SOUTHBURY — Southbury residents Mary Stoiana and brother Nick Stoiana have passed a milestone by recently winning a tennis competition that earned them professional player status. The siblings began competing in tennis tournaments under the training of their father and local tennis coach Val Stoiana. They have won more than 100 tennis trophies and held national rankings.
Both placed among the top 10 New England juniors and Ms. Stoiana achieved top 10 status.
She had her best year ever becoming second best junior player in New England, and number one ranked junior player in Connecticut.
Ms. Stoiana said, “This past spring my national ranking was outside the top 300 and now I’ve jumped to the top 30. I’m also excited about my performance last month in Ontario Canada, where I won my first ITF International tournament.”
The Stoianas latest competition was the JTCC Travel Grant UTR OPEN played in College Park, Md.
Players competed based on their universal tennis rating rather than age or gender.
Ms. Stoiana lost in the semifinals and Mr. Nick Stoiana went on to win the tournament.
He explained, “I’m definitely excited about my performance, as I work myself up in the ranks again.”
This competition represents the Stoianas first professional paycheck and Mr. Stoiana commented, “A trophy is a memento of the experience and it will bring back memories, but this is the first time I’ve won prize money, and that’s awesome.”
Ms. Stoiana is a self-directed homeschooler, which offers the flexibility needed for training and competing in tournaments.
At her current level, many college coaches say she would already qualify for a D1 tennis scholarship.
“My dream is to be a top professional tennis player and along the way open doors for a top D1 tennis college. I have to keep my grades up too,” she said.
Mr. Stoiana graduated from Pomperaug High School with high honors and is currently taking a gap year.
He commented, “I was at a standstill with my tennis, until this year when I got inspired by Mary and her amazing progress. This win will definitely propel my ranking higher so I can have the opportunity to play D1 College tennis.”
The family is grateful for the support from the community and thank their mother and manager Kathleen Morrone, father and coach Mr. Val Stoiana, his tennis clients, friends, grandparents Mike and Doina Stoiana and tennis coach Christopher Hunt.
“We appreciate Ian Yorty and the Newtown Youth Academy team for donating access to their tennis facility and speed training programs. We appreciate Aaron Warren of Manipura Yoga for class sponsorship, Heritage Hotel, and Rumsey Hall School for supporting us with their tennis facilities.”
The future includes preparation for the upcoming International tournament in Ottawa, Canada followed by the Orange Bowl in Florida.