Skip Navigation

College News

Women’s tennis team named NJCAA Region IV champs

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Oct 19, 2018

The College of Lake County women’s tennis team won the National Junior College Athletic Association Region IV championship, following a first-place finish among seven teams competing at a regional tournament held Oct. 12-13 in Palos Heights, Ill.

The Lancers, who finished the regular season in second place after losing a single match to Skyway Conference champion Waubonsee Community College, avenged their loss by defeating Waubonsee in the tournament’s final match. The Lancers will compete next May in the NJCAA Division I national championship tournament in Tyler, Tex.

“The women did a great job this season,” said Head Coach Jim Love, who was voted the Region IV Coach of the Year in 2018 and Conference Coach of the Year in 2017. “In the regional tournament, every player won critical matches and contributed points to help win the championship. And winPhoto of women's tennis team or lose, they display good sportsmanship. They are very respectful of each other and of their opponents.”

Photo: Head Coach Jim Love (back row, holding plaque) leads the CLC women’s tennis team, which has won the 2018 NJCAA Region IV title.

Members of the Lancers squad are Sjana Henderson, sophomore (Antioch); Grace Marino, freshman (Grayslake); Sydney Misiek, sophomore (Lindenhurst); Andrea Morales, freshman (Round Lake); Keely Mulcahy, freshman (Grayslake); and Gabby Palm, freshman (Antioch). Henderson finished as the Region IV number one singles champion for the second consecutive year. Diaz and Palm finished, respectively, as the region’s number three and number four singles champions and together as the number two doubles champions. Additionally, Henderson and Misiek represented CLC at last year’s national tournament in Tucson, Ariz. After winning the 2018 regional title, the entire team will compete in the 2019 national tournament in Texas.

Love said Henderson’s leadership and skill level played an important role in the team’s success. “She showed great ability to perform under pressure," he added. "And during the season, she improved her volleys and serves, setting a great example with her work ethic at practice.”

Love also credited the work of Betsy Poggensee, assistant coach, whose work during practice and as an on-court coach at matches helped the players improve their game.

Henderson, who plans to continue her academic and tennis career at a four-year institution next fall, noted the team’s camaraderie and the positive leadership of both Love and Poggensee. “He (Love) gives us good advice, not just to improve our game but also develop the right mental approach,” she said. “When I’m losing, I tend to get down on myself, but he always says he believes in me. That helps me to believe in myself. And Coach Poggensee helped me learn new technique in ground strokes.”

Outside of athletic competition, Henderson spoke highly of CLC’s commitment to the academic success of student athletes. “The requirement of at least three hours of study hall for all freshman, and for sophomores with less than a 3.0 GPA, is good,” said Henderson, a psychology major who plans to graduate in May and eventually complete bachelor’s and graduate degrees en route to becoming a counselor or therapist. “Study hall helps students learn how to multitask and juggle school with sports, part-time jobs and other commitments.”

CLC fields 12 inter-collegiate sports teams in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference, which is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association. For details, visit To learn more about CLC athletics, visit


About College of Lake County:

College of Lake County is an innovative community college in Lake County, Ill. that transforms lives with its variety of accessible, quality education options. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, College of Lake County provides affordable options in a state-of-the-art setting close to home. A large student network, with small class sizes,

provides advantages to our students on a career-related program or a path toward a transfer degree. We’re proud to serve the diverse needs of our community and student body. Connect to your future today at College of Lake County.