New tennis complex for Pirates

Photo credit: Elizabeth Rhaney

Photo credit: Elizabeth Rhaney

By Sarah Olin, Staff Writer

For years, the tennis programs here at Armstrong have been attempting to remodel their courts, mainly for player safety. Over the summer they finally received some good news. By the end of next spring, the teams will finally have a home court.

Four courts have already been remodeled for the teams to practice on. Comparing the old to the new, it is clear that we have had a subpar tennis facility for far too long. The older courts are faded and cracked, which is already a serious safety issue that can only get worse.

“To have the ability to practice on safe courts and more than four courts, so their practices can be more efficient is highly important,” Armstrong Director of Athletics Lisa Sweany said of the new complex. “The courts we have are cracked, and although we have repaired them several times, they continue to crack and get wider.”

The complex will cost $1.3 million. Team locker rooms, restroom facilities, and other necessities are a part of Phase II in the building process, meaning they will come at a later date.  

Sweany decided to take measures into her own hands. According to the head coach Sean McCaffrey, Sweany is the sole reason why they are getting the new complex. “I really have to hand it to Lisa. She made it happen when it didn’t happen before,” McCaffrey said. “Lisa persevered.”

Funding the complex was a struggle in itself. It was much more difficult for a perennial powerhouse like Armstrong to get courts that are actually safe to play on.

Other than added safety, the courts bring more opportunity to the tennis programs. For the first time in a long time, they are going to be able to play a home match that is actually on campus.

Before, the teams had to travel to Bacon Park, 7 miles off campus, to play a “home” match. Although Bacon Park received a decent amount of supporters, the new complex will provide a place for more students to experience the teams in action.

“The opportunity to get them back on campus is without a doubt the best part of this project,” Sweany said.

Hopefully by the summer of 2016, students will be able to play on a safe tennis facility, and the players will finally have a court to call home.