UNB’s tennis team won the first tournament of the season this semester by beating the number one seed, Dalhousie—and is looking to continue their momentum into next year.
UNB outscored Dalhousie #1 in the final round of the Atlantic University League Tournament #1 with a match tally of 4-3. After dominating singles, UNB was in the lead at 3-1 against the Tigers. Dal bounced back during the doubles, winning on both the men’s and women’s sides to tie UNB at 3-3. For the tiebreaker, UNB faced Dalhousie in a mixed doubles match. UNB was able to get the win with a drawn-out score of 8-6.
“I think winning this tournament really tells us that it’s possible to win the rest of our tournaments,” said doubles athlete Charlotte Bartlett. “That would be an amazing goal to reach this season. That being said, I think we all realize that it won’t be easy; we know that we need to train and not get ahead of ourselves to reach this goal—but in my opinion, it’s attainable.”
Former second place team Memorial dropped to third after winning the third place match against Saint Mary’s. The UPEI Panthers gained on Dalhousie #2, winning in a score of 5-2 and placing fifth overall. In the last consolation final, St. FX was able to beat Acadia for seventh place with a score of 5-2.
After being ranked third at the end of last season, UNB knew that it would be difficult to compete for first place. With some roster changes this year, the team has a positive outlook going forward.
“I think [the] ever-changing rosters change the dynamic of the team for sure,” said Bartlett. “This is my third year on the team…I’ve loved the team dynamic each year for different reasons and that carries into this year.”
Bartlett says that her personal goal is to “to improve [her] skills,” as “there’s always room to grow.”
“This tournament highlighted some things I need to work on—specifically returning hard serves. Some of the ladies in the league have killer serves and I’d like to be able to return them more consistently.”
The team will be practicing over the holiday break in order to get ready for League Tournament #2, which takes place between Jan. 19 and 21, 2018 at the Abony Family Tennis Center in Fredericton. Their championships will be held in early March.