Bison Athlete of the Week: Maria Cioffi ’16

Doug Hendry, Assistant Sports Editor

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The women’s tennis team had a successful March, and that was largely due to Maria Cioffi ’16. Cioffi competes in the No. 1 doubles position with Elena Vidrascu ’14 as well as the No. 2 singles position. Since March 12, the Bison have gone 4-3, and Cioffi has had several key victories of her own.

Since the team’s victory over George Mason, Cioffi has gone 5-1 in singles play and 3-1 in doubles play. On March 27, Cioffi and Vidrascu earned an 8-3 win against Mount Saint Mary’s as well as a 6-1, 6-2 straight-set victory for Cioffi in singles play. The Bison then suffered a loss to Navy, but Cioffi defeated her singles opponent 6-3, 6-3 after putting up a tough fight at No. 1 doubles.

On April 1, Cioffi dominated her Villanova opponents in the team’s 7-0 triumph. Cioffi and Vidrascu were victorious in their doubles match (8-6), while Cioffi defeated her singles opponent in two sets 6-3, 6-2.

“Maria came in as a very raw talent with a lot of athleticism and passion for the game,” Head Coach Rebecca Helt said. “She’s made significant progress in her doubles play and net play in general. Physically she has reached a new level, providing her the strength to power through long matches. She has shown a lot of progress in her understanding of proper footwork and singles tactics. I think her mental toughness and confidence on court is also an area where she has begun to excel on our team.”

In her two-year career, Cioffi has gone 38-18 in singles play and 37-12 in doubles play. Her 75-30 total record gives her the highest winning percentage (.714) of any current Bison. She’s had plenty of experience against all kinds of competition; she even finished fourth place in high school in the boys’ state tennis tournament. Cioffi is prepared to finish the year strong and help lead her team in the Patriot League Tournament.

“Maria is someone who has already established herself as a leader on our team by her actions alone,” Helt said. “Her work ethic is outstanding. She is someone who gives 110 percent day-in and day-out and never makes excuses for off performances. She will continue to impact this program through her growth as a player, but also as someone who sets a good example for other members of the team. Our opponents have a lot of respect for Maria’s sportsmanship and work ethic during competition.”

Cioffi’s contributions on the court have helped the Bison to a 4-6 mark during this rainy spring season and the fifth spot in Patriot League standings.

Bio:

  • Class of 2016
  • Hometown: Williamsport, Pa.
  • No. 1 Doubles
  • No. 2 Singles

Stats:

Career:

  • Singles: 38-18
  • Doubles: 37-12
  • Total: 75-30 (.714 percent)

2014:

Singles: 6-3

Doubles: 3-1

Total: 9-4 (.692 percent)

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