October 14, 2013
Cyclones headed to nationals for sixth time
They’re going to Texas again. The Cyclones clinched a berth to the national
tournament in May after finishing second at the NJCAA Region IV championships on their home
courts over two days of action, Oct. 11-12. This is the team’s sixth time
qualifying for nationals.
They set the tone early. Every Cyclone worked hard for two days, or about 12 hours total, with eight out of nine positions winning first-round matches. Only the first doubles team was knocked out in the first round after a tough, long three-set match. In the end, two Cyclones finished first, earning a nod to the All-Region team. At fourth singles, Claudia Maka earned a come-from-behind third set fight against a player she lost to during the season, and Tricia Poremba (sixth singles), a fierce player all year, continued her unbeaten streak with another victory.
Second place medals went to Alexa Armon (third singles), who made her opponent work for every point, and Lindsey Walker (fifth singles), who played her best tennis of the season, losing a close 6-4, 6-4 match. Second doubles—Maka and Kelley Grzych—and third doubles—Walker and Poremba— came through with third place victories. Liz Dominguez (first singles) and Grzych (second singles) finished fourth after some tough battles.
The matches overall were tight from day one. There was an aggressive race for the top three positions primarily between the Cyclones, Elgin Community College and Illinois Valley Community College. After the first day, the Cyclones were tied for second with Illinois Valley. Some clutch match play from Maka, Poremba and Walker clinched the team victory.
“I cannot be more proud of each and every one of my girls throughout this season. From day one they worked their butts off, and I was not easy on them. To be able to go back to the national tournament—this time as a coach—absolutely means the world to me,” said head coach Nicole Selvaggio. “This was a team effort. Seeing it all come together when it counted, well, words cannot describe how amazing that felt, not only for me but also for all of us. I know what to expect at the national level. It's not going to be easy competition. However, we are resilient and excited for our chance to be a part of and play against the nation's best.”
During the year, Armon and Poremba also earned nods to the All-Conference team for helping their squad secure a 7-1 overall and 4-1 conference record. The Cyclones were nearly perfect until the last match of the season.
The Cyclones have until May before they compete in Tyler, Texas.
October 7, 2013
Tough first loss for ’Clones; now for regionals
All good things must come to an end. It’s not quite the finale for the Cyclones,
but their undefeated run in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference was halted
by a competitive Elgin Community College squad on Oct. 4. Both teams were
undefeated and needed the win to grab the conference championship. Although
Moraine Valley took this 6-3 loss, they have a chance to make amends in the
NJCAA Region IV tournament next weekend.
Both teams battled through each match—the last regular season game. Alexa Armon won at third singles and Tricia Poremba won at sixth singles solidifying their unbeaten streaks all season and earning them each a nod to the All-Conference team. Kelley Grzych also had a strong win at second singles.
“Taking second in the very competitive conference is nothing for us to shake our heads about. Do I think we could have won? Absolutely. We had the win in our hands. This loss does not reflect how close the scores were,” said head coach Nicole Selvaggio. “It is what it is. We got our first and only loss out of the way now before the big region tournament on Friday. We are still in great shape for that. I think this loss will make my girls work harder for the win at regionals and appreciate it more. Our focus is on the big prize— nationals.”
September 30, 2013
Lucky seven for ’Clones
Lucky number seven. The Cyclones won their seventh straight and maintained their
perfect record with a 6-3 victory over Illinois Valley Community College on
Moraine Valley won five out of six positions in singles including Liz Dominguez (first singles), Alexa Armon (third singles), Claudia Maka (fourth singles), Lindsey Walker (fifth singles), and Tricia Poremba (sixth singles). Third doubles—Walker and Poremba—had one of their strongest matches of the season and got a great win for the team. Armon, team captain, played tremendous in her singles match, and Walker also played well in both singles and doubles.
“Our entire team was pumped and really supported each other throughout every match play. It was a great victory for us,” said head coach Nicole Selvaggio. “I am very happy with these results. We keep getting stronger and stronger, both individually and as a team. I am confident that our best tennis is still yet to come.”
September 27, 2013
’Clones shut out Oakton
It’s nice to win, and they keep coming. Moraine Valley tallied their sixth
straight win this season with a 9-0 shutout over Oakton Community College at
home on Sept. 26.
Liz Dominguez was solid at number one singles, as was Kelley Grzych at second singles. First doubles team Dominguez and Alexa Armon had a convincing 8-1 victory, and are hitting their volleys with more confidence. A good team effort contributed to a continued undefeated season for the Cyclones.
“I'm proud of the girls for another great win. I am feeling good about how practice is coming along. I'm hoping we can keep up the positive energy and dominating wins as we get closer to the regional tournament,” said head coach Nicole Selvaggio.
September 23, 2013
Cyclones edge out Sauk Valley
Winning is the name of the game this season, but the Cyclones’ latest
victory was too close for comfort. Moraine Valley won 5-4 at home on Sept. 21
against Sauk Valley Community College, and not without a fight.
Liz Dominguez (first singles), Alexa Armon (third singles), Claudia Maka (fourth singles), and Tricia Poremba (sixth singles) all played well. Poremba played her best match of the season. Second doubles—Maka and Kelley Grzych—just dominated on the court. They were unstoppable at the net, which helped clinch the team win.
“We are still undefeated, so I am very pleased with that. However, we are getting down to the wire. Regionals are a couple short weeks away, and my girls are going to continue to step it up big time at practice. We are going to take the rest of this season one practice and one game at a time,” said head coach Nicole Selvaggio.
September 20, 2013
Cyclones maintain perfection
A dominating Cyclone squad continued rolling through teams including their
most recent victim, McHenry County College. Moraine Valley controlled the
meeting on Sept. 19 in an 8-1 win to maintain an unblemished record.
All three doubles matches fought hard for solid victories. Liz Dominguez (first singles), Alexa Armon (third singles), Claudia Maka (fourth singles), Lindsey Walker (fifth singles), and Tricia Poremba (sixth singles) all sailed through their singles matches.
“We are definitely a force to be reckoned with,” said head coach Nicole Selvaggio. “I am very pleased with the girls' continuous fight. We are looking forward to another good match at this Saturday's home game.”
September 16, 2013
Cyclones take care of Lancers
The Cyclones continued their tear Sept. 13 with a 9-0 killing of College of
Liz Dominguez and Alexa Armon had solid wins at first doubles. However, the real excitement came from Kelley Grzych at second singles. This was the first time she ever played singles and epitomized the team’s "fight like hell for every point" mantra. She lost the first set in a close tie break 7-6 (7-5), but regrouped to win the second set 6-4. The decisive third set came down to a super-tiebreaker, where the first player to 10 wins. Grzych was down 1-5 and then the fight kicked in before she won 10-6.
“Most girls would have given up mentally after losing such a close first set, but Kelley fought,” said head coach Nicole Selvaggio. “Seeing that comeback was an unbelievable feeling. I am so proud of Kelley and all the girls. Their mental game is becoming more solid by the day.”
September 12, 2013
Cyclones take care of Chiefs
Torrential rains and lightning on Sept. 11 were only temporary delays
to a second win for the Cyclones as they fought for the 6-3 victory over
Waubonsee Community College.
Moraine Valley found their groove before the rain. After a 30-minute delay they were back out, getting nine "bagels" (winning a set 6-0) out of 18 sets. Alexa Armon (3rd singles), Claudia Maka (4th singles), Lindsey Walker (fifth singles), and Tricia Poremba (sixth singles) each won at least one bagel and played exceptionally well in their matches. Second doubles, Kelley Grzych and Maka, and third doubles, Walker and Poremba, also were dominant, crushing their overheads and volleys with confidence.
“This first away and conference win is absolutely huge. I’m glad to see the marked improvement and continuous fight in my players,” said coach Nicole Selvaggio. “We will continue to work hard and put forth the 200 percent effort level into practice because it’s evident that it’s all starting to pay off when it counts.”
September 9, 2013
Cyclones shine in first outing
After much anticipation, the women’s tennis team finally played their first match of the season and made their voice heard loud and clear—they’re not messing around in 2013. In a dominating performance in their home opener, the Cyclones won 8-1 over College of DuPage, losing one singles match (second singles).
With a crowd of spectators, the Cyclones’ hard work and effort at practices shone through in this win. Liz Dominguez set the tone by winning her match at first singles. The real thriller was team captain, Alexa Armon, at third singles. Her match went into three sets, but she stayed mentally strong and came back to win in a close tie-breaker, 12-10. That match clinched the team win because at that point the Cyclones had won only four of the singles positions. It would have come down to doubles if Armon lost. Claudia Maka (fourth singles), Lindsey Walker (fifth singles) and Tricia Poremba (sixth singles) all won very convincingly. All three doubles teams played strong as well.
“It feels absolutely amazing to get this first win under our belts. I believe today's match will set the tone for the rest of the season. The energy was unbelievable. The girls really came together and supported each other. Today, they proved that tennis should no longer be considered an ‘individual sport.’ I have never seen such camaraderie on a tennis team in all of my experience in the tennis world,” said coach Nicole Selvaggio. “We are not going to let this win make us over-confident. I know what is ahead. I will continue to prepare my girls from here. It's just nice to see that they really are taking to my coaching.”
August 26, 2013
Top former Cyclone takes the helm, set to lead talented squad
With a former standout player coaching the team and some returnees with the 2012 NJCAA Region IV and Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference championships under their belts as well as experience competing at nationals, this year’s tennis squad has good momentum for 2013.
The Cyclones went undefeated in 2012 bringing home championships and a number of individual awards. Head coach Bill Finn stepped down and hired his top player, Nicole Selvaggio, after she completed her two years at Moraine Valley, as his replacement. Selvaggio was a Region IV and Skyway Conference Player of the Year for two consecutive years in addition to playing at nationals twice. Although she won’t be competing, she has some players returning and strong recruits that intend to fight for wins this season.
All-Region and All-Conference player Alexandra Armon (Andrew) is back and taking a leadership role. She also brings her nationals experience to a youthful squad. Joining them are Claudia Maka (Oak Lawn), Elizabeth Dominguez (Eisenhower), Kelley Grzych (Reavis), Tricia Poremba (Main), Lindsey Walker (Andrew), and Attah Bahri (Shepard).
It’s a different perspective going from a player to a coach, but Selvaggio aims to share her secrets to success on the court as well as her mantra for the season—“heart, integrity and grace.” She’s trying to instill sportsmanship, academic integrity and a “fight like hell for every point” attitude in her players. So far in practice, that’s what they embody. With a 110 percent effort, Selvaggio knows that the results will show.
“I’m used to winning so I want to keep that up. I know what it takes. I want to come in first. I want that (championship) banner in the gym. They all have a great attitude, and they’re picking up on things that benefited me when I was a player,” Selvaggio said. “If they do their best and fight for every point, I’ll be happy.”
The Cyclones open their season at home on Sept. 6 against College of DuPage.