Between sets, Muncy's Brock Anderson stood just off the court talking to coach Matt McCrone. Anderson had just gotten blanked, 6-0, in the first set and McCrone was trying to tell Anderson what to do differently.
While they talked, South Williamsport's Maria Cioffi stood on her side of the court by herself, racket in one hand, ball in the other, wearing her visor and staring at Anderson, waiting for the match to resume.
Cioffi didn't need to hear from her coach or anyone. She was in the zone out there, much like she had been in the first two rounds.
Despite McCrone's tips, Anderson couldn't do much against Cioffi, who advanced to the semifinals in the District 4 Class AA?boys singles tennis tournament with the 6-0, 6-1 win over Anderson Saturday at Williamsport High School.
"I really don't adjust my strategy," Cioffi said. "I usually just play my game unless I get down, then I start doing other stuff, but usually just playing my game works."
Cioffi completely dominated the court against Anderson in their first set, much like she did in the first two rounds, winning both 6-0, 6-0. Cioffi is the 2010 District 4 Class AA girls singles champion, but injuries prevented her from defending that title last fall.
Aside from a handful of points from Anderson, Cioffi returned just about every shot on Saturday. Anytime Anderson attempted a shot at the net deep in Cioffi's backcourt, she either backpeddled in time and returned it, or Anderson overestimated his shot and hit it out of play.
Cioffi also forced Anderson to move around and not find any offensive rhythm.
In the second set, McCrone's advice to Anderson started to pay off a little.
"In the second set, he told me to come up to the net a little more, be more aggressive with her, because your ground game is really good but if you can get up to the net, might be able to get a couple more points," Anderson said.
After a 1-0 lead by the Mountie in the second set, Anderson started playing more aggressive. Anderson hit shots just out of Cioffi's reach, something that he failedto do in the first set, forcing a few bad returns by Cioffi that hit the net.
That gave Anderson some momentum, closing the second set at 2-1.
"The second set she started getting a little bit frustrated with herself and that's when I capitalized and I started being able to get some points," Anderson said. "Because once you get frustrated, you start losing the game."
Cioffi's frustration didn't last long and she regained her composure, closing out the match, 6-1.
"I relaxed a little bit in the second (set) and when you get off your guard you let people in and I just regained it then and came back," Cioffi said.
Cioffi routinely made returns that looked like it was going to be an easy point for Anderson. Anderson twice hit what looked like perfect shots just out of Cioffi's reach, only to see the Mountie get her racket down just off the ground in the nick of time to return them back.
While Cioffi won with ease, Lewisburg's Peter Csernica struggled a bit against Towanda's Dave Rodenhizer before eventually winning 7-6 (7-4), 6-4.
Rodenhizer kept Csernica on his toes the entire match, never letting the reigning District 4 singles champion get an advantage or momentum to put him away early.
"It was one of those things when you win a couple of games in a row in tennis, sometimes the other person lets down or something, gets frustrated, but that didn't happen to either of us," Csernica said. "We both just kept coming back stronger. We lost a couple games in a row, so it made it really tough."
Csernica trailed 5-4 in the first set before forcing a tie-breaker that, for Csernica, felt like a must-win.
"That was just a really big, big win to get that in the tie-break," Csernica said. "If I had lost that in the tie-break, I might have been in trouble."
Csernica and Cioffi can only face one another if they both win their semifinals matches and advance for the District 4 title on Monday. The two split a pair of matches earlier this year, and both would like to see a rematch with each other.
"I feel confident that I can beat everyone in the draw, but I mean, it would be a good match again because we usually have good matches," Cioffi said.
The semifinals resume on Monday at the West Branch Tennis Club at 2 p.m. Csernica will face Loyalsock's Caleb Vuocolo, who won 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 over Muncy's Evan Artley. Cioffi will take on Lewisburg's Ben Koch, who was a 6-0, 6-2 winner against Cowanesque Valley's Chandler Mastin.
(scores not available)
Safwan Khan, Selinsgrove, def. Brian Abbate, Central; Tyus Luwig, Selinsgrove, def. Jonathan Walls, Danville; Mark Odorizzi, Loyalsock, def. Cody Getz, Shik.
Peter Csernica, Lewisburg, def. Safwan Khan, Selinsgrove, 6-0, 6-0; Logan Smith, Galeton, def. Seth Brown, C.V., 6-3, 6-2; Bryce Jones, SW, def. Ryan Martin, Liberty, 6-1, 6-2; Davvid Rodenhizer, Towanda, def. Ryan Pace, Milton, 6-0, 6-2; Caleb Vuocolo, Loyalsock, def. Landon Walter, Mifflinburg, 6-3, 6-1; Sam Gill, Athens, def. Brandon McCaffrey, 6-1, 6-0; Rilan Galicic, Hughesville, def. Alec Schrawder, Shik, 6-1, 6-0; Evan Artley, Muncy, def. Garrett Carr, Wellsboro, 6-1, 6-0; Ben Koch, Lewisburg, def. Tyus Luwig, Selinsgrove, 6-0, 6-0; Aaron Dillman, Wellsboro, def. Dan Hatch, 6-3, 6-0; Chandler Mastin, C.V., def. Logan Weaver, Mifflinburg, 6-0, 6-1; Kyle Gruss, Danville, def. Tyler Smith, Hughesville, 7-5, 4-6, 6-4; Brock Anderson, Muncy, def. Joe Todd, Central, 6-2, 6-1; Dylan Everhart, Bloomsburg, def. Andrew Nadas, Liberty, 6-1, 6-0; Nolyn Chaffee, Towanda, def. Drew Pace, Milton, 7-6, 6-2; Maria Cioffi, SW, def. Mark Odorizzi, Loyalsock, 6-0, 6-0.
Peter Csernica, Lewisburg, def. Logan Smith, Galeton, 6-3, 6-2; Dave Rodenhizer, Towanda, def. Bryce Jones, SW, 6-0, 6-4; Caleb Vuocolo, Loyalsock, def. Sam Gill, Athens, 6-4, 6-3; Evan Artley, Muncy, def. Rilan Galicic, Hughesville, 6-1, 6-1; Ben Koch, Lewisburg, def. Aaron Dillman, Wellsboro, 6-0, 6-0; Chandler Mastin, C.V., def. Kyle Gruss, Danville, 6-2, 6-4; Brock Anderson, Muncy, def. Dylan Everhart, Bloomsburg, 6-1, 6-2; Maria Cioffi, SW, def. Nolyn Chaffee, Towanda, 6-0, 6-0.
Peter Csernica, Lewisburg, def. Davvid Rodenhizer, Towanda, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4; Caleb Vuocolo, Loyalsock, def. Evan Artley, Muncy, 6-4, 5-7, 6-1; Ben Koch, Lewisburg, def. Chandler Mastin, C.V., 6-0, 6-2; Maria Cioffi, SW, def. Brock Anderson, Muncy, 6-0, 6-0.
at West Branch Tennis Club
Monday, May 7, 2 p.m.. Finals to follow
Peter Csernica, Lewisburg vs. Caleb Vuocolo, Loyalsock; Ben Koch, Lewisburg vs. Maria Cioffi, SW.