June 2, 2005
There's no place like home. Just ask Dorothy and Toto, stars of the Academy Award-winning movie, "The Wizard of Oz."
Unfortunately, the University of Iowa's women's tennis team has been without a home since last March when the Klotz Tennis Courts were closed to provide a lay-down area for the contractors responsible for the multi-million dollar renovation of historic Kinnick Stadium.
Like Dorothy and Toto, however, the Hawkeyes' yellow brick road does lead to something spectacular: The West Campus Tennis and Recreation Center.
"We have a fun team to watch and the facility is designed to be fan-friendly. The layout for viewing really allows spectators to get up-close and personal to the tennis meet."
UI Women's Tennis Coach Daryl Greenan
The centerpiece of the UI's "West Campus Project," the tennis and recreation center will include 12 outdoor courts, eight indoor courts, team locker and meeting rooms, office space for the coaching staff and other amenities that will benefit not only the intercollegiate athletics program, but tennis and fitness fans throughout the greater Iowa City/Coralville area.
"This project will help our players here have a consistent home where they can be proud of and have a home court advantage," said Daryl Greenan, first-year head coach of the Hawkeyes.
Consistency would be a welcome addition to the Hawkeye program. Iowa practiced and competed in three different locations last spring - Iowa City's City Park, the UI Recreation Building, and the North Dodge Athletic Club. The Hawkeyes overcame the obstacles and qualified for the NCAA post-season championship for the fifth time in school history.
However, while Greenan is excited about having a consistent place to practice day in and day out, he's just as excited about how the facilities' layout will help bring spectators of his team's meets into the action.
"We have a fun team to watch and the facility is designed to be fan-friendly. The layout for viewing really allows spectators to get up-close and personal to the tennis meet," he said.
It goes without saying that Greenan thinks the new facility will help him raise the profile of Iowa's women's tennis program.
"A new facility will enhance our recruiting efforts significantly. It speaks to our commitment to the sport and to the student-athlete. And, as we raise the caliber of student-athletes competing for us, we increase our opportunities to advance deeper in post-season competition," said Greenan, who says the next step competitively for the Hawkeyes is a "Sweet 16" appearance.
"We need to win two more matches to make it to that level. It won't be nearly as difficult to get there when you have a facility like this and the student-athletes that are likely to follow as a result of that project."
If Mother Nature cooperates, plans call for completion of the 12 outdoor courts by the start of the 2005 fall semester in late August. The facility is expected to be completed in late spring next year.
The new West Campus Tennis and Recreation Center is located about 500 yards northwest of the Roy G. Karro Building / UI Athletics Hall of Fame which is immediately west of award-winning Finkbine Golf Course at the corner of Melrose Avenue and Mormon Trek Boulevard.
Click HERE for more information about the UI's West Campus Project including the West Campus Tennis and Recreation Center.