LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell sophomore Maria Cioffi has turned heads in the Patriot League for her impressive play on the court all season, but on Monday afternoon the women’s tennis standout was recognized for her ability to combine that high level of play with academic excellence when she was named the Patriot League women’s tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Cioffi, who is in her first year of eligibility for the conference’s academic honors, also earned a spot on the seven-member Academic All-Patriot League team and became the first Bison to garner the top accolade since Kristina Lutter was selected in 1994.

Cioffi, who was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Year and selected to the All-Patriot League second team at the conclusion of last season, has been consistently excellent for the Bison during her sophomore campaign, compiling a 19-6 singles record and a 17-6 mark in doubles play. She spent most of her time during the dual season at No. 2 singles, where she played to an 11-2 mark that included a perfect, 5-0 record in Patriot League action, and she combined with senior Elena Vidrascu at No. 1 doubles. The duo battled to a 7-5 overall record and a 3-2 mark in conference play.

At the end of the season, Cioffi had won nine straight at No. 2 singles, and her final record of 19-6 tied her for 16th in program history for single-season victories. The sophomore also shot up the all-time charts in all three career categories after only two seasons in the orange and blue and now ranks 16th in all-time victories (83-33), 17th in all-time doubles victories (40-15) and is tied for 18th in all-time singles victories (43-18).

Academically, the mathematics and computer science double major has maintained an outstanding 3.91 GPA, earning a spot on the Bucknell University Dean’s List for each of her first three semesters. She was also selected to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll as a freshman and is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, the academic national honor society for freshmen.

Cioffi, who has worked as a tennis instructor at the Loyalsock Recreation Summer Tennis Clinic for the past two summers, is a teaching assistant in the computer science department at Bucknell, and will work in the same role at the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Sciences this summer. 

This year’s Academic All-Patriot League team in women’s tennis consisted of seven players due to a tie in voting, and Cioffi was joined by Jamila Paul (Army), Leonie-Charlotte Athanasiadis (Boston University), Johanna Hyoty (Boston University), Abby Farrell (Lehigh), Haleigh Morgus (Loyola) and Mikaela Carlson (Navy).