By the looks of it, the Moraine Valley Community College women’s tennis team may be the one to watch this season. They have all the right tools to make a solid run.
Last year was the first of college coaching for Matt Marusarz, a recent Cyclone alumnus. He came on board late and didn’t have enough time to assess the players and the program. This year is a different story. He’s worked with former assistant coach and colleague Mike Maratea, as well as former teammate and men’s tennis head coach David Souza, to recruit and prepare for this fall season. Souza also will be the women’s assistant coach this season.
“This year, I’ve reached out to coaches and researched players’ backgrounds to see where we can go and play to their weaknesses to make them strengths,” Marusarz explained. “We want to win and have fun.”
After a 2021 season where the Cyclones went 5-4 overall and 2-2 in the conference, Marusarz is confident his crew will surprise many opponents. This solid core from first to sixth singles includes sophomores Hannah Markiewicz (Mother McAuley) and Victoria Maratea (Lincoln-Way West), who were the No. 1 and 2 players last year. Markiewicz emerged as a leader last season and is poised to take that role again.
The newcomers are excited to play college tennis, including Erica Chapan (Andrew), Cate Gerl (Lincoln-Way West), Aubree Schultz (Lincoln-Way West), Izzy Slezakova (Stagg) and Simona Tomczak (Oak Lawn). Slezakova brings a lot of talent to the court while Gerl and Schultz are a solid doubles team. Tomczak previously competed in Poland and played volleyball. Marusarz added Cyclone basketball and soccer player (but newcomer to tennis), Reagan Cameron (Oak Lawn), who’s taking quickly to the sport.
Looking back on last season, the Cyclones pushed hard through every practice and match, and Marusarz is aiming to take revenge on College of Lake County, believing this team has the skills to qualify for nationals. He’s working on giving players all the tools and resources they need to play their best tennis, including more proper weightlifting.
“I think we have a really good team. This is the year,” Marusarz said. “We’ll be the team to beat.”
The Cyclones open the season Sept. 3 at Sauk Valley Community College.
For updates on Cyclones Athletics, visit mvcyclones.com.
For news media inquiries, contact Maura Vizza, Moraine Valley communications specialist and sports information coordinator, at (708) 974-5742 or Vizzam@morainevalley.edu.