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Junior outfielder Giannina Cipolloni and the Virginia softball team (12-9) welcomes Fordham, Princeton and No. 25 Syracuse to The Park this weekend for the UVa Spring Break Invitational. The Cavaliers will take on the Tigers in their first game at 9 a.m. Saturday. Cipolloni, a native of Philadelphia, recently caught up with to talk about the season, playing with her younger sister again, her career ambitions and her dancing talent.

Question: How would you describe the season thus far?
I feel like it’s gone by really fast. We are kind of winding down now in that we have a lot of home games coming up. But the traveling has helped us really gel together and get the first years on board. We had a good preseason and had some pretty nice wins.

Question: Have you seen the maximum potential out of this team yet?
I don’t think we have played our A game yet. We have had moments of greatness and we’ve had glimpses of being a good team but we haven’t played a full seven innings up to our potential. So beating teams ranked nationally without that happening is pretty awesome.

Question: Are you looking forward to playing at home for the rest of March now?
It’s definitely a nice feeling when you hear your walk-out song. And being an outfielder, you just know your field. You know it better than the other teams. Offensively, you know when you hit the gap we’re taking extra bases because we have a big outfield.

Question: There are some pretty solid teams coming to town this weekend.
It’s a tough weekend coming up but our team, this year, we just don’t care about the name on the jersey. We just go out there and play our game.

Question: How does this team differ than in past years?
This year we are a lot more about the small game instead of bombers. Everyone can get the job done this year instead of just looking to our big hitters to come to the plate and hit a home run for us. Even against Longwood, we were down 10-5 going into the last inning and made it 10-8. That was a complete team effort.

Question: What has it been like playing with your younger sister (freshman Erica Cipolloni) this year? What advice did you give her about coming to UVa?
I have played with her all my life so it’s not that much different than in previous years. I told her to make sure she doesn’t slack on her classes. Get ahead in your credits because that is something I didn’t do. Take as many classes as you can now and get them done so you aren’t stressed your last few semesters.

Question: What is your major? What are your career ambitions?
I am majoring in psychology. I would really love to peruse a career similar to what our mental game coach does when she comes in and works with us. Someday down the line maybe coaching. But I am really interested in sports psychology.

Question: What has been your favorite class at UVa?
I am in the history of the circus right now and I really like that class. It’s pretty awesome to learn about that stuff.

Question: What do you like to do for fun?
I was voted most likely to become a YouTube star in high school so making videos is pretty fun. Alexa (Martinez) and I like to put random videos of ourselves singing and dancing on Facebook. I just like relaxing; I’ve been a lot more chill this year.

Question: Are you the best dancer on the team?
I mean, Lo (McCaskey) is up there with me. But yeah, I don’t want to brag, but probably. I’ve had my songs – “Stanky Leg” first year and “Single Ladies” last year – not sure what this year’s will be yet. “Teach Me How to Dougie” has been coming on a lot.

Cipolloni’s Favorites
Place on Grounds:
The Castle, The Pav, and Crossroads
Strawberries; I also enjoy a good cheeseburger
“Mean Girls” or “Stick It”
“Chelsea, Chelsea, Bang, Bang” by Chelsea Handler
Orange, blue is also pleasing to the eye and purple!
Subject to Study:
Place to Travel:
Music Artist:
Christina Aguilera
“The Real Slim Shady” by Eminem
TV Shows:
“Glee” and “Jersey Shore”
Frozen Kit Kats

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