The Moraine Valley Community College women’s tennis team culminated their season after a long winter break at the NJCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championship in Tyler, Texas, May 4-6.

In October, the Cyclones finished second in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference as well as in NJCAA Region 4. The region champs – Allyson English (Oak Forest) at No. 3 singles; English and Maya Morris (Sandburg) at No. 2 doubles; and Izzy Slezakova (Stagg) and Victoria Maratea (Lincoln-Way West) at No. 1 double – all qualified to compete at nationals; however, the No. 1 doubles duo was unable to attend.

Freshmen English and Morris each competed in singles (Morris at No. 4) and doubles matches against some of the toughest competition they’ve faced. But if they learned anything, it’s that no matter the opponent, stay in every match.

Moraine Valley Community College women’s tennis players Maya Morris, left, and Allyson English competed at the national tournament this spring.

Moraine Valley Community College women’s tennis players Maya Morris, left, and Allyson English competed at the national tournament this spring.

“Nationals was a fantastic experience for the players to come and see high-level tennis. [Assistant] Coach [David] Souza and I are very proud of Maya and Ali. They came out and played their best tennis despite going against some of the top players in the nation. There have been upsets against some big talent, but anything can happen at nationals, so they learned to play to the end,” said Head Coach Matt Marusarz, finishing his third season leading the program.

English began competition on Saturday, May 4, against a tough challenger from Seward County Community College (Kansas). Despite her persistence, she lost 0-6, 0-6. Meanwhile, Morris faced a player from Paradise Valley Community College (Arizona), who is able to play outdoors all year. The first match was close, but Morris prevailed with a 6-4, 6-2 victory. The duo started their doubles match against an international pair from Iowa Central Community College. They were able to score some points, but still fell 1-6, 2-6.

The pair continued competition on Sunday, May 5, with Morris in the next round of singles action. She faced the No. 3 seed from host school Tyler Junior College (Texas) and lost 0-6, 0-6. In the consolation round, English came up with a big 8-6 victory over a player from Northwest Mississippi Community College. The pair faced Northwest Mississippi in the doubles consolation round but lost 1-8.

In continuing her run in the consolation quarterfinals on Monday, May 6, English went up against Coastal Alabama Community College and battled through a 2-8 loss.

“This ended a successful season. I’m looking forward to the two coming back next year along with Ewelina Dabrowski (Argo). We still placed top two in our region and plan on being No. 1 next year by bringing in some new, hungry talent. We have multiple players coming in ready to play,” Marusarz said. “We are fortunate to have our returning veterans around to help the new athletes, so we’ll be ready come regionals next season.”

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For news media inquiries, contact Maura Vizza, Moraine Valley communications specialist and sports information coordinator, at (708) 974-5742 or