The 2012 season outlook promised an entertaining and exciting run, and it’s safe to say that the Moraine Valley women’s volleyball team delivered just that.
A regular season of consecutive wins is a feat not often seen in any sport, and many things had to go right for the Cyclones to achieve a 35-win record sans any loss until the NJCAA Division II tournament, Nov. 15-17. The squad also took championship titles in the NJCAA Region IV and Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference and was ranked third in the nation.
“This group of athletes jumped on board from the first day, willing to learn, willing to work hard every day, willing to give up part-time jobs and free weekends to gel as a team. We stayed healthy all season and each player accepted her role in the interest of the success of the team,” said head coach Gloria Coughlin, who was named Region IV and Skyway Coach of the Year.
Stats cannot tell the whole story of a season; however, they are a testament to the strength of these Cyclones. The team raked a total of 1,605 kills, including 401 by Kara Kentner (Sandburg), and a team total of 2,882 digs, of which 874 were from Colleen Gardner (Mother McAuley). Those stats placed Kentner and Gardner in the top five in the nation for most of the season. Oak Forest grads Autumn Seiler and Gina Ryan had 370 and 295 kills, respectively, along with 352 kills from middle hitters Stephanie Dagenais (Oak Forest) and Katlyn Beckow (Evergreen Park), both of whom blocked 149. The servers scored on 249 serves, 52 of which were from setter Joanna Curtis (Sandburg).
For their stellar performance, Kentner, Ryan, Gardner, and Seiler were named to the All-Region and All-Conference first teams while Dagenais and Curtis got nods to the All-Conference second team. Kentner also was an NJCAA Division II first team All-American and Skyway Player of the Year.
As the team was predominantly freshmen this season, 2013 looks to be another year of good numbers for the Cyclones.