The newly-formed Concordia University Tennis Team (CUTT) has come a long way since it’s first official tryouts in March 2013.
Some of the players recruited last March are still on the team, others are not. The team held a few practices over the summer but they were not mandatory. Official training began in early September. Since then the team has been training once per week. Some players have chosen to play outside of team practice sessions, whether to work on technique or play some games, as well as do workouts on their own.
Last weekend, CUTT sent four players to represent Concordia in the Halifax Campus Challenge, a competition featuring participants from universities across Canada. They played in both singles, doubles, and mixed teams, and came back with a gold medal.
“It was amazing,” Concordia men’s tennis player,Jason Savage, said. “It was pretty competitive too so that was great.”
Concordia women’s player, Emilie Cyrenne, was also quick to talk about the positive experience, “It was so much fun. It was just perfect.”
“It was unique because we had one singles team, one doubles team and a mixed team,” said Dominic Labelle, the men’s team’s second ranked player.
On Nov.30, CUTT will meet the McGill team for the first time in an exhibition duel. The format of the encounter will be the same as the one in the official league which will take place in early 2014: six singles and three doubles for both the women and the men.
“It’s going to be a really good benchmark [for us] because they won the Nationals last year,” said men’s coach Fabien Zermatte. “We’ll be able to judge what level we are and what to improve on.”
The team strongly encourages fellow Concordia students to come and cheer them on. The matches will take place from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Uniprix Stadium. More info will be provided on their Facebook page, facebook.com/ConcordiaTennisTeam.
From January to March 2014, CUTT will compete in the second edition of the Quebec University Tennis League, in which five Quebec university tennis teams will participate: Concordia, McGill, Université de Montréal, Sherbrooke and Laval. Over the course of eleven weeks, every team will face each other twice. The results will be used to establish the seeding for the provincial championship called the Championat Québécois Universitaire, which takes place at the beginning of next April. The Championat Québécois Universitaire is a new tournament that is in the midst of being designed by the managers of the teams that will participate in the Quebec University Tennis League. The winning team of the provincial championship will represent the province in the national university championship in August, called the Championnats tennis canadiens collégiaux et universitaires.
The team is composed of two coaches, Andreea Constantinescu for the women’s team and Zermatten for the men’s team, and team manager for the men and women’s team, Ginta Cojocaru.
“This is only our first year in the league, so going forward I don’t know what to expect but certainly discovering other teams and entering the pace of the league and playing every weekend is going to be a challenge but I think we can do it,” Cojocaru said.
At this point, the roster consists of 10 men and seven women. While they will not be holding official tryouts until next fall, they are constantly looking for additional players, particularly women.
“That being said, guys are also welcome to try out, as there is room for more!” Cojocaru said.
They encourage Concordia students to spread the word, visit their Facebook page, and check out their website at concordiatennisteam.com.