Not only are the Cyclones Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference champions, but NJCAA Region IV champs as well. Maintaining a season-long undefeated streak, Moraine Valley took first place in the regional tournament Oct. 4-6 and qualified the team for the NJCAA Tournament in May.
Starting off the competition, Moraine Valley struggled in early matches. Thanks to the strength of Nicole Selvaggio (Marist), Kayla Annerino (Oak Lawn), Sophie Baxter (Stagg), and Raquel Bowen-Grant (Stagg), the team prevailed. With three matches left on Oct. 6, three teams, including the Cyclones, were tied for first. Some big Cyclone wins contributed to the overall victory.
Selvaggio defended her first singles championship in what is the first singles repeat in Region IV history, said coach Bill Finn. Other singles champs included Bowen-Grant at fifth singles, who had an undefeated season, and Annerino at sixth. Selvaggio and Shayna Binette (Andrew) also took first in first doubles while Annerino and partner Alexandra Armon (Andrew) took the third doubles championship. Finn was named Region Coach of the Year.
“The girls stepped up and played to expectations. We’re excited about nationals,” Finn said. “It’s hard to get all the pieces in place, but it’s nice when it all comes together.”
In Finn’s tenure, this is the first time the women’s tennis team has had an undefeated season and been region champions. Last year the squad finished second in regionals to qualify for nationals. This is the fourth year they’ve qualified for the NJCAA tournament as a team.