Turns out, the long wait was worth it.
After a difficult start and having to wait four days to respond to it, Barrington's boys tennis team improved to 5-0-0 against Mid-Suburban West foes by rolling by visiting Fremd 6-1 Monday to clinch the divisional title.
The Broncos found themselves in a bit of trouble last Thursday when heavy rains ended things about midway through their dual with the reigning MSL champs. But coach John Roncone's players came alive on Monday, taking the lead from four-year veteran Varun Parekh to sweep four flights at doubles and taking two of three at singles to complete an impressive victory.
"Fremd has really had our number the past couple of seasons, but I felt the guys had that sense of urgency when we began today, and Varun, true to him being our leader, bounced back to win at No. 1, which kind of trickled down the other guys after that," said Roncone.
"There's not a whole lot to say after getting beat 6-1," said Fremd coach Matt Duncan. "We had a talk after play today, and our team leaders brought the guys together for a players-only meeting after that one. So now we regroup, refocus and hopefully get ourselves ready for the MSL conference tournament."
Parekh was trailing Vikings junior Eric Pohl (6-5) in the first set but came back to win in a tiebreaker before cruising to a 6-1 second set victory to complete the straight-set triumph.
"Varun won the deciding match as a freshman to give us the title, and now in his last year with us he once again came up with another big win for us," said Roncone.
Senior Sudheer Vundru, who was a state qualifier at doubles along with Pohl last year, put together a strong effort at No. 2 singles to defeat Ishaan Jaglan 6-1, 6-4, but his teammate Zach Hennenfent, who dropped a 6-0 first-setter to Kiran Deveraj, roared back to win the next two sets (6-4, 7-5) to surprise the Vikings at No. 3 singles.
"Deveraj is a very nice player, but in between we told Zach to be prepared for a long match, and to just hang in there and keep the ball in play -- and he did," said Roncone.
In doubles, the Broncos' No. 1 (Ben Adams/Will Herzog) and No. 2 teams (HB Thompson/Akash Khurana) captured straight set victories. The No. 3 team of Joe Schmidt/Erik Barns also won easily, 6-2, 6-1.
The duo of Matt Mulligan and Scott Apman edged Tatsunori Nakanishi and Alex Zouras 7-5 in its opening set at No. 4 doubles before taking control for good with a 6-1 second-set win.
"The guys have worked hard thus far, and today they closed things out on a high note," Roncone said. "Now we'll look to continue playing at this level at the conference tournament."
Wheeling will be the host site for the annual three-day tourney, with Buffalo Grove and Hersey also on the venue list for the competition.