Missouri Valley / Iowa

USTA Iowa 2021 Year in Review

Andrea Gallagher | January 07, 2022


Get to Know USTA Iowa Executive Board: How well do you know the members of your USTA Iowa Executive Board? In their own words, find out how long they’ve been playing tennis and what they hope to accomplish in their new roles. Read more. 




League Captains Explain What They Love Most: Ellen Cram of Iowa City and Sherry Wilkinson of Urbandale love captaining their USTA teams, find out what they enjoy most about it, and how they keep organized in an often times thankless role. Read more.


ACEing Autism Clinic Draws Pros, Volunteers: A number of people took part in a free USTA Iowa ACEing Autism clinic at Lifetime Fitness in Urbandale Sunday, Feb. 21. The clinic was put on by USTA Iowa for any tennis pros and volunteers interested in learning about working with people with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Read more.




Iowa Players Commit to Play College Tennis: Well Blevins of Ankeny is excited to take his tennis career to the next level at Drake University. He hopes to win a state title during his last year of high school tennis. Read more.


Sichterman Finds Joy in Captaining Numerous USTA Teams: Part of what makes Muscatine’s Jim Sichterman a good USTA league captain is he truly enjoys the role and everything that comes along with it. He currently captains six USTA Iowa league teams, including men’s and mixed doubles. Read more.




Cownie Takes Home USTA Iowa Sportsmanship Award: Des Moines resident Christy Cownie recently received a USTA Missouri Valley Adult League sportsmanship award nomination from fellow USTA Iowa league player Sarah Zinn-Burggraaf. Cownie said her favorite part about tennis is laughing and having a good time on the court, and having some competition as well, but all in good fun. Read more.


Clay Courts in Iowa Offer a Fun, Different Feel:  When Bill Moylan of Bettendorf started playing on clay tennis courts, he liked how it was easier on his joints, especially his knees. When he moved into a new house in the 1990’s, he measured the backyard and decided he had enough room for a clay court. Fast forward 26 years and he’s still playing on that court at 71-years-old with a lengthy list of willing participants. Read more.




Farley Makes her Mark as Chair of Officials: Donna Farley has spent more than 30 years as a tennis official, and 23 years as the Chair of Officials for USTA Iowa. She will soon be passing that baton to her successor, but will not say goodbye to officiating forever. Read more.




Parks and Rec Programs in Iowa Bring Tennis to Youth: Arnold Wehrenberg spent the past 30 years trying to grow the sport of tennis - first in Texas, then in North Carolina and now in Iowa. When he moved to Des Moines to work at Life Time Fitness, he reached out to the local communities to give more children exposure to the sport. Read more.




U of I’s Noel Named to USTA Collegiate Summer Team: Ten of the best college players in the country are part of the USTA Pro Circuit this summer, including Alexa Noel of the University of Iowa. She and the other athletes are part of the USTA Collegiate Summer Tennis Team - who compete at events this summer on the ATP Challenger and ITF World Tennis Tours. Read more.


Unique Co-Ed Tournament is Great Experience: For more than 50 years, Iowa has held a Co-Ed Tennis Tournament for high school players in the summer. It’s a chance for kids to play mixed doubles in a fun, competitive format. The 2021 tournament was held June 8-10 in Des Moines with 34 teams playing in the 1A Division and 41 teams in the 2A Division.  Read more.




Juarez Finds Love for Tennis after Spinal Cord Injury: Robert Juarez of Davenport has been playing adaptive sports since 2008, after he was injured on the job as a firefighter and suffered a spinal cord injury. Before the accident, he was a firefighter for 19 years, and prior to that he was a U.S. Naval Reservist. Now he’s active in adaptive sports, including wheelchair tennis. Read more.


ThanksUSA and USTA Iowa Team up for free tennis clinics: In 2020 the USTA partnered with ThanksUSA, a national charity supporting military families through education. This fall, Iowa veterans can take advantage of the program with a series of free tennis clinics in Urbandale.  The clinics will start with the veterans, and then will later partner up with young players. Read more.




Iowa Teams Compete in Section Championships: A number of USTA teams in Iowa reached the USTA Missouri Valley Section Championships in August. Congratulations to the Chase team for winning the 18 & Over Section Championships at the 4.5 women's division in St. Louis. The team qualifies for the USTA Adult League National Championships in Oct. 8-10 in Surprise, Ariz. Read more.


New Tennis Courts in Atlantic: Tennis enthusiasts in Atlantic will soon have access to four new tennis courts, thanks in part to a $40,000 Public Facilities Grant from the USTA.  A ribbon cutting for the new courts will be held Saturday, Oct. 23, at Atlantic High School. Read more.




Iowa Teams Prep for Nationals: A handful of USTA Iowa adult league teams will be heading to the National Championships this year. There will be three locations for the 2021 tournaments including Phoenix and Surprise, Arizona; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and Orlando, Florida. Read more.


Two Students Awarded College Scholarships: Two Iowa students have accepted the Barbara J. Fackel Community Service/College Scholarship for $1,000. Both students attend Iowa State University. Joe Zehr of Boone and Alex Upah of Huxley are the recipients. Read more.




Tennis on Campus Fall Invite: The Iowa State Cyclones took home the top prize by narrowly edging out Washington University. The Kansas Jayhawks took third place with a victory over the Sooners. Read more.



New Committee Chairs: USTA Iowa introduced four new committee chairs at its annual meeting and awards conference. These four individuals will be taking on roles on the awards committee, umpires committee, adult competition committee and collegiate committee. Read more.

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