Golden Bears tennis
The University of Alberta Golden Bears and Pandas tennis teams competed in the program’s fifth national championship final game in the last seven seasons, but could not duplicate last year’s gold medal finish as the Pandas dropped a championship final to York, while the Golden Bears fell to the Laval Rouge Et Or.
Following semi-final victories over Toronto and Western respectively, the Pandas fell behind York early and could not overcome the Lions, losing 6-1, while the Bears and Rouge Et Or were close throughout match, but the RSEQ school scored successive victories over Alberta in singles play, paving the way for the gold medal win.
The Pandas trailed York 1-0 after doubles play, but then fell behind 2-1 following the first two singles play. The Lions continued to rack up the singles play victories, ending the match at 6-1 and claiming the gold medal.
On the men’s side, the Golden Bears drew first blood against Laval by claiming a ‘W’ in doubles play to go up 1-0 early. The Rouge Et Or then jumped ahead 3-1 thanks to consecutive singles wins. Alberta then needed three straight wins in singles play to capture the title, but dropped their first match to cede the victory.
Although Laval won the championship banner, the Bears and Rouge Et Or played out their final two matches, while the Golden Bears won, making the final score 4-3 for the RSEQ program.
This year’s championship, hosted at The Aviva Centre in Toronto and held in conjunction with the 2015 Women’s Rogers Cup, was the first year of a format that awarded men’s and women’s titles. The previous six championships, alternately hosted by Montreal and Toronto and always alongside the Rogers Cup, handed out just one overall school championship with men’s and women’s doubles and singles play rolled up into one score per competing program. In that format the U of A won a bronze, three straight silver medals from 2011 and 2013 and then the gold medal in 2014.