Coaches Classic allows girls tennis team to play with heart

September 15, 2014
Arnav Damodhar | Staff Writer

025 (1)Pictured: Sophomore Shirley Yang
Photo by Arnav Damodhar

Sports should be played for a love of the game.

The Mason girls tennis team has tightly embraced this concept through the Coaches Classic Tournament. On Thursday, September 11, and Saturday, September 13, the girls tennis team served their way through the Coaches Classic Tournament, the first individual tournament of the season.

Because the whole team was in the back draw, most lost their matches. However, second singles player and sophomore Isabel Cepeda carried Mason to success. Cepeda won 8-2 against rival Sycamore in her final match.

“I think that the team did pretty well,” Cepeda said. “I am really surprised with myself.”

According to head coach Mike Reid, the conflict with the ACT has really messed up the entire line up.

“We would have liked to done a little bit better,” Reid said. “But, we did okay. We were missing two of our players. (Junior) Sanjana Datla and (senior) Kelly Noriega were both taking the ACT. That hurt us a little bit.”

According to first singles player, sophomore Elizabeth Kong, the Coaches Classic is not a very important tournament — put relatively.

“It doesn’t count for anything,” Kong said. “It just brings the people in our area together so we can play as players and gives friendly competition. But the thing is that because it is unimportant, other schools like to stack. So they would put one of their best players as doubles, whereas Mason, we play our line up straight up.”

The same belief is also shared by Coach Reid. According to him, the results of Coaches Classic doesn’t set any assertion or expectation for the GMC, sectional, or district tournaments.

“It doesn’t matter in terms of the GMCs, the sectionals, or the districts,” Reid said. “It is more of a fun tournament. Some teams put together their singles players and have them play doubles; some teams use it to get ready for the sectionals. But, it’s not the most important tournament. It’s not the same way we view the GMCs or the sectionals.”

According to Reid, this tournament was good in terms of giving doubles players a chance to play other positions. Sophomore Shirley Yang did well, according to him, although Yang lost her final match 8-6 against Sycamore. Overall, the girl’s tennis team is content with their performance.

“We got the opportunity to have some kids play singles who don’t always play singles,” Reid said. “Shirley Yang is playing really well at third singles. Typically, she would be playing second doubles.”


Senior Expectations vs. Realities

Be a senior, they said. It will be easy, they said.

This is the common misconception that people make. Many underclassmen and juniors have an assumption that senior year is going to be the easiest of them all. A year comprised of a lighter academic load, enjoyment, and a whole different feeling.

Or so they think.

According to senior, Sam Hodge, twelfth grade is just as academically inclined like any other; with classes to attend, homework to complete, and tests to study for.

“I expected that junior year was going the high academic year and everything was going to be a lot harder,” Hodge said. “I don’t think I realized how academically rigorous senior year was going to be.

According to senior, Rachel Holloway, having a rigorous schedule is crucial in order to get accepted into an elite school. It also prepares you for college.

“I think that you have to keep challenging yourself and keep taking hard classes, if you want to go to a hard school,” Holloway said. “If you take easy classes your senior year, you are not going to go into college with the same work ethic. So I kind of always wanted to keep my course schedules rigorous.”

Apart from the academic rigor, seniors are engrossed in their college applications. And on top of that, they have to manage their extracurricular activities.

Senior, Michael Crawshaw said, “Just figuring out where I want to go has taken up a lot of time.” “The pressure from applications and admissions is a lot to handle. It dominates my schedule. The main thing for me is I don’t want to let something like college admissions overpower the things I love to do. I love to play piano. I would never be able to say I guess I don’t have to practice piano for a month, because I have to do all these college applications.”

The pressure of college acceptance has enforced discipline in seniors and has prevented them from slacking off.

Senior, Emily Calvani said, “At some points I want to slack off.” But, at the same time I really can’t do that if I want a college to see me as a good candidate for that school. I want to slack off sometimes, but I know it’s not really an option.”

Apart from the rigorous coursework, the arduous college application process, and numerous extracurricular activities, some seniors don’t truly feel like “Seniors.”

“I always feel like an internal freshman,” senior, Cassidy Peebles, said. “I have said that since sophomore year. I thought I would change every year. I feel more mature knowing that next year I will be going to college and will be out my comfortable surroundings.”

According to Calvani, she was not expecting to feel like this. She too, was expecting to feel like a, “Senior.”

“During the summer I was expecting to feel different coming into school as a senior,” Calvani said. “I think as a freshmen I would always look at people and kind of be a little intimidated and this year I don’t. So I guess in that sense I feel different. But, other than that it’s kind of like the same.”

On the contrary, freshman have very different expectations for senior year, compared to the actual realities.

According to freshman, Brian Karl, being an eighth grader, feels like being a top dog of the Middle School. And this is what being a senior would feel like.

“You [as an eighth grader] should be more of role model,” Karl said. “The eighth graders didn’t get any power. It just made them feel like the senior of the Middle School. I would feel similar (when I am a senior) to being an eighth grader.”

Freshman, Kaitlin Lewis, has a different opinion of senior year. According to Lewis, she won’t feel any different as a senior. But, she expects it to be a little laid back.

“It’s weird to even think about that I am in high school right now,” Lewis said.  “I probably won’t even feel much different. I think it’s going to be more fun. I am going to take harder classes. But I still think it’s going to be a lot of fun. I feel like it’s going to be a little more laid back.”

According to Emily Calvani, senior year is about having fun and experiencing new things. But, at the same time, it also important to concentrate on school.


“It’s exciting getting to experience new things and getting to help out underclassmen, but at the same time I am still here for a year,” Calvani said. “I still need to focus. I am just really excited for it.”