Cyclones golfers coping with challenging slate
When it comes to challenging his golfers, Moraine Valley College coach Bob Freudenthal spares no obstacle.
At the University of St. Francis Tournament, for example, the Cyclones annually square off against some of their toughest competition, most of it supplied by four-year schools. The situation was no different on Friday at Wedgewood Golf Course, but Moraine managed to beat out a few other teams and wind up 14th in a field of 18.
John Nagle (season-low 77) paced the Cyclones, while Matt Contey (80), Jeff Cizek (83) and Scott Borden (83) also contributed to the 323 team total.
“I’m happy with the way the season is progressing,” Freudenthal said. “When all the guys hit their best game, we could put up some really low scores. We’ll see if they save the best for last.”
Moraine tapped into some of that “best” last Thursday when it held off Waubonsee College by four strokes in an Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference event at Glenwoodie Golf Course.
Three Cyclones broke 80, with David Karwoski’s round of 75 leading the way. Contey and Joe Knight both fired 79s and John Orowick posted an 81 for 18 holes.
Play at the Duane Chanay Classic in Port Byron, Ill., was cut short by thunderstorms last Monday. Moraine wound up fifth in a 13-team field as Orowick, Contey, Knight and Karwoski all shot just a few strokes above par.
The Cyclones ushered in their ISCC season on an impressive note as they blanked the College of Lake County 9-0 in Palos Hills. Lindsey Walker and Tricia Poremba vanquished their respective singles foes in less than 45 minutes apiece, and Liz Dominguez, Agnieszka Szudy, Kaitlyn Seldal and Claudia Maka also experienced little difficulty in their matches.
“I am very pleased with how all of my girls are playing” Moraine coach Nicole Selvaggio said. “We are displaying high-quality tennis in singles and doubles. The focus each girl brings forth in each respective position is absolutely rock-solid.
“We look forward to growing stronger each time we step foot on the court.”
Redemption is a beautiful thing, and it came for the Cyclones last Thursday when they paid back Elgin College for a 2013 loss by administering a 7-2 defeat. Last year’s setback was the only one suffered by Moraine during the regular campaign.
Along with five singles wins, the Cyclones also got the better of the Spartans at No. 2 and 3 doubles where the teams of Walker-Szudy and Maka-Poremba prevailed with relative ease. The first-doubles duo of Dominguez-Seldal narrowly missed forcing a third set as they dropped a second-set tiebreaker.
“Their fight and tenacity to work their way back embodies the fight-for-every-point philosophy I encourage in my players,” Selvaggio said of Dominguez-Seldal.
Sportsmanship also is prevalent among Cyclones players.
“Even though we presented strong tennis on the courts, we were high-fiving our opponents and even hugging them afterwards — a rare sight in such a competitive sport at this level,” Selvaggio said. “My players epitomized the utmost level of class and integrity, especially against such a big conference rival. I cannot be more proud of them.
“We went into this match as a mentally and physically prepared team [and] we walked away as a stronger, unwaveringly confident family. We are optimistic about our upcoming matches.”
The Cyclones turned in spot-on performances at last Friday’s Illinois Intercollegiate Championships at Aspen Ridge Golf Club in Bourbonnais. Moraine finished 12th in both the men’s and women’s races.
After seeing their previous week’s meet stopped prematurely because of thunderstorms, the men were competing in their first 8K event of the season. Anthony Briante posted the Cyclones’ best time by completing his run in 28 minutes, 54 seconds, which netted him the 91st position among 158 finishers.
Yousef Khazneh (28:58) was two spots behind and Braulio Castellanos wound up in the top 100 as well as his 29:14 clocking was good for 99th place. Justin Briante (110th in 30 minutes flat) and Brandon Ceh (113th, 30:05) rounded out Moraine’s list of scorers.
Anton Thauer (114th, 30:18), Alejandro Montes (119th, 30:46), Dawid Palac (126th, 31:02), Jesus Rojas (129th, 31:28), Sergio Villareal (130th, 31:31) and Larry Byrd (142nd, 33:15) also represented the Cyclones.
“We stressed running controlled and together [and] they accomplished that,” Moraine coach Mark Horstmeyer said. “We also liked the way they ran negative splits, which is what we have been emphasizing. In this case a negative is a positive.
“They finished strong and showed what they’re capable of doing now. They raised the bar.”
Aileen Gorman once again paced the Cyclones women by finishing 38th in 20:25 over the 5K course. She was followed down the chute by fellow scorers Jackie Navarette (90th, 22:31), Abby Correa (91st, 22:34), Amy Miller (94th, 22:39) and Crystal Flores (96th, 22:45).
Sarah McCann (97th, 22:48), Jessica Flores (120th, 24:19), Nemy Hernandez (122nd, 24:47 and Tonie Wasco (125th, 25:06) also competed for Moraine in the 139-runner event.
“The girls were awesome,” Horstmeyer said. “They executed our plan the way we drew it up.
“We really emphasized this week to run as a pack and our [Nos.] 2 through 6 runners were separated by a total of 17 seconds. They looked like the green horde heading to the finish.”
Next up for the Cyclones is Saturday’s Gil Dodds Invitational hosted by Wheaton College.
“We’re looking forward to continued improvement,” Horstmeyer said. “Our test this week will be consistency. This next race also gives [our athletes] an opportunity to race on the course where conference and regionals will be held.”
A free kick late in the first half was all the Cyclones needed for a 1-0 ISCC win over the College of Lake County last Tuesday.
It wasn’t a pretty match as Moraine earned a few yellow cards and one red, which broke the team’s momentum and rhythm. The Cyclones’ Alan Garcia stopped a penalty kick in the first half but was later red-carded, leaving Moraine with 10 players on the field for portions of the second half. The defense, however, was able to step up and keep the Lancers at bay.
Pat Passafiume (Sandburg) notched the lone goal off an assist from Jose Estrada.
South Suburban College constructed a 2-0 halftime lead and went on to defeat the Cyclones 3-1 last Thursday.
Jesus Sandoval’s goal brought Moraine within one during the second half, but another defensive breakdown proved costly to the Cyclones as the Bulldogs countered with a score to re-establish a two-goal cushion.
Kennedy-King administered a 3-1 defeat to Moraine by scoring all of its goals before intermission.
Jon Peters tallied for the Cyclones off a Przemyslaw Tylka pass. Garcia was able to record a save on a penalty kick.
After 18 quiet minutes, the Cyclones switched on the offensive jets last Monday and routed Daley College 7-0.
Moraine was ahead 4-0 by intermission and continued to soar in the second half, courtesy of two markers from Cecia Esquivel, plus solo tallies by Alyssa Braun, Alexis Delgado, Esmeralda Padilla, Maggie Hacker and Aileen Zermeno. Braun, Hacker, Alejandra Hernandez-Lopez and Maria Gabino each distributed an assist and netminder Alexis Boyer posted the shutout.
Shepard grad Braun had six goals and two assists for the season after this match, ranking her 12th nationally in National Junior College Athletic Association Division I scoring.
Things were vastly different for the Cyclones last Wednesday as they fell 7-1 to Waubonsee.
Hacker had a goal, which Hernandez-Lopez set up, but Moraine could not keep pace with Waubonsee. Boyer faced 25 shots and was credited with 18 saves.
Southwestern Illinois College, the nation’s No. 6 team, pinned a 5-0 loss on the Cyclones Saturday, but Moraine was locked in a scoreless duel for more than 25 minutes before a defensive lapse put it in a 1-0 hole.
Shortly thereafter the Cyclones’ attempt to clear an SIC cross backfired as the ball settled into the Moraine net instead. One more goal before halftime pretty much sealed the deal for SIC.
The Cyclones did have some opportunities to break through in the second half but couldn’t connect. Boyer made 22 saves in a losing cause and Moraine also received solid efforts from Padilla, Kortnie Hanold, Xitaly Mandujano, Kathleen Gribbon and Sam Reyes.
The Cyclones subdued Oakton College in straight sets (25-19, 25-23, 25-16) to claim an ISCC match victory last Tuesday.
Moraine notched 15 services aces, nine of which were supplied by Bridget Ferrin (five) and Carolyn Yerkes. Ferrin also set well for the Cyclones as she passed out 26 assists.
Carly Trinley and Brynn Flannery led Moraine at the net with 10 and seven kills, respectively, while Alex Bojan totaled four solo blocks.