first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 2, 2016 at 11:05 pm Contact Matthew: [email protected] | @MatthewGut21 Courtesy of SU AthleticsOccasionally, Mitchell will grab a bag of pistachios from Grab N’ Go, the student athlete food cafe in Manley Field House. She’ll snack on a bag between classes because, as an information management and technology major, food is not allowed in class.“As a kid, I ate them all the time that I got bored of them” Mitchell said. “I’m not bored of them anymore.”A member of the cashew family, the pistachio has long been cited for its health benefits. The nut has proven to lower the risk of heart disease, support joint health, maintain healthy skin and enhance eyesight. Add to that list: Help propel Syracuse to new heights.Hegab, a freshman from Egypt, considers pistachios an important part of her diet. Before arriving to SU this semester, she ate them religiously. Now, she “always” has them in her bag, whether she’s in class, on the team bus or in practice.Pistachios are so appealing partly because they’re easy to eat. SU’s home tennis matches have lasted about three hours each. The time commitment ends up adding up to five hours after tacking on warm-ups, post-match stretching and a team discussion.During fall tournaments, the Orange would be at a facility from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. To stay energized and focused, players grabbed a handful of pistachios, cracked the shells and scarfed them down.The Orange likes its pistachios lightly salted, a variety that contains half the amount of sodium, 70 milligrams-per-serving, as classic salted pistachios. The lightly salted variety doesn’t dry out the players’ mouths, either.The team’s go-to snack comes in a variety of bag sizes, depending on the occasion. At the Princeton Invite, players shared a 16-ounce bag. During Sunday’s 4-3 win over then No. 30 Notre Dame, which lasted about three and a half hours, players were snacking on individual grab-and-go bags. They may only be 1 ounce, but the small packs contain as much protein as an egg.“I guess that’s a pretty good option, right?” said volunteer assistant coach Len Lopoo. “There are worse things they could be snacking on. If that’s the key, then we’ll make sure there’s plenty of pistachios around.” Comments Related Stories Syracuse earns highest ranking in program historyHow Valeria Salazar emerged as one of Syracuse’s best players after injury-riddled pastHow Maria Tritou’s height helps freshman to 6-2 singles record Syracuse cracked the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Top 25 for the first time in the program’s 41-year history on Tuesday. But the Orange has been cracking on something else — pistachios.Since last September, No. 24 Syracuse (8-1, 2-1 Atlantic Coast) has fueled up with pistachios on the road, during weekend tournaments and between matches. Heading into the thick of ACC play this weekend, the results are speaking for themselves. The Orange is ranked higher than it’s ever been, freshman Dina Hegab is 8-0 in singles and the trio of Anna Shkudun, Gabriela Knutson and Hegab is a combined 22-3.“We love pistachios,” Knutson said, riding a 7-1 singles record.Assistant coach Shelley George introduced the snack to the team last fall. She purchases the pistachios at Tops Friendly Market on Nottingham Road, just a few hundred yards from Drumlins Country Club, the Orange’s home court. In the back of the Tops Market, in the produce section, lie 1-, 6-, 12- and 16-ounce packs of pistachios, made by The Wonderful Company.At the Princeton University Invite last September, SU players rested at a wooden table between matches. They downed a 16-ounce bag of in-shell, lightly salted pistachios. Then, they laid the shells in the middle of the table, creating a 2-inch high wall of shells that extended about 3 feet long.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We had a massive bag of them and just destroyed the whole pack,” said Nicole Mitchell, a sophomore. “It’s just the team snack. Everyone eats them, everyone loves them. Pretty sure we’ll be sick of them by the end of the year.”last_img

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