BY DANA NICKEL, CHIEF EGG
Due to budget cuts, Mason Athletics has been forced to make some tough decisions in regard to funding for different Division I teams. Many teams have suffered, but the worst cuts can be seen on the tennis courts.
“What are we supposed to do now?” asked Martina Chung, captain of the Women’s Tennis team.
Matt LaSpain, world-renowned coach of Women’s Tennis, simply shrugged, leading the team to an old shed in the crawlspace under Skyline Fitness Center.
The team was excited to find, in addition to a small population of rats, an abundance of wiffle-ball bats.
“It was a big phenomenon here back in the ’80s,” recalled Tycho Cucinotta, associate director of Mason Athletics. “All anyone could think about back then was cocaine and wiffle ball.”
Conditioning for Women’s Tennis began in late January, and the team seems to have taken to the change-up in equipment.
“It was really hard at first, you know, since the bats are plastic and not regulation,” explained Akemi Romilly, a freshman at Mason and tennis prodigy.
The first tournament of the season was earlier this month, March 8, and the team took home the first-place trophy. The judges credited it to Mason’s change in equipment.
“We pride ourselves in being quite civilized here in the tennis community,” Mimi La Croix, the top judge in Northern Virginia’s College Association of Tennis (CAT) explained. “We have specific rules against expressing rage with the tennis equipment. However, there are no rules against smashing wiffle ball bats on the court, or even chasing your opponents around with wiffle ball bats.”
Which is exactly what the team did.
“I always encourage my team members to go on the offensive in this sport,” explained LaSpain, “and it just so happens that threatening the lives of our opponents not only brings us together, but it also makes us a much better team in general.”
Of the 27 matches played since the start of the season, Mason’s Women’s Tennis team has won 26.