Tiebreakers were the game changers Sept. 8 in the Cyclones' match with Sauk Valley Community College. However, it ended in heartbreak as Moraine Valley fell 3-6 when the dust settled.
The three wins came from Brooke Zielke (1st singles), Jasmine Abunaim (2nd singles) and the duo at 1st doubles, where they posted all bagels (6-0, 6-0) for both singles and doubles. "They did a great job remaining consistent and persistent, meaning they stayed mentally present and did not play down to their opponents' level," said head Coach Breanna Vollan.
Nearly the rest of the team fought through tiebreakers. Serene Itani (3rd singles) lost in a super tiebreaker after splitting sets. Audrey Stocklen (4th singles) also lost in a super tiebreaker against a very tough opponent after leaving it all on the court (5-7, 6-2, 5-10). Mary Stocklen (5th singles) lost her first set 5-7, won the second set 6-3, but came up short in the tiebreaker (7-10). At 6th singles was newcomer Summar Hasan who joined the crew after fellow teammate Karli Schmitt suffered an injury. Despite her nerves and the ultimate score (0-6,0-6), she played well considering her inexperience and talented opponent.
At second doubles, Mary Stocklen and Itani had a heartbreaking loss after being up in the first set 6-0. They lost the second set 4-6 as well as the tiebreaker (5-10), where they lost their momentum. Hasan and Audrey Stocklen played third doubles together for the first time. Although they lost 1-6, 1-6, they had several good points, rallies and volleys, stepping up to the plate and showing plenty of guts.
"The main take away is 'finishing,' whether it be a point by taking initiative and being aggressive, using momentum to finish off a game or being mentally tough and present to win a tiebreaker," Vollan said. "Even though we lost the match overall, it was a much needed reality check and learning experience for the team. We know what we need to work on for upcoming matches. Overall, I am pleased with what I saw and proud of how hard they fought in the easy and tough matches."