Hannah Cianciola isn’t your typical high school freshman.
Along with doubles partner Ashley Kaleel, Cianciola qualified for the state tennis tournament in her first year on varsity. For most ninth graders, playing at that level would be overwhelming. But again, she’s not like most ninth graders.
“Some of them were really good at state,” Cianciola said. “But I knew that I could handle it.”
The Canfield duo lost in the second round, but Cianciola described the whole experience as “so much fun.”
For advice on what to expect, Cianciola didn’t have to go far. Her mother used to coach at Boardman and is no stranger to the pressure of the situation.
“She coached two girls that won states, so she knew how to get there and be good,” Cianciola said.
As a teenager, Cianciola still is learning how to balance school, sports and a social life.
“I can still go out with my friends,” she said. “During the season it was harder to keep my grades up but I got through that.”
Cianciola also will have to adjust to higher expectations, which shouldn’t be difficult considering the ones she has for herself.
“I want to get back there really bad,” Cianciola said. “I want to try and make it further than we did. I want to win state.”