April 30, 2012
Cyclones claim region crown, headed to nationals
Once again Moraine Valley reigns as the champion. Roughly a week after winning the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference championship, the Cyclones continued an undefeated streak into the NJCAA Region IV Tournament, April 26-28, and claimed the region crown as well as earning a berth to the national tournament in Texas, May 13-18.
The Cyclones took first place by four points over College of DuPage thanks to some big victories. Brothers Josh and Nate Leininger (Lincoln-Way Central) won first doubles while Dale Van Witzenberg (Shepard) took fourth singles and Josh Rodig (Lincoln-Way Central) won fifth singles in an important match. Rodig had the match to seal the win. In his final match, Rodig lost the first set and was losing the second before fighting back and winning five straight games to take the second set. He then won the tie breaker 11-9. “It was crazy and was the match to watch. It was awesome,” said coach Bill Finn. “Rodig was out of his mind. It was a huge win for us.”
All three doubles players as well as the singles players won at least one point in the first round on April 26, which helped the cause, Finn said. With four returning players from the team last year, who competed in nationals in 2011, the Cyclones were a force to be reckoned with. Assistant coach Doug Fritz also was instrumental in guiding the players to the victories.
The team heads to Plano, Texas, on May 12 for the national competition.
April 24, 2012
April 17, 2012
It wasn’t their best performance on the court to date, but the Cyclones prevailed April 16 with a narrow 5-4 win over Oakton Community College. Some lucky shots and excellent matches by Josh Leininger (Lincoln-Way Central) and doubles players Kevin Davenport (Lincoln-Way Central) and Josh Rodig (Lincoln-Way Central) sealed the deal.
April 14, 2012
The Cyclones earned their sixth straight win on April 13, with an 8-1 victory over Illinois Valley Community College. Josh Leininger (Lincoln-Way Central), Dale Van Witzenberg (Shepard) and Juan De La Parra (Colombia) each had strong performances on the court.
April 10, 2012
Even with their number one player out due to illness and having to play in windy, cooler conditions,
the Cyclones played solid tennis on April 9 with a 7-2 win over College of Lake County.
April 6, 2012
The Cyclones continue to outplay opponents, earning another 9-0 win over Elgin Community College on April 5.
April 4, 2012
In their first three matches of the season, the Cyclones are setting the tone, winning three straight.
*NJCAA Region IV Champions (clinched April 28)
All-Region IV team:
Josh and Nate Leininger (Lincoln-Way Central),
Josh Rodig (Lincoln-Way Central), Dale Van Witzenberg (Shepard)
* Denotes Conference Game
Interested in joining the men's tennis team? Then head to tryouts on Monday,
March 19 at 3 p.m. on the tennis courts located on the west side of campus next
to Building C. For more information contact coach Bill Finn at (708) 974-5213 or
For the seventh straight year, the Cyclones men's tennis team ended their season at the NJCAA championship, a fitting end for the 2011 Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference champs.
The Cyclones qualified for nationals, held May 15-20, after placing a close second in the NJCAA Region IV tournament at the end of April, one of Moraine Valley's strongest performances. The national competition is a daunting contest, with many international players hitting the courts. In the end, the Cyclones finished 27th, with freshman Mike Giordano (Oak Lawn) getting the lone point after winning a match in fifth singles.
"We played our best, but competition was tough. Mike played really well for us out there," said coach Bill Finn.
Overall, the Cyclones turned in an outstanding season, going 8-1 overall and 6-0 in the conference, claiming their fourth conference title. The team last topped the conference in 2008. For their hard work, several key players were recognized. Giordano, Terrence Gamboa (Reavis), Josh Leininger (Lincoln-Way Central), and Dale Van Witzenberg (Shepard) were named to the All-Region IV and All-Conference teams. Alex Zavala (Oak Lawn) was named to the All-Conference team and Finn was Conference Coach of the Year.
"It was awesome to be the conference champs again. It was a great year. We were competitive, had solid tennis players on the team, were undefeated in conference, and it was fun," Finn said.
Moraine Valley bids farewell to three sophomores-Gamboa, Zavala and Pete Danos (Richards)-who each contributed to the team's success these past two years. Fortunately, a good core of the freshmen is returning to continue the men's tennis dynasty.
May 4, 2011
For the seventh consecutive year as a program at Moraine Valley, the men's tennis team has again qualified for the NJCAA championship, to be held May 15-20 in Dallas, Texas, after placing second in the NJCAA Region IV tournament, April 28-30.
The Cyclones were a mere three points away from first place in the tournament, which occurred on their home courts. The Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference champs played well in a talented field with Mike Giordano (Oak Lawn) winning fifth singles and then teaming with Dale Van Witzenberg (Shepard) to win third doubles. Terrence Gamboa (Reavis) and Josh Leininger (Lincoln-Way Central) took second doubles.
As always, the Cyclones aimed to qualify for the national tournament but still wanted to become Region IV champs as well. The team had a chance to take first, but top player, Leininger, lost his first match. Play on Friday was tight between all the teams, but once Moraine Valley's doubles teams took the courts, they distanced themselves from the field.
"The team played really well and up to their potential. This was a very competitive match, especially with DuPage (Region IV tournament winner)," said coach Bill Finn. "DuPage had some star players, but we toughed it out. We beat them in second and third doubles, which we lost to them during the regular season. I'm really proud of the team."
It's been a
couple years since the Cyclones have topped the Illinois Skyway Collegiate
Conference, but they were back in form April 21 when they clinched the
conference championship with a 7-2 win over College of Lake County. Moraine
Valley finished their regular season with an 8-1 record and 6-0 conference
The Cyclones suffered their first loss of the season April 19. Nasty weather once again forced the matches to an indoor court where Moraine Valley was outplayed 4-5 by College of DuPage.
There were big wins for Alex Zavala (Oak Lawn), Terrence Gamboa (Reavis), Mike Giordano (Oak Lawn), and Josh Leininger (Lincoln-Way Central) in singles. In the doubles matches Moraine Valley struggled and lost every match. "It was disappointing. We just didn't get it done in a match of unbeatens," said coach Bill Finn.
The Cyclones moved to a 7-0 season record and remain undefeated in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference after another big win April 14. McHenry County College was Moraine Valley's latest victim.
Despite cold and windy conditions the Cyclones were able to win 7-2. Josh Rodig (Lincoln-Way Central) stepped up and won a huge third singles match.
The Cyclones are on a roll, notching their sixth consecutive win April 12- this last one against Oakton Community College, 7-2.
There were big wins by freshmen Mike Giordano (Oak Lawn) and Dale Van Witzenberg (Shepard), and sophomore Alex Zavala (Oak Lawn), who each won 6-0, 6-2.
There are only three regular season matches left to play before the national qualifying tournament, April 28-30. College of DuPage looks like the team to beat based on common scores, and the Cyclones match up against them Tuesday.
The Cyclones continued their undefeated season over the weekend with an 8-1 win over Elgin Community College April 8 and then an identical victory over a weak Illinois Valley Community College team on April 9.
"We played our best match we could possibly play against Elgin, and we had all our players, so that helped," said coach Bill Finn. "I'm really happy with our four, five and six singles players- Dale Van Witzenberg (Shepard), Mike Giordano (Oak Lawn) and Alex Zavala (Oak Lawn). Those three are undefeated this season and have been the backbone of the team so far."
Moraine Valley is 5-0, but has tough matches coming up this week. With some top players out due to injury or educational obligations, the team is ready to test their resilience.
With strength on their side, the Cyclones handily defeated Sauk Valley Community College on April 6, in a sound 8-1 win. With top players Terrence Gamboa (Reavis) and Pete Danos (Richards) missing, freshmen Dale Van Witzenberg (Shepard), who plays fourth singles, and Josh Rodig (Lincoln-Way Central), at third singles, were forced into the singles lineup and each won their matches.
The Cyclones had to play indoors April 4 due to poor weather, but were still able to grab a 5-4 win over Prairie State College. Strong singles play by Terrence Gamboa (Reavis), Josh Leininger (Lincoln-Way Central), Alex Zavala (Oak Lawn), and Mike Giordano (Oak Lawn) helped propel Moraine Valley to victory.
In their first match this season, the Cyclones swung to a 7-2 win March 28 over Waubonsee Community College.
Josh Leininger (Lincoln-Way Central), Pete Danos (Richards), Mike Giordano (Oak Lawn), Dale Van Witzenberg (Shepard), and Alex Zavala (Oak Lawn) all played well at Waubonsee. Coach Bill Finn still forecasts a great season, and stays guarded about how some of the other colleges will match up.
Men's tennis coach Bill Finn has a tough job this season. With nine talented tennis players, which six will capture the top spots? That's the biggest question this year for a team where nearly every athlete was number one at their respective high school.
"I'm very excited for this season. All of them can play, and it'll be a dogfight to see who will battle for the top spots," Finn said. "We have a deep team with relatively equal playing ability. The bulk of the lineup will be much better than what we've had the past few years."
Last year's squad placed second in the NJCAA Region IV state tournament, qualifying them for nationals. Some key returners from that group will be hitting the courts again, including last season's number one player Terrence Gamboa (Reavis), who is expected to be on top once more. The remaining sophomores consist of Peter Danos (Richards), who has improved his skills; Alex Zavala (Oak Lawn), who is very competitive and kicked up his game at the end of last season; and Antonio Mendez (Eisenhower), who scored critical points in the 2010 regional competition that helped the team advance to nationals.
A good core group of recruits will step up the level of play for the Cyclones in 2011. The newcomers include Michael Giordano (Oak Lawn), Rashun Jones (Thornton Fractional North), Dale Van Witzenberg (Shepard), and Lincoln-Way Central teammates Josh Leininger and Josh Rodig.
With a talented team, the question now remains, what do the other colleges have in store? "We just don't know what the other schools are doing. But it'll be very a competitive and fun year," Finn said.
Skyway Collegiate Conference Champions (clinched April 21)
* Denotes Conference Game
For their sixth consecutive season the Cyclones men's tennis team competed at the NJCAA Division I tournament May 9-14, this time finishing in 24th place.
"Finishing 24th doesn't tell the whole story because there are at least a hundred schools that competed to qualify for nationals," said coach Bill Finn. "We played at least as well as we have all year, won some games and looked decent."
The entire team was at the competition, held in Plano, Texas, but six athletes played. Running the courts in humid 80-degree weather, top players and Reavis grads Terrence Gamboa and Marco Reynoso played well enough to contend in the consolation semi-finals, earning points for the team. Cyclones tennis players were in awe of the talent in Texas, and gained solid experience for next year, Finn said.
Looking ahead, Finn expects Gamboa to return along with Alex Zavala (Oak Lawn), Pete Danos (Richards) and Tony Mendez (Eisenhower). Finn has again recruited top players from area high schools and predicts a good team, possibly better than this year.
Call them a dynasty because the men's tennis team is off to the NJCAA tournament for their sixth consecutive year after placing second in the NJCAA Region IV state tournament the weekend of April 23-24.
There was a team effort, including some breakout matches that earned key points for the Cyclones, who finished one point ahead of Oakton Community College. Marco Reynoso (Reavis) was third singles champion, and also ended his season with a nod to the All-Region IV first team and All-Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference first team. Sophomore Justin Marquardt (Reavis) was named to the All-Conference second team. The unsung hero for the Cyclones was Antonio Mendez (Eisenhower) who stepped up his game and earned points in his singles and doubles matches.
"Everyone brought their A-game in the tournament. No other team could say that every guy on their team won at least one match for a point. That was huge for us," said coach Bill Finn.
The regular season had some ups and downs for the Cyclones, who finished 6-2 overall and 4-2 in the conference. There are high standards for this team- four consecutive regional titles and two runner-up spots the past two years. According to Finn, the competition is getting stronger.
"When the regular season ended, we were playing at
least fourth best in the region. I knew we had good athletes on the team, but we
struggled mid-season. We changed the lineup a little bit and ended how we
anticipated," Finn said. "It was a good season, and we're excited to go to
nationals. It'll be tough in nationals, but a great experience for these guys to
represent our region. They'll be competing against the best junior college
tennis players in the country."
This year's conference is very competitive and the Cyclones needed this win to stay close to the top teams. The number five player Alex Zavala (Oak Lawn) and number six player Tony Mendez (Eisenhower) each had big wins in their singles matches. They also won together at doubles.
Only two players could grab wins for the Cyclones in their 7-2 loss to Oakton April 13.
Reavis grads Justin Marquardt and Marco Reynoso were the sole winners in their singles matches. "We faced a very good team, but not a great team," said coach Bill Finn. "As a team we did not compete to win this match. We were very flat and timid and made a ton of unforced errors. We led at each position at one point or another, but just didn't have the heart to finish off matches and win them."
In their first match up this season, the Cyclones overpowered Prairie State College 7-2 on March 23. Terrence Gamboa (Reavis), Peter Danos (Richards) and Alex Zavala (Oak Lawn) each had strong singles wins. Danos and Marco Reynoso (Reavis) had an exceptional win in their doubles match.
With three of the top tennis players from area high schools, some experienced recruits and an All-Region returning player, the 2010 team is looking to top its competition again this season.
In 2009 the consistently talented Cyclones finished in second place in the Region IV tournament earning a berth to the NJCAA national championship where they have competed the last few years. This year they expect nothing less.
"We have an unbelievable group, and I think we'll be the top team again. We should be fighting for first place in the conference," said coach Bill Finn. "Last year was the only year we didn't win the Region IV title, but looking at the team the first week of practice, I know we'll be good."
Sophomore and team captain Justin Marquardt (Reavis) is the lone returner, bringing with him the skills from an undefeated record in the region last year and nod to the 2009 All-Region second team. He looks to be solid as the number two player, Finn said. Two additional top players on the team are also the oldest at 25. Both Terrence Gamboa and Marco Reynoso, both from Reavis, are expected to bring their maturity and skills to the court. Gamboa should be the team's number one player while Reynoso is third. Freshmen Peter Danos (Richards), Antonio Mendez (Eisenhower) and Alex Zavala (Oak Lawn) were each the top player at their high schools and are all now Cyclones. Rounding out the bunch are Eisenhower grads Ahmed Noamany, Elias Rangel and Ricardo Rodriguez.
"The team looks pretty good. Who knows what the other schools are doing, but I'm very optimistic about our season," Finn said.
All-Region IV first team: Marco Reynoso
* Denotes Conference Game
In what was termed a rebuilding year, Moraine Valley's men's tennis team finished in second place in the Region IV tournament on April 25, and subsequently earned a trip to the NJCAA national championship tournament held May 10-15 in Texas.
The Cyclones culminated their season at the nationals where competition was fierce. The team played their best for a 21st place finish. Even though the team faced stiff competition, they stayed in each game battling with top ranked players.
The team ended the season with an overall 5-2 record and 3-2 conference record. Co-captain Erick Dobrzynski earned All-Region first team honors while freshman Justin Marquardt was selected to the All-Region second team. Dobrzynski and co-captain Will Cundy were given the nod for All-Region second team doubles.
"It was a very successful season because it was a rebuilding year. We improved every match, qualified for finals and were competitive at finals. Hundreds of teams were at home because they didn't qualify and we did," said head coach Bill Finn. "Cundy and Dobrzynski were the best captains I've had, they were unbelievable. It was like having assistant coaches. They were great leaders for the freshman guys."
Cundy and Dobrzynski are transferring to four-year universities where they intend to continue playing tennis.
All-Region IV first team: Erick Dobrzynski
* Denotes Conference Game
Men's Tennis Team
Heads to National Tournament after winning Region IV State Tournament
2008 Season Preview
"We have won three straight Region IV state titles," says Coach Bill Finn, "but we lost a lot of great players and leadership to graduation. (Tony Giordano, Mike Wojnarowski, Jerry Thor, and Alvin Baloun). We will be counting heavily on returning National Semifinalist Jorden Helstern (Oak Lawn) and National Quarterfinalist Matt Tanulanond (Andrew) to lead this very young and inexperienced team."
The men's tennis program, coached by Finn since its inception four years ago, has been a force to be reckoned with in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference, where the Cyclones have won or shared the past two conference titles, and in Region IV, where it has dominated the past three years. To continue that domination, the team will have to rely on newcomers. "Our top two freshman recruits are Will Cundy (Thornton Fractional South) and Erick Dobrzynski (Argo), and I expect them to be very competitive in the middle of the lineup," said Finn, who serves as the college's Athletics director. "The fate of this team, however, may lie in the three unknowns- our walk-ons Dan Hicks (Richards), Damian Hahn (Reavis) and Bill Drzewiecki (Stagg)."
has received Region IV coach of the year honors the past three seasons, is
optimistic that his young team may very well come of age at the right time.
"This team is very dedicated and a lot of fun to be around. If we can get are
eyes on the prize and be more intense during matches, we'll have a chance to
place again in the Region Finals," he said.
All-Region IV team: Jorden Helstern (Oak
Lawn), Matt Tanulanond (Andrew) and Will Cundy (Thornton Fractional South)
Region IV Champions;