Everything seemed in place for Allegra Hanlon to end her high-school career with one more tennis championship.
The Ransom Everglades senior captured the first set of her Class 1A girls’ singles title match Friday, walked out after the post-set changeover and stood primed to finish off Maria Ross of Sarasota’s Out-of-Door Academy.
Then the rains came.
Well, you really couldn’t call it rain — just a soft spritzing of miniscule droplets from somewhere overhead. To even call it a light mist would be a stretch.
But it was enough to moisten the hardcourts at Red Bug Lake Park, causing an official to walk over and put the match on hold. Not quite two hours later, Hanlon’s momentum was gone.
Ross stormed out of the delay to win the second set, then prevailed in a third-set tiebreak to wrest away the title with a 3-6, 6-1, 11-7 victory.
Nor was it any better in the doubles final, where Hanlon and Daniela Lopez battled to force a third set before falling to Ross and Mary Ann Rompf, 6-3, 3-6, 10-8.
“Close losses are definitely harder [to shake off],” said Hanlon, a senior who one day earlier had notched the clinching point in Ransom’s romp to the team title. “Those tiebreaks can go either way. It’s like a flip of the coin — a dropped shot there, a let there.”
It took just a bit of air out of the Raiders’ run through the Class 1A tournament, where Ransom reached the final in all seven brackets and won five. Ross, though, seemed almost effortless in returning every ounce of power Hanlon hit at her.
“My key was to keep mixing it up,” Hanlon said. “But after the rain delay, I guess I zoned out a little bit. I fell into more of her rhythm and style of play.”
Out-of-Door also took early control of the doubles, where Rompf’s net reflexes coolly complimented Ross’ baseline game. The duo won the first five games before Hanlon and Lopez found their rhythm.
“Too many unforced errors,” said Lopez, who sported kinesio tape on her right forearm to ease elbow tendinitis. “That’s where we went wrong, at the beginning of the match.”
“I’m definitely disappointed because I wanted to win. But I came here to win states with my team, and that’s what we did,” said Hanlon.
It was a tough morning as well for MAST Academy’s doubles team of Fred Albion and Richard Torres, who couldn’t match the aggressiveness brought by Elio Livi and Wyatt Lovera of Port St. Lucie Morningside.
“At the net, they were having very good success,” said Torres, a sophomore who also reached the semifinals of the individual singles. “We couldn’t hit the volleyer at all, so we had to try to grind it out. I guess they just had the better game.”
Albion added: “Much better reflexes at the net, too.”
CLASS 1A RESULTS