Oakton men’s tennis team brings youthful enthusiasm for 2018 season
(March 9, 2018) With only one returning player from last year’s team that finished the season as the No. 24 squad in the nation following the 2017 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I Men’s Tennis Championship, Oakton Community College head coach Kelly Johnson remains optimistic about the upcoming campaign.
“We have youthful enthusiasm,” says Johnson, who enters her third year at the helm. “The incoming group is talented and have a great attitude. Also, the newcomers are focused to make their mark and follow in the footsteps of the players before them.”
Johnson is expecting big things from Robert Lazar (Switzerland, K12 International Academy), who will compete again at the No. 1 singles position for the Owls. Prior to Oakton, Lazar trained at the Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, Florida. Tennis legend Chris Evert, winner of 18 Grand Slam events, helped establish the instructional facility in 1996.
“Robert is a leader on and off the court,” Johnson says. “He brings invaluable experience to the team and players will be able to learn a lot from him.”
Key additions to the team include No. 2 singles player Boon Carreon (Niles, Maine East High School) as well as Maine West graduates Henry Nguyen (No. 3 singles) and Jeff Celenza (No. 4 singles), both of Des Plaines.
In addition to leading Oakton to a No. 24 finish at nationals last season, Johnson coached the Owls to second place in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) and third place at the NJCAA Region IV Men’s Tennis Tournament to qualify for the national championship. She earned the ISCC Newcomer Coach of the Year Award for her efforts in 2017. A native of Wisconsin, Johnson graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she played tennis for a nationally-competitive program.
“Last season was an incredible run,” Johnson says. “However, we can’t rest on our laurels and will have to work hard and make that pay off in the end.”
Oakton opens the season on the road against Concordia University Chicago at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 21. The Owls plays home matches at Johns Park in Glenview.
Oakton men’s tennis team heading to nationals
(May 1, 2017) – The Oakton Community College men’s tennis team punched its ticket to nationals by finishing third at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region IV Men’s Tennis Tournament, hosted by Moraine Valley Community College April 28-29. The 2017 NJCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Championship is scheduled to take place May 15-19 at Collins College in Plano, Texas.
The Owls secured two second place finishes in singles competition, helping the team to finish with 9.5 points. Robert Lazar (Herndon Virginia, K12 International Academy, Switzerland) medaled in No. 1 play, and Norwegian native Tobias Koller was runner up in No. 6 action. Chris Lavengco (Des Plaines, Maine East High School) and Aidan Donald (Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate Institute) captured third respectively in No. 3 and No. 5 singles play. In No. 1 doubles, the team of Lazar and Peter Kloda (Des Plaines, Maine East High School) battled to a thrilling third-place finish in the tournament.
“Our team had quite the weekend and was focused as soon as it stepped on the court, as every point mattered,” said Kelly Johnson, Owls head coach. “We received an outstanding effort from the entire squad and are excited to be representing Oakton in nationals.”Oakton men’s tennis team concludes regular season with win over Sauk Valley
(April 25, 2017) – The Oakton Owls men’s tennis team earned its fifth win of the season by defeating Sauk Valley on April 24, in Dixon, Illinois.
Oakton (5-5) cruised to a 7-2 victory as players Robert Lazar, Peter Kloda, Christian Lavengco and Tobias Koller all posted wins in singles action. In doubles play, the No. 1 team of Lazar and Kloda triumphed, along with the No. 2 team composed of Lavengco and Samson George.
“This was a great last regular season match,” said Kelly Johnson, Oakton head coach. “This win plays a big factor into seeding and we will definitely have momentum as we continue in the post-season tournament.”
The Owls next compete in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference Regional Tournament starting Friday, April 28, at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills.
Oakton men’s tennis team geared up for season under second-year coach
(April 13, 2017) Kelly Johnson, head coach of the Oakton Community College men’s tennis team, is ready to take the Owls to the next level in her second year at the helm.
“Last year the squad proved they could compete with some of the best teams in the region,” Johnson said. “We placed fourth in the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference and look to improve upon that this season to show we can measure up against elite teams.”
A native of Wisconsin, Johnson graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she played tennis for a nationally-competitive program.
“I’m really excited about this year as we have several incoming freshmen and second-year players on the team who are going to make a splash this season,” Johnson said. “We are always looking to challenge ourselves, and I’m confident the Owls can compete with any players they face on the court.”
Johnson is expecting big things from Robert Lazar (K12 International Academy, Switzerland), who will compete at No. 1 singles for the Owls. Prior to Oakton, Lazar trained at the Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, Florida. Tennis legend Chris Evert, winner of 18 Grand Slam events, helped establish the instructional facility in 1996.
“Having a player on our team who attended such a well-known academy in the tennis circuit gives us some incredible experience,” Johnson said. “Robert is a very strong player and will lead the team.”
The Owls have a trio of strong core returners, all graduates of Maine East High School: Peter Kloda, Chris Lavengco and Samson George. Kloda will pair with Lazar in No. 1 doubles and take on the No. 2 singles role. Former Blue Demons Lavengco and George will team up in No. 2 doubles action. Individually, Lavengco will be the Owls’ No. 3 singles player and George will compete at the No. 4 singles position.
Newcomers who will add to the mix include Aidan Donald (Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate Institute, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada) and Norwegian native Tobias Koller. Both players saw action in the fall with the Owls men’s soccer team.
Oakton men’s tennis team plays its home matches at Johns Park in Glenview.