Q&A with Erica Cipolloni
Sophomore Erica Cipolloni and the Virginia softball team return home to The Park this weekend for a three-game series with No. 23 Florida State. The Cavaliers and Seminoles meet in a doubleheader at 12 p.m. Saturday before concluding the series at 11 a.m. Sunday. Cipolloni, a Philadelphia native, recently caught up with VirginiaSports.com to talk about the season, playing with her older sister Giannina, why she came to UVa and her favorite spots on Grounds.
Question: How would you describe the season thus far?
Cipolloni: Our first game we came out strong. We played very well at the beginning of the year. We kind of broke down in California; last week was a setback and we didn’t play to our potential. We have used this whole week to get better and will be ready for Florida State and the rest of the conference season. We just all have to work together.
Question: You opened the ACC season with a huge sweep at Georgia Tech. Did that give the team confidence?
Cipolloni: Absolutely. They were favored to be the top team in the conference. We weren’t really surprised or shocked that we swept them, though. We just play our game and don’t worry about the names on jerseys. That’s how we look at it. This weekend is definitely going to be a good series. We start the conference season with two good teams.
Question: The team has been on the road for a few weeks. Will it be nice to play at home again?
Cipolloni: I like playing away because I think the intensity is a lot stronger. But we have just been traveling so much that I think we are all a little worn down. It’s really good to be home. We are hopeful that people will come out and support us and see what we’re all about.
Question: You have played second, third and pitched for this team. How important is your versatility?
Cipolloni: My senior year of high school, I had to give up what I was used to and do something different for the sake of the team. That is what my first year was like at Virginia too. I wasn’t hitting as well because I was more focused on pitching. I am glad to be back at second because I am more comfortable there. I am having a lot more fun this year and I am definitely more relaxed.
Question: What did you work on over the offseason?
Cipolloni: I wanted to prove that I am a great hitter. I hit everyday. That is something that I lacked last year and I know can only get better. I really focused on the small things.
Question: What is it like being teammates with your sister at UVa?
Cipolloni: When we were in high school, she played shortstop and I played second so we really worked together. Now we are two different players. We are competitive. This is our last year playing together though and that will definitely be the sad part about next year.
Question: How did you end up at UVa?
Cipolloni: I feel like it was very different than everyone else. Softball was my top priority when looking at schools. I looked a lot of SEC schools but when Giannina decided to come play here, I started to look more into academics. I knew how much it would mean to my family if I played with my sister. She was a big reason why I came here. I also really like the coaching staff. When I close my eyes and picture college, UVa is how I see it.
Question: What is your major?
Cipolloni: I am majoring in sociology and am probably going to looking into coaching. I just really enjoy working with people.
Question: What has been your favorite class at UVa?
Cipolloni: I would have to say psych 101. It was so interesting and my professor was so good; he made class really fun. We learned a lot about how people think and the growing process from adolescent to adult.
Question: What do you like to do for fun?
Cipolloni: In the summer I love to go to the beach. I am from Philly so I’m always at the Jersey shore. I love going to Phillies games and hanging out in the city. I love the shops on Walnut Street. Last summer I took the tour bus and learned all about the city. I also really like to swim.
Question: What is your favorite spot on Grounds?
Cipolloni: I like going to the Lawn when it’s nice outside. We also love to play beach volleyball at the sand courts. Even though this isn’t on Grounds I love SweetFrog.