By Earl Zukerman
Alexandra Beran of Oakville, Ont., defeated Erika Voaklander in a tie-breaker as McGill rallied to edge Alberta 6-5 and capture their first-ever Canadian university national tennis championship at Rexall Centre, Sunday.
Beran, a 19-year-old sophomore majoring in economics and psychology, won the thriller by scores of 7-6 (6), 5-7, 10-7. Earlier, she also paired up with teammate Nicholas Fox to win a mixed doubles match 4-6, 6-3, 10-8.
Alberta had held a 3-2 lead heading into the final singles round, after winning three of five doubles matches (two men, two women, one mixed). McGill dropped the first singles event but roared back to take three of the next four to tie the score at 5-5 and setting the stage for Beran’s heroics.
The coed McGill squad, making their first-ever appearance at the tourney, qualified for the final after dumping Western 8-3 in a semifinal on Friday. Alberta advanced to the gold medal match after a 9-2 conquest over Western on Saturday.
In Friday’s opener against Western, McGill took an early lead by winning the first four doubles matches but Western answered capturing the mixed doubles match in straight sets. Six singles matches followed, with Western winning the first two but McGill rallied to win the remaining four.
The tourney format required each team to compete in five doubles and six singles matches with the winning team needing to claim at least six contests.