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updated: 5/21/2011 5:13 PM

Sectional changes, results don't for Barrington

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By Bill Esbrook
Daily Herald Correspondent

After competing -- and dominating -- in the Larkin sectional for the past nine years, the Barrington boys tennis team was switched by the IHSA to the Schaumburg sectional this season.

And although the Saxons' tournament is widely considered more difficult, the change in venue didn't slow down the Broncos a beat.

Led by the doubles team of George Coll and Ben Nuckles, who took first place, the Broncos outpointed Glenbrook South 26-25 to win the team competition.

Coll, a junior, and Nuckles, a senior, qualified for next weekend's state finals at Hersey in Arlington Heights as did the duo they defeated for the title, teammates Ben Adams and Greg Baker.

Conant's doubles team of Takuma Ito and Peter Istkovich also earned a berth at the state tournament by finishing fourth overall and the success story of Schaumburg senior Isriz Balase continued.

Balase, with his fourth-place singles finish, advanced to his third state finals in four years.

"This season, we've competed against some of the best teams in the state," said Nuckles, "and there were some great teams here as well so this (advancement to state) is especially satisfying.

"We're excited to go to state and our goal is to get at least to the round of 16 on Friday, and possibly the round of eight."

Coll and Nuckles excelled in the championship match by winning 6-2, 6-0. Top seed Michael Sellitto of Glenbrook South captured the singles crown with a 6-2, 6-0 win over teammate Sam Hoogland.

Schaumburg finished fourth in the team race, led by Balase, who has been a dream come true for the Saxons program.

"Isriz is the first player in recent memory at Schaumburg to win over 100 matches in his career," said Saxons coach Jason Campbell after Balase reached 114 this weekend. "He's an excellent tennis player and a great kid.

"He's been our team leader for awhile, and he's been a great inspiration for the other players on the team."

Balase, for his part, is definitely pumped to make a third trip to the state finals.

He advanced as a freshman and also last year as a junior.

"I was happy with the way I played today," said Balase. "I was matched up against two of the top players in the state (Hoogaund and Glenbrook North's Brian Levitas) and though I fell a little short against those guys, I'm very happy I qualified.

"I just want to go down there (to Hersey) and have fun, and do as well as I can. I made some errors today but I'll be working on that to get sharpened up."