South Williamsport senior Maria Cioffi may be small in stature, but her serve will make your head swivel! Coming into last week, Maria has 2 girls singles district championships to do the talking for her, but her swift rise to the top was put on pause last season. Maria was injured in a bad car accident last summer and suffered multiple fractures in her pelvis and there was some question on whether she'd get back in the game anytime soon. But after a short 2 month stint of rehabilitation, she was back on the court. This time, playing with the boys!
South Williamsport head coach Kent Young says, "Knowing Maria, and the hard work that she puts in, there was no doubt in my mind that she would come back from this. But with the speed that she came back, it is impressive. She's done one heck of a job. She's really put the time in and really improved."
Maria Cioffi says, "I figured it would take a little while to get back but I think I'm back to where I was, maybe better. I really like playing so when I was out, it was really depressing and I was really upset so when I got to come back, I was really excited to start playing again and I played a lot."
The tenacity that drove Maria through her recovery served her well when she competed in the district 4 *boys* singles championship last week. Maria became just the *3rd girl* in state history to win a *boys'* singles district championship, the first in District 4.
"It was a pretty exciting day and to be the first one to do it in District 4 in their history was quite a feat, and we were hoping for that but nothing is ever a sure thing," continued Young.
Cioffi went on to say, "I like playing with the guys because they're really athletic and they can run really fast so the points last a really long time with some of them so it's a good workout. "
Next year, Maria will take her talents to the collegiate level at Bucknell University, just a short ride down the road, where she'll be hitting back-handers for the Bison.