Fueled by the momentum generated from three-consecutive NCAA Women’s Tennis Tournament appearances, including a run to the 2023 Elite Eight, Iowa State Athletics has unveiled plans for an indoor and outdoor tennis complex for the program, Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard announced today.
“It is truly amazing what our women’s tennis program has achieved over the last three seasons, especially in light of the fact that we do not have facilities that are comparable to other peer institutions, but we believe that this plan will allow us to build off our recent successes in a financially responsible manner while quickly addressing the program’s facility shortcomings,” Pollard said.
“We are grateful for Ames Racquet and Fitness Center and the ISU Research Park for agreeing to come alongside us to create a unique partnership that will help the department get this project to the finish line,” he added.
The Iowa State Research Park will purchase an existing four-court indoor tennis bubble, and expand it to six courts, construct six new outdoor courts on the property, and a team building to include amenities including a team room, locker room and training room. Pending Iowa Board of Regents approval in September, the completed facility will be leased to ISU Athletics. The six outdoor courts are scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2023 with the indoor court expansion and team facility slated for a fall 2024 completion.
Iowa State’s women’s tennis team currently utilizes the Bruce McKee Indoor Tennis Complex, which opened in 2017 adjacent to the Sukup Basketball Complex, features two practice courts for the Cyclones to use as well as a team room and locker room. Once the tennis program vacates the McKee Complex, the facility will be converted into a practice facility for the Cyclone volleyball team.
In the event of inclement weather, the Cyclones currently travel to Urbandale to utilize the indoor facility at Life Time Fitness. ISU has played outdoors at the Ames High School facility for the past several years and hosted the first three rounds of the 2023 NCAA Tournament there.
The Cyclones finished the 2023 season 21-6 overall while going 7-2 in Big 12 action to finish in a tie for third place in the league standings. ISU advanced to the ITA National Indoor Championships and later reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships, both feats that have never been accomplished in program history.
The seven league victories were the most in school history and included the program’s first-ever win against Oklahoma State and the first against Baylor in Waco in the series. Iowa State posted 12 win against Top 50 opponents with wins against No. 18 UCLA, No. 10 Miami, No. 9 Vanderbilt and No. 1 Texas to reach the semifinals at the ITA National Indoor Championships. The win against the top-ranked Longhorns was the first against UT and the first against a No. 1 team in school history.
In its third-straight NCAA Tournament, Iowa State rolled past Drake (4-0), No. 22 Wisconsin (4-1) and No. 20 UCLA (4-1) to reach the final site. The Cyclones fell in the quarterfinals to eventual runner-up, No. 4 NC State, 4-3.