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

Women's Volleyball

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.”