Fifth-year transfer Anya Lamoreaux embraces the challenge of tennis

After playing with her twin sister at Utah for three years, Lamoreaux came to Iowa with plenty of experience with a team-first environment.


Contributed photo from Raegan Schoening.

Matt McGowan, Sports Reporter

Even though she played six different sports growing up, Anya Lamoreaux was bored.

Having participated in gymnastics, cheerleading, softball, dance, track, and even synchronized swimming, none of these sports stuck out to her. When Lamoreaux tried tennis for the first time, it was the difficulty that drew her in.

“At the time I was playing softball, so I was swinging at everything like a softball, and it was harder to hit the ball [swinging in that motion],” Lamoreaux said.

Lamoreaux spent four seasons playing tennis at Utah and transferred to Iowa for her fifth year of playing at the college level. As a Hawkeye, Lamoreaux hopes to utilize her unique experiences and work ethic to guide the women’s tennis team to a strong season.

Lamoreaux was a team state champion at Mountain View High School in Mesa, Arizona. The Toros also had two runner-up finishes. As for the doubles category, Lamoreaux is a two-time high school state champion with her identical twin sister Madeline.

Anya said she and Madeline were very close growing up but committed to different schools to play tennis. Madeline played one year at Eastern Washington University, but she ultimately decided to reunite with Anya at Utah, where the pair played together for the next three years.

“There’s always going to be less pressure playing with a family member rather than just a teammate,” Anya said. “We can be more sarcastic with each other on the court and not take things as personal. Because we’re so close and we’re sisters, we know how to help each other on the court.”

But there’s still competitiveness between the sisters — Anya always claims victory in one-on-one matches. While both sisters want the best for each other, Anya said, she can still get Madeline to “psych herself out” when they play head-to-head.

While her time at Utah was certainly memorable playing with her twin, Anya said she also learned how to always be a team-first player.

“We have to give more than what we take,” Anya said. “So, whether we’re helping out teammates or trying to cheer them up, we have to make sure we are constantly putting in effort towards others rather than focusing on ourselves all the time.”

Anya prefers college tennis to the high school game — not just because of the higher level of play, but also the team dedication and common goals.

“High school is like, you’re training and doing more things on your own. Like, ‘If you want it, you’re going to do it,’” Anya said. “Then, in college, we get to do everything with the team, like lifts and conditioning and pushing each other on court. Harder for sure, but a lot more fun.”

Anya originally committed to attend Grand Canyon University, a school in Phoenix near her hometown, following her four years at Utah. But a coaching change and a lack of academic credit transferring gave her second thoughts about moving back to Arizona.

Anya said she “has always weirdly liked the Midwest” and was drawn to Iowa after hearing good things about their coaching staff. During her visit, Anya was struck by the coaches’ support and the team’s genuineness. So, she decided to switch her commitment to Iowa.

Through her four years of collegiate tennis experience, Anya believes she can help out the team. Her advice to the freshmen is simple: don’t get overwhelmed and stressed, but rather stay in the moment.

While her personal goal is to get Iowa into the top third of the Big Ten rankings, Anya plans to be a source of encouragement for her teammates as they try to rewrite their upcoming spring season.

“While I’m here, I’m pushing the other girls on court and helping us all accomplish goals that we have set for ourselves,” she said.