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Sports wrap

  • Written by Anthony Nasella

A combination of experience and youth has proved a winning mix for Shepard’s girls’ tennis team thus far.

  Behind the veteran 1-2 punch of former South Suburban Conference champion Rhonda Habbal and Martha Turown, plus a set of junior twins and pair of freshmen who are fortifying the doubles ranks, the Astros captured their first four meets of the season. After defeating Bremen and Hillcrest in the opening week, Shepard continued its mastery over SSC Blue foes by knocking off Lemont (3-2) and Oak Forest (4-1) last Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.

Community sports news

Southside Shooters holding tryouts

  The Southside Shooters Boys’ Basketball Club will conduct tryouts on Monday at Moraine Valley College.
  The session will run from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and is being held to fill spots on teams at the 4th- through 8th-grade levels. For more information, contact Bill Finn at 508-0170 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Moraine athletics wrap

  • Written by Maura Vizza

All’s perfect for Cyclones tennis players

MORAINE-LOGO No athletic performance is completely without flaw, but Moraine Valley College tennis players were pretty close to perfect versus Concordia University the weekend before Labor Day.
  That’s when the Cyclones notched their first shutout by capturing all nine matches against their foe. Liz Dominguez, Kaitlyn Seldal (Queen of Peace), Claudia Maka (Oak Lawn) and Lindsey Walker led the way in singles play, while the duos of Dominguez-Seldal and Walker-Agnieszka Szudy (Stagg) were especially proficient in doubles encounters.
  “This was the first win of preseason play [and] all the women remained focused and played hard,” Moraine coach Nicole Selvaggio said. “Each day we are growing stronger and more confident in our abilities.”
  Things didn’t come quite so easily against NCAA Division III Benedictine University last Thursday, but the Cyclones had enough fortitude to clear a major hurdle. The final doubles clash tilted Moraine’s way and, with it, came an overall team triumph by a 5-4 score in Palos Hills.
  Tricia Poremba and Szudy spearheaded the singles success, and the latter also figured in the clinching match by teaming with Walker to close out Benedictine’s entry with just four minutes to spare before a 9 p.m. shutoff of the court lights.
  “Even though this was another preseason match for us, it feels great to be keeping up with — and ultimately defeating — these four-year universities,” Selvaggio said. “I feel we are more than ready for all the junior colleges. We are pumped for the road ahead.

Volleyball roundup

  • Written by Anthony Nasella

Astros pick up five wins in opening week

  Shepard had a busy week to start its 2014 volleyball season with matches last Tuesday, Wednesday and then over the weekend in the Plainfield North Crosstown Showdown.
  In all, the Astros logged seven matches and came away with a 5-2 record. They finished fifth overall at Plainfield.
  Shepard defeated Chicago Christian (25-15, 25-14) in its opener, Lincoln-Way Central (25-19, 16-25, 25-23) the next day and rhen improved to 4-0 by capturing three-set verdicts over Oswego (25-15, 25-20) and Crystal Lake South (24-26, 25-22, 25-21) in the Friday portion of the Plainfield tourney. Crystal Lake was fourth in Class 4A last fall.
  “Crystal Lake South brought four starters back from last year — [they were] definitely a high-caliber team, a team that featured girls who are 6 foot across the board and we’re floating around the 5-7 and 5-11 range,” Astros coach Dan Grunauer said. “It was cool to see our girls outwork that team on defense and score off their high hands. Kendall [Yerkes], Abby [Graham] and Briana Haugh all did a good job at that.
  “This team reads real well [and] they have great eyes for volleyball. They’re kind of in the right spot. They don’t really react; they’re already there.”
  The good times ended at Lincoln-Way North’s hands on Saturday as the Phoenix ruined Shepard’s perfect start with a 25-14, 28-26 triumph. But the Astros rebounded to take down Plainfield Central (25-18, 25-17) before completing their tournament stay with a 26-24, 25-16 setback against Downers Grove South.
  Grunauer admitted his girls finally “hit the gauntlet” and showed signs of fatigue versus the Mustangs.
  “Downers Grove South came out of the gates hard,” he said. “Those kids can put the ball on the floor with incredible shot selection. They looked like a team from California, but I can’t complain about this [past] week.

Community sports news

Trinity volleyball coach gets 200th career win
  When Trinity Christian College defeated St. Ambrose University in a volleyball match on Saturday, it meant more than just another entry on the left side of the 2014 ledger.
  The victory also represented a landmark for Trolls coach Bill Schepel as it was the 200th of his eight-year career at the school. He is just the second coach in program history to reach that total and currently ranks 18th in winning percentage among active NAIA volleyball coaches.
  Through his first seven years as head coach Schepel’s teams posted a 198-96 record. Trinity has averaged more than 30 wins per season over the past four years, including a school-record 38 in 2011, the same year Schepel collected his 100th career triumph.
  During his tenure the Trolls have claimed two regular-season Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference championships (2010 and 2013) and the 2013 conference tournament title, made two other appearances in the tourney championship match and earned five national tournament berths.
  Trinity qualified for the NAIA National Championship in both 2010 and 2013 and was part of the National Christian College Athletic Association National Championship field on three occasions, including 2011 when the Trolls were runners-up.