Home 6 p.m. W 25-23, 24-26, 26-24, 19-25, 15-12
Wed. 10/31 Region IV Quarter Finals vs. Morton College Home 6 p.m. W 25-7, 25-12, 25-10
Sat. 11/3 Region IV Final Four Away 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. W 25-18, 25-8, 25-9 vs. McHenry County College
W 25-18, 25-18, 25-23 vs. Kankakee Community College
Thurs.-Sat. 11/15-17 NJCAA Tournament Toledo, OH Away 10 a.m. L 25-22, 10-25, 17-25, 25-18, 13-15 vs. Central C.C.
L 25-27, 29-31, 11-25 vs. Catawba Valley C.C.

* Denotes Conference Game

November 26, 2012
Cyclones wrap up season in nationals with accolades and high rankings
The 2012 season outlook promised an entertaining and exciting season, and it’s safe to say that this team delivered just that.

A regular season of consecutive wins is a feat not often seen in any sport, and many things had to go right for the Cyclones to achieve a 35-win season sans any loss until the NJCAA Division II tournament, Nov. 15-17. The squad also took championship titles in the region and conference and was ranked third in the nation.

“This group of athletes jumped on board from the first day, willing to learn, willing to work hard every day, willing to give up part-time jobs and free weekends to gel as a team. We stayed healthy all season, and each player accepted her role in the interest of the success of the team,” said head coach Gloria Coughlin, who was named NJCAA Region IV and Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year.

Stats cannot tell the whole story of a season; however, they are a testament to the strength of these Cyclones. The team raked a total of 1,605 kills, including 401 by Kara Kentner (Sandburg), and a team total of 2,882 digs, of which 874 were from Colleen Gardner (Mother McAuley). Those stats placed Kentner and Gardner in the top five in the nation for most of the season. Autumn Seiler (Oak Forest) and Gina Ryan (Oak Forest) had 370 and 295 kills, respectively, along with 352 kills from middle hitters Stephanie Dagenais (Oak Forest) and Katlyn Beckow (Evergreen Park), both of whom blocked 149. The servers scored on 249 serves, 52 of which were from setter Joanna Curtis (Sandburg).

For their stellar performance, Kentner, Ryan, Gardner, and Seiler were named to the All-Region and All-Conference first teams while Dagenais and Curtis got nods to the All-Conference second team. Kentner also was Skyway Player of the Year and named to the All-American Division II first team.

As the team was predominantly freshmen this season, 2013 looks to be another year of good numbers for the Cyclones.

November 19, 2012
Cyclones fight to the end in nationals
All good things must come to an end. Unfortunately for the Cyclones it happened in the national tournament where they lost their only matches of the season.

Moraine Valley competed in the NJCAA Division II tournament in Toledo, Ohio, Nov. 15-16, entering the tournament with a 35-0 record. “’We play to win the game’ is a common quote in the sports media these days, and we never planned to work hard to qualify for the national tournament and then ‘play to lose the game,’” said head coach Gloria Coughlin. “It could have been our youth, our size, our lack of depth, our butterflies, the coaching, or a combination of all.”

Chalk it up to nerves perhaps, but the Cyclones fought and lost in their first match with Central Community College from Columbus, Nebraska: 25-22, 10-25, 17-25, 25-18, 13-15. The talented Nebraska team served aggressively and put the Cyclones in poor position to take good swings at the ball. Moraine Valley was forced into hitting errors. In the fifth set they scored on 11 attacks, which is usually good enough to win a 15-point set, but not this time. A couple of errors at critical moments coupled with an unusual serve-receive error gave the Cyclones the loss.

It took Moraine Valley the better part of the day to get over that loss and begin focusing on the next match the following morning. The Cyclones were pitted against another one-loss team in Catawba Valley Community College from North Carolina. Catawba’s height at the net posed a problem for the Cyclones offense to get around. Moraine Valley’s serve-receive game had improved enough to give the setters good set choices, but the solid block in front of each hitter forced them into some easier swings at the ball that allowed Catawba to run a fast offense. “We had trouble executing our game plan against them, and when we gave up a big lead in the second set loss, going into the third set down 0-2, we struggled to gain the momentum back to win in the final set,” Coughlin said. The Cyclones lost in three: 25-27, 29-31, 11-25.

Although it was a disappointing performance after a stellar season, the Cyclones were not entirely defeated. “One of my former teammates from college was at the tournament and reminded us that there is only one happy team at the end of each season, but all the other teams at nationals are very good teams that learned a lot, gained experience, strengthened their character and are better players for having competed in the tournament,” Coughlin explained. “She advised us to take that and build to improve for next season’s national tournament. She expects us to be back in Toledo for nationals next year. I agree.”

November 5, 2012
Cyclones going to nationals
The Cyclones took their perfect record into the NJCAA Region IV championship on Nov. 3 and came out still perfect with a title to boot. They advance to the national tournament at Owens Community College in Toledo, Ohio, Nov. 15-17.

Moraine Valley has played superb volleyball and that didn’t end in the Region IV Final Four, where they faced McHenry County College and Kankakee Community College. The pressure was on for the Cyclones, who went into the Final Four with a 33-0 record. In the first match of the day, the Cyclones played with quickness and efficiency to knock off McHenry County: 25-18, 25-8, 25-9. As the team hit .322, Kara Kentner led the fight with 11 kills of 21 attempts, 12 digs and 14 kill assists. Complimenting that effort was outstanding left-side hitting from Gina Ryan and Autumn Seiler, who each added nine kills. A very balanced offense run by Joanna Curtis resulted in her 19 assists, two ace serves and 9 digs. Libero, Colleen Gardner, ran the defense with 16 receptions, 23 digs and two aces while Seiler and Ryan made 14 and 10 digs, respectively. The Scots found themselves in big holes at the start of each set and had no answer for the varied Cyclones offensive system that was running on all cylinders.

While Moraine Valley waited for the next opponent, they watched a battle in a five-set match that found Kankakee Community College outlasting South Suburban College and becoming the next victim. Kankakee took good swings, but Moraine Valley’s solid serve reception and 67 digs allowed them to hit for 45 kills. Kentner led that offense with 13 kills, five blocks, eight digs, and 16 assists. Seiler added 10 kills, two aces and 10 digs while Ryan was hot with eight kills, 14 digs and accurate serve receptions. Katlyn Beckow was tough at the net with five kills and four blocks, and Jane Tunney pitched in five kills and two blocks at the right pin. Gardner remained the work horse in the back court with 21 digs and 23 good receptions while Curtis dished out 23 assists. The team work led to some close sets and a trip to nationals: 25-18, 25-18, 25-23.

“This was absolutely a team effort to win not only this championship match but also for the entire season,” said coach Gloria Coughlin. “It takes a group of true team players to have the successes that we have shared this season. We have selfless defenders that give our setters opportunities to set a balanced attack. We have hitters that are as excited about their teammates’ kills as they are their own. We have bench support like no other squad that makes the most of every opportunity to help the team, and a genuinely hard working bunch of athletes that bought into our coaching, our system and our goals to challenge each other to become better players every day.”

Four Cyclones were named to the 2012 All Region IV first team: Ryan—also the number one player in the region—Kentner, Gardner and Seiler. Kentner and Ryan also got the nod to the Region IV All-Tournament Team. Coughlin was named Region Coach of the Year, but would be remiss if she didn’t include her assistant coach, Donna Zidek, in the recognition. “It really should be Coaches of the Year, as our season does not happen without her expertise, her attention to detail, her match preparation, and her training of our players,” Coughlin said.

November 1, 2012
Cyclones in the Final Four
The Cyclones go into the NJCAA Region IV Final Four tournament with a perfect record. After easily defeating Morton College Oct. 31 in the region quarter finals for their 33rd win and earning some individual awards, the team now prepares for competition to determine if they head to nationals.

Moraine Valley won in three sets: 25-7, 25-12, 25-10. Autumn Seiler led the fight with 13 kills of 23 swings and just two errors, hitting .478. Kara Kentner was just as hot with 11 kills of 14 error-free attempts, hitting .785 while assisting on nine kills and adding an ace serve and block. Those two hitters were in the front row most of the match due to the great serving and defense from Joanna Curtis, who had seven ace serves, seven digs and 22 assists, along with the digging duo of Gina Ryan, who had 11 digs, four kills, three aces and a block, and libero Colleen Gardner, who had 19 digs, 14 good serve receptions and an ace serve in her nine serve attempts. “All that defense and good passing allows our hitters to get those great opportunities to swing for points,” said coach Gloria Coughlin.

Stephanie Dagenais had six kills in nine attempts while Katlyn Beckow added another four kills and three blocks, all of which were a significant factor in the win.

After the game the All-Region team was announced and included Kentner, Gardner, Ryan, and Seiler. Kentner also was named the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Player of the Week last week, her second as a freshman.

This victory qualified the Cyclones for the region Final Four on Nov. 3 at College of Lake County. The Cyclones play at 10 a.m. with the championship match scheduled for 2 p.m. to determine who represents Region IV at the NJCAA tournament in Ohio.

October 29, 2012
’Clones finish regular season with a record 32 wins, no losses
Call them the untouchables. In 32 regular season games, the Cyclones went unscathed, breaking Moraine Valley records and accomplishing a difficult feat of perfection. They won their final match Oct. 26 in five tough sets with seventh-ranked Lincoln Land College: 25-23, 24-26, 26-24, 19-25, 15-12.

In a battle to the very end, the Cyclones left it all on the court for the victory. Kara Kentner hit an amazing .400 percent with her team leading 19 kills of 40 swings along with two blocks, an ace serve and 22 assists. Autumn Seiler was right behind with 18 kills and four blocks while Gina Ryan was hot at the net with 14 kills, hitting .315 percent, blocking two, and digging 30 attacks. The defense and serve receive as a team was efficient. Colleen Gardner stood out in the back court with 46 digs and Joanna Curtis ran a balanced offense, getting all hitters involved and assisting on 33 kills in her 89 good sets.

“This match completes an undefeated regular season of play. Winning 32 matches in a row is an amazing feat for any team. I am so fortunate to have been allowed to work with such a great group of student athletes who worked so hard to earn this wonderful accomplishment,” said head coach Gloria Coughlin. “Certainly in my 23 years here at Moraine Valley, we have had many talented teams and many winning seasons, but I’m so happy for this group to make their mark in the Moraine Valley records book.”

Assistant coach Donna Zidek added, “I was very proud of the girls’ effort throughout this last match and the leadership shown by every player. Each one of them brought something different to the match that we needed in order to win. Some brought great defense, some brought timely hitting, some brought key blocks and serves, some brought direction, support and encouragement. Everything was needed to reach the goal. An undefeated regular season is rare, and I am happy they got to experience it. As far as individual players go, Colleen Gardner definitely played stand-out, high intensity defense. Her play really inspired her team to play all out.”

Playoffs start Oct. 31 for the Cyclones.

October 17, 2012
Piece of cake win

It was only a week since their last game, but the Cyclones didn’t lose a step Oct. 16 with an easy win over Milwaukee Area Technical College: 25-7, 25-8, 25-8.

Moraine Valley was not an easy foe for the first-year Milwaukee squad. Kara Kentner led the Cyclones with 10 kills of 16 swings with Gina Ryan close behind with eight kills in 11 attempts with no errors, hitting a .727 kill percentage while scoring three points from the service line. Katlyn Beckow added five kills, Autumn Seiler chipped in four more and Bridget Williams came off the bench to notch seven ace serves and 13 kill assists.

October 10, 2012
First goal reached, Cyclones crowned Skyway champs

The first goal the Cyclones had this season was to earn the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Championship, a feat solidified with a challenging final three-set win over conference foe Oakton Community College on Oct. 9. In their seventh conference and 28th straight overall victory, the Cyclones fought to become the undefeated 2012 champs: 25-22, 25-20, 25-20.

The win was not an easy task as Oakton played fearlessly and tested the Cyclones. “Oakton’s big hitters took some nice swings and earned 19 points on solid hits through, off and around our blockers. As a team, our attack was not highly efficient but defensively, they kept many balls in play to take more swings. Over the course of the match, we did enough to win each set,” said coach Gloria Coughlin. “One of our greatest strengths is our consistency on serve receive and defense that gives us the ability to use all of our hitters at any time. Our setters do a great job of distributing sets all around the court and this wears a team down over time as they try to defend our variety of hitters.”

Kara Kentner shined with 16 kills, one error of 32 swings, hitting a .468 kill percentage. She added two blocks, 19 digs and 14 kill assists. Autumn Seiler also played a key role in this match with 14 kills, three blocks and 13 digs. Gina Ryan contributed eight kills, a block, an ace and 23 digs. The defensive duo of Ryan and Colleen Gardner was critical in continuing to give the Cyclones opportunities to attack. Gardner led the team in digs with 25, but it was a whole team effort to keep the ball off the Cyclones’ floor, reflected in 129 team digs (43 digs per set). Joanna Curtis played well with 13 digs and 26 kill assists.

Cyclones ranked sixth in NJCAA polls
As of Oct. 10, the Cyclones were ranked sixth in NJCAA Division II. As a team they rank fifth in both digs (2,049) and digs per set (22.52). Kara Kentner is seventh in hitting percentage with .417, 16th in kills with 284 and 16th in points (345). Autumn Seiler is 18th in kills (282), 15th in total attacks with 775 and 21st in points with 332.

October 8, 2012
Cyclones post perfect record in Harper Tourney
Not only did Moraine Valley take the Harper Invitational Tournament on Oct. 6, but broke its college record from 2010 for consecutive wins in a season (25) with a 27th victory.

In the first match, the Cyclones easily handled Elgin Community College: 25-7, 25-12, 25-16. Autumn Seiler ran the show with 14 kills, no errors of 23 swings for an amazing .608 kill percentage. Kara Kentner added eight kills, two blocks and four service aces. Stephanie Dagenais and Gina Ryan were equally hot with seven kills each with only one error in 22 swings between them. As a team, they had 47 kills of 87 swings with just seven errors for a team kill percentage of .459, a difficult feat to defend. The Spartans didn’t have a chance to get their offense going in this first match of the day.

Having not been tested of late, the Cyclones had asked for a little more competition and they got what they asked for in the match with Harper College. Moraine Valley was pushed to five sets, being the ultimate victor: 25-20, 25-21, 15-25, 18-25, 15-12. With only 15 minutes between the Elgin match, the Cyclones faced a rested Harper team. Although Moraine Valley was fairly successful in the first two sets, Harper made some adjustments and tipped and served short balls to gain the advantage and keyed in on Cyclones hitters to block attack tendencies. “After dropping the third and fourth set, the Cyclones regrouped, regained confidence and headed back on the court as the team that had gotten this far in the season,” said coach Gloria Coughlin. “I told them this was a character building opportunity, and I wanted character the size of Texas.” Of the 15 points needed to get the win in the fifth set, Moraine Valley hit for 10 kills, blocked for three more and forced Harper into three errors. Kentner led the team with 16 kills, 16 digs and 18 assists with Ryan right behind her with 15 kills, two blocks, 19 digs, and excellent passing. Seiler added 12 kills, three blocks and 18 digs while Colleen Gardner was her normal self in the back court passing 28 serves and digging 36 attacks. Joanna Curtis set a balanced offense with 32 assists plus two aces in her 30 service attempts.

McHenry County College had a big win over top ranked Rock Valley College to win their pool and meet the Cyclones in the championship match. Moraine Valley had little problem with the Scots, defeating them in straight sets: 25-13, 25-17,25-21. Seiler was the top hitter in this match with 13 kills while Kentner added 10 kills along with eight digs and nine assists. Katlyn Beckow protected the net with four blocks and seven kills while Jane Tunney added five kills and a block. Curtis dished out 24 assists and scored on two service aces.

For their outstanding play, several players were named to the All-Tournament Team including Kentner, Seiler, Ryan, and Gardner.

October 5, 2012
Cyclones put Morton down
The Cyclones took down another conference rival on Oct. 4 with Morton College becoming the latest victim in three swift sets: 25-10, 25-9, 25-16.

Stephanie Dagenais had an outstanding night with a 1.0 hitting percentage, equivalent to a batter hitting 1,000. She hit 10 kills of 10 attempts and also added two blocks for kills. Not far behind her in the error free evening was Kara Kentner scoring on seven of her 10 attempts for points (.636 kill percentage) plus four blocks, 17 assists and six digs. Autumn Seiler was a hot hitter as well with 10 kills and Gina Ryan added another six plus two blocks, an ace serve and 18 digs. Katlyn Beckow chipped in four kills, four blocks, three service aces, and three digs while Colleen Gardner received 19 serves and was tough on defense with 22 digs.

October 3, 2012
Killer Cyclones
The Cyclones knocked down another conference foe Oct. 2, earning a 23rd straight victory with three sets over McHenry County College: 25-13, 25-14, 25-12.

Autumn Seiler shone with 11 kills followed by a balanced offense of Stephanie Dagenais with seven kills, three blocks and an ace while both Gina Ryan and Kara Kentner added five kills each. Ryan chipped in 14 digs and Kentner assisted on 12 kills. Colleen Gardner had 20 digs for the night, and Joanna Curtis and Bridget Williams assisted on 13 and seven additional kills, respectively.

October 1, 2012
Still on top
The Cyclones are starting the month off right, maintaining a perfect record and adding two more wins Sept. 29 in a tri-match with Joliet Junior College and Lincoln College.

In the first match, Moraine Valley defeated Joliet: 25-22, 25-13, 25-12. Kara Kentner was solid with 14 kills, one error of 27 attempts, hitting .481 percent for kills. She also added three service aces, eight digs and 17 kill assists. Autumn Seiler added nine kills while Gina Ryan had another eight. Katlyn Beckow was big at the net in this match with seven kills in 10 swings. Joanna Curtis assisted on 20 kills and scored on five service aces.

After a break, the Cyclones defeated Lincoln College in three: 25-12, 25-18, 25-18. Once the Cyclones took the court, they were led by Seiler with 12 kills followed by Kentner with 10 kills, two aces, 14 digs, and 12 assists. Ryan was not only tough at the net with seven kills but spent a lot of time at the service line with 19 good serves and 19 digs. Curtis assisted on 23 kills and the middles—Stephanie Dagenais and Beckow—scored on six blocks and seven kills collectively.

September 28, 2012
Number 20 for Cyclones
If there was concern over which school would give the Cyclones their first loss, it was Harper College. But Moraine Valley topped this team too for their 20th consecutive win on Sept. 27: 25-20, 25-23, 25-13.

This was a big victory over a big team with a top level left side hitter that had good hits off the Cyclones defense. However, Moraine Valley had more offensive options and scored from all three positions in the front court. Autumn Seiler was the top hitter of the night with 10 kills while both Kara Kentner and Gina Ryan were right behind with nine kills each. Both middle hitters were productive as Stephanie Dagenais had eight kills and Katlyn Beckow scored on another five swings with two blocks. Ryan had a big passing night with 26 receptions and 20 digs while Colleen Gardner added 23 digs along with two kills and an ace serve. Assisting on kills tonight were Joanna Curtis with 23 while Kentner dished out 14 assists.

September 26, 2012
’Clones take Spartans in three
Capturing another Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference win over Waubonsee Community College on Sept. 25, the Cyclones continued their dominance on the court.

The Cyclones won in three thanks to another team effort: 25-10, 25-8, 25-23. Autumn Seiler led the team with 10 kills and two blocks with Kara Kentner just one kill behind her with no errors in 14 swings, hitting 64 percent for kills. Kentner added three blocks, two service aces, 11 digs, and 19 assists. Katlyn Beckow was strong at the net adding eight kills and three blocks while Gina Ryan and Colleen Gardner were huge in the back court with 20 and 36 digs, respectively. Ryan hit well last night with seven kills, as well as attacking from the service line with two aces of 19 good serves. Coming off the bench, Bridget Williams played a solid backcourt with an ace and three digs.

September 24, 2012
Cyclones top Kankakee Tri-Match
With the threat of revenge from Kankakee Community College and the strength of Goshen College JV, the Cyclones bested both teams in the Kankakee Tri-Match Sept. 22, improving their record to 18-0.

It only took three sets, but each was hard fought with Kankakee: 25-23, 25-20, 25-16. The Cyclones were prepared for Kankakee’s revenge after beating them in five sets earlier this month. Gina Ryan was on fire hitting for 17 kills of 28 swings, a .535 kill percentage. She also added a block, 21 digs and 13 good receptions. Kara Kentner was not far behind with 13 kills, three blocks, 21 digs, and 18 assists. Autumn Seiler helped out with nine kills. All three of these hitters were successful largely thanks to the middle hitters drawing the blockers to create some seams for pin hitters to swing for points. Katlyn Beckow and Stephanie Dagenais were tough at the net with five kills each and combined for five blocks. Joanna Curtis assisted on 29 kills while Colleen Gardner led the defense with 22 receptions and 17 digs.

In the second match, the Cyclones stayed hot and won in three over Goshen: 25-18, 25-23, 25-14. Ryan continued her hot hitting with 10 kills of 15 swings, three blocks and six digs. Kentner added seven kills and 13 assists while Beckow connected on six sets for kills. Seiler and Jane Tunney chipped in five kills each. The backcourt was solid as Gardner made 19 digs to give the setters ample chances to find their attackers. Curtis dished out 18 assists with Bridget Williams coming off the bench to set and assist on four kills.

September 21, 2012
Cyclones on a tear
It was another night of teamwork and hot hitting for the Cyclones as they continued an unbeaten streak Sept. 20, knocking down South Suburban College: 25-11, 25-20, 25-15.

As any NJCAA and conference player of the week would deliver, Kara Kentner continued her tear hitting error free with 10 kills of 14 swings, hitting a kill percentage of .714 on top of three ace serves, 10 digs and 13 kill assists. Her teammates helped out with 10 kills from Autumn Seiler and strong net play from middle blockers Stephanie Dagenais and Katlyn Beckow who added four kills and six blocks apiece. Joanna Curtis found the hot hitters with her 17 assists while Colleen Gardner delivered 17 digs and 15 tough serves. Gina Ryan scored from the service line three times and added 13 digs to keep the offense running smoothly.

September 19, 2012
Kentner named NJCAA and conference player of week
Freshman Kara Kentner was named NJCAA Division II and Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference player of the week, Sept. 9-16 for good work on the court. The right side hitter/setter had triple-doubles in all three Cyclones wins and totaled 11 sets, 39 kills, 33 digs, five blocks, and an ace, helping her team go 3-0 for the week. She averaged 3.54 kills, 3.00 digs and 5.18 assists per set on the week.

September 19, 2012
Cyclones finish off Spartans
The Cyclones torched Elgin Community College Sept. 18 in three quick sets: 25-11, 25-12, 25-10.

Autumn Seiler was hot on the court with 11 kills, 11 digs and an ace serve. Gina Ryan added five kills and 20 digs while Jane Tunney and Kara Kentner chipped in five kills apiece. Kentner also dished out 21 assists and scored on three blocks. Joanna Curtis assisted on 12 kills and Colleen Gardner passed 10 receptions and had 17 digs, two aces and three kills of her own in the effort.

September 17, 2012
Cyclones make statement in Tri-Match
A good team effort aided the continued Cyclones domination on Sept. 14 in the Tri-Match against College of DuPage and Oakton Community College. With two more wins Moraine Valley has won 14 straight.

Moraine Valley easily handled DuPage in the first match: 25-19, 25-13, 25-11. Kara Kentner was a monster in this match, hitting 52 percent of her attacks for kills, notching 12 kills of 21 swings with only one error. She added two blocks and 10 digs to her stats for that match. Helping her on offense was Stephanie Dagenais, Gina Ryan and Autumn Seiler, all with seven kills each. Colleen Gardner was big on defense with 20 good serve receptions and 30 digs. Joanna Curtis had 17 kill assists, 10 of those to Kentner.

After a short break, the Cyclones took on a fresh Oakton team that is always a big rival. This does not count as an official Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference match, but is a great preview for both teams to see what must be done before they meet again on Oct. 9. Despite some scouting and pressure by Oakton, the Cyclones came out on top: 25-14, 24-26, 16-25, 25-6, 15-9.

“Oakton always comes with everything they have in the arsenal and they have several big, strong players that challenged both our offense and defense as was evident in the five-set match,” said coach Gloria Coughlin.

After a quick Cyclones win in the first set, Oakton made some adjustments and Moraine Valley made some unnecessary errors at the end of the second set and came up short. Oakton then came out serving aggressively in the third set and forced the Cyclones into some poor hitting choices for a second loss. “What we have learned about our team is that we can regroup, recover and regain our composure to come out and take care of the ball at critical times,” Coughlin said.

Moraine Valley bounced back in the fourth set with 11 kills, zero errors, four service aces, and three blocks for 18 points while Oakton made five hitting errors and two serving errors to add seven points to a quick 25-point win for the Cyclones. “Momentum was definitely on our side and we once again took care of business in the fifth set to win the match,” Coughlin said.

Kentner continues to be the work horse as both hitter and setter with 16 kills in 35 attempts, three blocks, an ace, 13 digs, and 22 kill assists. Ryan brought her “A” game with nine kills, two aces, 12 perfect serve receptions, and 26 digs to allow the Cyclones to keep swinging at the net. Seiler added 12 kills while Jane Tunney was solid at the right pin with seven kills. Gardner made her typical strong impact in the backcourt as Libero with 26 receptions and 33 digs. As setter, Curtis did a solid job distributing sets to assist on 27 kills plus two aces.

September 12, 2012
Cyclones take care of Pioneers
The Cyclones continue to roll over the competition, earning another conference win on Sept. 11, this time a three-set match with Prairie State College: 25-19, 25-18, 25-16.

Autumn Seiler led the team offensively with 12 kills and a service ace. Kara Kentner was right behind her with 11 kills of her 21 swings. Stephanie Dagenais added eight kills while Gina Ryan chipped in another six along with three ace serves and 13 digs.

September 10, 2012
Cyclones win 11th straight
The Cyclones brought their winning streak to 11, tacking on their first Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference win this season on Sept. 6 against College of Lake County. Moraine Valley easily won in three sets: 25-8, 26-16, 25-12.

Autumn Seiler led the team with nine kills, three service aces and two blocks. Kara Kentner added seven kills along with five more from Stephanie Dagenais and four kills and 13 digs from Gina Ryan. Colleen Gardner helped out with two kills and an ace of her own to go with 20 digs.

“The first conference match win for the season is always a number one goal for us. Done,” coach Gloria Coughlin said.

The Cyclones also hit the top 10 in the NJCAA Division II polls on Sept. 5, ranking fourth nationally. Kentner is ranked fifth in hitting percentage with a .407.

September 6, 2012
Intense matchup doesn’t faze Cyclones
In one of their biggest and most intense matches this season, the Cyclones took on rival Kankakee Community College at home on Sept. 5 and squeaked out the win in five contested battles: 25-27, 19-25, 25-22, 25-21, 17-15.

“We knew it was going to be a battle and a battle it was! Kankakee is very good with three strong hitters and a feisty Libero that kept a lot of balls in play that we felt should have been kills for our hitters,” said coach Gloria Coughlin. “Our first home match of the season always brings a few butterflies that may have hung around for the first two sets, but then we shook them off and became more mentally engaged and took sets three and four from them. Everything came down to the fifth set which is only 15 points. Our goal was to race to eight points first, switch courts and have a strong finish.”

In that fifth set the Cyclones were down 12-14, one play away from defeat, but got two hard kills from Kara Kentner (Sandburg) and another from Autumn Seiler (Oak Forest) to go ahead 15-14. An aggressive serve by the Cyclones missed the court and let the Cavaliers back in for a moment. With the match on the line, Kankakee made two ball handling errors to end play in the Cyclones’ favor.

A huge team effort made this win possible. Seiler led the team with 18 kills followed by Kentner with 15. Gina Ryan (Oak Forest) added nine huge swings for kills and held up the backcourt with 23 digs and 22 serve receptions. Colleen Gardner (Mother McAuley) was a work horse in the back as well with 32 digs and 44 receptions. Stephanie Dagenais (Oak Forest) had a big night with nine kills and four service aces. Katlyn Beckow (Evergreen Park) added six kills and four blocks while Jane Tunney (Sandburg) contributed five more kills. Joanna Curtis (Sandburg) set a nice match distributing 35 kill assists along with Kentner’s 20 assists. “We go down to Kankakee for a rematch on Sept. 22, and I can’t wait,” Coughlin said.

September 3, 2012
Nothing but wins in tourney for Cyclones
Labor Day weekend was supposed to bring some challenging matches to the Cyclones’ plate, but the team made everything look easy with five wins at the Owens Community College Express Invitational in Toledo, Ohio.

Owens is the site of the 2012 NJCAA Championships this November, and 28 teams attended this event to get to know the venue. Each participating college chose the number of matches to play with the Cyclones winning all five and losing only one set all weekend.

The first test on Aug. 31 was against a tall and talented Kellogg Community College that had strong middle hitters who challenged the Cyclones defense. Moraine Valley’s ball handling skills gave them opportunities to take good swings and ultimately earn the win: 25-18, 25-19, 25-17. Kara Kentner (Sandburg) led the team with a perfect 12 kills in 25 attempts with no errors. Left-side hitters Autumn Seiler (Oak Forest) and Gina Ryan (Oak Forest) were tough with nine and eight kills, respectively, while middles Stephanie Dagenais (Oak Forest) and Katlyn Beckow (Evergreen Park) helped out with strong blocking and a shared eight kills. Libero Colleen Gardner (Mother McAuley) led the team with 23 digs, and setters Joanna Curtis (Sandburg) and Kentner assisted on 39 kills.

Lansing Community College was next up, looking shorter and weaker than in past seasons. The Cyclones quickly took advantage of that, winning in three sets: 25-10, 25-21, 25-12. Ryan led the team in kills with 10 and added four service aces and 12 digs to notch her second double-double of the season in kills/digs. Kentner added seven kills, an ace and 17 kill assists, Seiler added another six kills while Dagenais had five more kills along with her two blocks and an ace. Curtis distributed 20 sets that resulted in kills and added two more points from the service line.

Saturday morning, Sept. 1, pitted Moraine Valley against another big, strong Michigan team—Macomb Community College—with a 6-foot 3-inch left-side hitter and dangerous middle hitter. The Cyclones worked hard for every point in this match but came out on top in three straight: 25-21, 25-17, 25-18. Once again, Kentner led with 10 kills, three blocks, 14 digs and 20 kill assists for her third triple-double of the season in kills/digs/assists. Ryan added nine kills and eight digs, Dagenais contributed eight kills while Ryan, Seiler and Gardner passed 43 serves and notched 35 digs to give the Cyclones opportunities to swing at the net for 47 points. Curtis dished out 23 assists.

With only a 15-minute break between matches, the Cyclones had enough rest to take on a weaker Genesee Community College squad that was much larger in size and numbers than it was in strength and skills. Moraine Valley easily won: 25-5, 25-9, 25-17.

Three Cyclones hitters had double digit kills for the match. Seiler led with 17 kills, followed by Ryan with 16 and Kentner with 14 to go along with her seven service aces in 15 service attempts. Gardner also controlled the service line with 24 serves, including four aces. Melanie Gerhardt (Bremen) came off the bench and made an immediate impact with two kills and two blocks while Bridget Williams (Mount Assisi) dished out seven kill assists to go with her three kills and four digs.

The real test for the Cyclones came in their fifth and final match against Kalamazoo Valley Community College, a team that is always a national contender. This was a hard fought battle on both sides of the net with the Cyclones triumphing: 25-17, 10-25, 25-20, 25-22.

“On the trip home we reviewed the end of rally stats and found that in each of the sets we won, we worked a little harder at the end of each set to get the last few kills,” said coach Gloria Coughlin. In the first set, Moraine Valley was ahead from the start and didn’t let Kalamazoo get within three points. In the second set Kalamazoo came out with a vengeance, served aggressively and caught the Cyclones off guard. “We didn’t pass their serves well enough to give our hitters good swings. Kalamazoo is too good a team to let that happen without making us pay for it, thus the 10-25 pasting,” Coughlin said. Set three got the Cyclones back on track with neither team leading by more than three points. Moraine Valley ended the 18-18 tie with two service aces, two kills and forced Kalamazoo into a service error and a hitting error. The fourth set was as exhausting as it was invigorating as neither team had more than a two-point lead that was exchanged until the 20-20 point. “We forced them into a hitting error then hit for two kills, blocked for kill, and Kentner blasted the last set to the floor between two big blockers to win the match. It was an awesome ending to an awesome weekend,” Coughlin said.

August 27, 2012
Cyclones have clean sweep in COD tourney
The opponents may have threatened with their height at the College of DuPage Tournament Aug. 24-25, but Moraine Valley shut them all down, winning every match to open the season.

The Cyclones started well with a solid victory over a tall and talented Lincoln College: 25-16, 25-12, 25-20. The freshmen didn’t waste any time making an offensive impact with Stephanie Dagenais (Oak Forest) leading the team with 14 kills, Autumn Seiler (Oak Forest) adding 12 and Kara Kentner (Sandburg) swinging for 10 more kills and notching 20 kill assists. Serve reception was strong thanks to Seiler leading the effort with 22 digs along with Colleen Gardner (Mother McAuley) adding 21, Kentner with 20 and Gina Ryan (Oak Forest) with 19. Setter Joanna Curtis (Sandburg) distributed 32 kill assists and Kentner added 20 more.

Kentner led the team in the Cyclones’ second match with Ancilla College: 25-11, 25-20, 25-16. She had 10 kills, three blocks, an ace serve, and 13 assists. Seiler added seven kills and an ace along with 12 digs. Dagenais and Ryan both chipped in five kills while Ryan helped out with 13 good receptions and 17 digs. Gardner added four points on service aces and led the defensive stat with 22 digs. Curtis assisted in 15 kills.

For their second day of matches, the Cyclones were pitted against Harper College, coming out with another big win: 25-15, 25-18, 25-22. Although the Cyclones are a little taller than last season, Harper still towered over Moraine Valley with several front row players. “We needed everything we could muster in this semi-final match against an annual regional foe. It took a balanced offensive game to keep Harper at bay,” said coach Gloria Coughlin. Ryan led with nine kills and Katlyn Beckow (Evergreen Park/Lake Forest College), Kentner and Seiler each added eight kills. Dagenais pitched in five kills while Jane Tunney (Sandburg) scored on four attacks. The middles were tough at the net with Dagenais blocking three hits for points and Beckow stopping two. Gardner was fierce in the backcourt with 31 digs and 23 serve receptions. Ryan and Seiler added accuracy to the service reception and between them dug 35 more attacks to keep the ball in play and allow the Cyclones to swing 119 times in the match as a team. Curtis dished out 30 kill assists along with 13 from Kentner.

In the championship match, the Cyclones faced yet another big, tall and well-coached team in Highland Community College. Solid ball handling allowed Moraine Valley many opportunities to run a balanced offense for the win: 25-19, 25-21, 25-20. Kentner led with 10 kills and was joined in the effort by Ryan with 10 more, Seiler with seven, Dagenais with five, and both Beckow and Tunney with four kills each. Curtis assisted for 22 of those kills and Kentner for 17. It was tough to score from the service line as Highland was a good serve reception team, but the Cyclones’ 42 receptions and 86 digs gave them more opportunities to swing and exploit holes in the Highland defense.

August 22, 2012
Cyclones looking strong in 2012
The 2012 Cyclones have all the makings of a successful season—athleticism, versatility on the court and experience—which bodes well for this team of mostly newcomers.

Moraine Valley lost several all-conference and all-region players from last year and return just one—Colleen Gardner (Mother McAuley)—from that squad which was one loss from advancing to the national championship for a second consecutive year. But Gardner is ready to lead a strong team to another 20-plus win season and try to recapture the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference title.

Gardner is moving from left side hitter, where she played last season, back to her comfort zone in the Libero position. She will direct the defensive side of the court and be one of three primary receivers of the opponents’ serves. Head coach Gloria Coughlin welcomes a group of talented athletes who she and long-time assistant coach Donna Zidek expect to make an immediate impact at the net, offensively.

First year players Kara Kentner (Sandburg), Joanna Curtis (Sandburg), Jane Tunney (Sandburg), and Bridget Williams (Mount Assisi) will be a good balance on the right side of the court to Gina Ryan (Oak Forest) and Autumn Seiler (Oak Forest) on the left side. Add to that mix newcomers Stephanie Dagenais (Oak Forest), Katlyn Beckow (Evergreen Park/Lake Forest College) and Melanie Gerhardt (Bremen) on the middle attack for a good number of options in the team’s repertoire.

“We are very athletic this year and will have the ability to move players into different positions depending on the opponents. That will make scouting us a difficult task and allow our team to use several different offensive and defensive systems,” Coughlin said. “More systems mean more to learn for these young players. However, each player brings in high school and club experience, so we are looking forward to utilizing their abilities and knowledge of the game to offer a very exciting season of volleyball.”

The Cyclones start the season at the College of DuPage Invitational Tournament August 25 and 26 before heading to a tough tournament at Owens Community College in Ohio during Labor Day weekend. In Ohio, Moraine Valley will be tested with top teams from around the country who all want to play at the site of this year’s NJCAA Championship in November. On Sept. 6 conference play begins with a match against College of Lake County.

“This season will be both entertaining and exciting. We welcome our fans back, welcome new fans and invite all the student body and faculty to join us for some fun in the gym,” Coughlin said.

The first Cyclones home game is Sept. 5 at 6 p.m. against rival Kankakee Community College.