June 18--Arlington High senior Mia Wallace put the finishing touches on perhaps the finest female tennis career in school history on Saturday, falling in the state individual tournament championship match by a 6-3, 7-5 score to Longmeadow High freshman standout Iris Gallo.
After dropping the opening set, Wallace nearly forced a third set, but Gallo perservered late in the set and pulled out the victory.
Wallace will now prepare for a Div. 1 college career at Elon University in North Carolina.
Elon competes in the Colonial Athletic Association and was 18-8 last year.
After losing the first set by two breaks, Wallace opened set No. 2 on Saturday by breaking Gallo's serve.
She held for 2-0 and then had a point at 30-40 to potentially take a 3-0 lead before Gallo rallied.
Gallo then broke Wallace and held for a 3-2 lead.
In Game 6, a terrific volley by Wallace at 30-30 led to a hold and the Spy Ponder seized momentum. She took a 0-30 lead on Gallo's serve after a down-the-line backhand winner and a vicious forehand on a short ball. Wallace would break at love to go up 4-3.
The break started a string of four straight breaks that left the set tied at 5-5. The 10th game was agonizing for Wallace, who was serving at 40-15 and two set points before Gallo and her stubborn defense forced two deuces and eventually won the game.
Gallo held for 6-5 and took a 0-40 lead on Wallace's serve in Game 12. Wallace showed plenty of resilience herself, working the score back to 30-40 before Gallo finally wrapped up the victory.
Wallace's memorable season included an undefeated record in Middlesex League play, a North individual championship (Arlington's first) and an 11-8 record for the Spy Ponders, who returned to state tournament play.
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