Campus News

Summary of cross country, volleyball and men’s soccer.

By Katharine C Romero | Posted September 17, 2013

While Morton College men’s cross country coach Gus Coronado cautions there’s still room for improvement, he did call the Panthers’ performance at the Illinois Intercollegiate Championship September the “best effort by any men’s team since 2006.”


Morton College’s 2006 squad set the standard for excellence. They resembled the ’85 Bears with the Panthers posting nearly perfect scores of 15 in running away with the Illinois Skyway and Region IV crowns.


The Panthers were the top community college team on the men’s side at the Illinois Intercollegiate Championship meet. Overall, the Panthers were 10th in the 18-team field with 303 points. The meet featured mainly four-year schools at the NCAA Division II and III levels and NAIA.


“There was plenty of good competition,” Coronado said. “With the race being held on a golf course, it felt like a national meet.”


Alan Guzman was 39th to pace Morton College. He had the fastest time of any community college runner, touring the 8-kilometer course in 26:13.8. Guzman was 24 seconds faster than the next community college finisher.


“He’s running where he’s supposed to be,” Coronado said. “He ran his last mile in 5:05. This was a good confidence builder.”


Eric Diaz, Morton College’s second runner, placed 61st in 27:29. Ivan de la Rosa, whose top time was 29:05 last year, came in 68th at 28:02.8. Eliezer Serrato (66th – 27:52.1) and Arvin Servin (69th – 28:03.0) also contributed.


“It was our first 8-K of the season and we responded really well,” Coronado said. “We really performed well as a group. But we look forward to taking the next step and improving.”


On the women’s side, the Panthers were 15th in the 15-team field. Veronica Tovar was Morton College’s top runner with a 22:23.7, good for 76th place on the 5-kilometer course.


Women’s volleyball

Morton College’s appearance at the Wisconsin-Whitewater JV Quad finished on a strong note with the Panthers downing Northwestern College of Minnesota 25-12, 25-19 September 14 to place third of four teams.


With the victory, the Panthers (5-10) also matched their win total from last year. Morton College opened with losses to Bethel 25-13, 25-13 and host Whitewater 25-11, 25-15.


“Our first two opponents were a little bit taller than us, so we had a difficult time blocking,” Morton College coach Tom Malesky said. “In the third match, we started touching more balls and got on a little bit of a roll. That was good to see.”


All three matches were played consecutively.The Panthers used the 20 minutes between their last two matches to regroup.


“They were able to gather themselves, plus, we did a better job defensively,” Malesky said. “We enjoyed coming here – it was nice to see teams we don’t normally see.”


Yasmin Lopez led the Panthers with 14 kills and added 18 digs. Marlene Valadez (20 digs, 3 blocks), Samantha Rule (33 assists), Patrice Silas (8 kills), Cassie Tijerina (13 kills, 3 blocks) and Melissa Villafuerte (9 kills) also contributed.


The Panthers look to go to 2-0 in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference with a match at Prairie State Tuesday, September 17, in Chicago Heights. Morton College defeated the Pioneers 25-22, 17-25, 16-14 at the South Suburban Tournament August 31.


“It was a close match and I’m sure Prairie State is looking for revenge,” Malesky said. “We’re looking to win two in a row against Prairie State.”


Men’s soccer

Morton College’s three-game win streak came to an end with a 2-1 overtime loss to Owens of Ohio September 14 in Cicero. The Panthers (4-2-1) play two Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference games this week – Tuesday, September 17 at Lake County and Thursday, September 19, against Oakton at home.

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3801 S. Central Ave.
Cicero, IL 60804
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