Bryan Roberts and Zach Dean are good enough at singles to be Suffolk County champions. Half the time, Roberts plays first singles and Dean plays second singles. The other half, they play doubles.
And in their senior year, the Commack duo didn't want to settle for the county; they had their eyes set on a bigger prize.
"We wanted to win states," Dean said. "And even if one of us did it in singles, both of us couldn't."
Dean and Roberts achieved their goal Saturday, defeating Christopher Frost and Bryan Chow of Niskayuna (Section II), 6-1, 6-2, to win the doubles championship at the New York State High School Tennis Championships at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows. The pair is a combined 62-0 this season between singles and doubles matches.
"It's a sweet way to end our high school career," Roberts said. "It feels really good."
Roberts, who will head to Duquesne on a tennis scholarship, and Dean, who will try to walk on at Yale, grew up together and have played varsity for Commack since eighth grade. Before the season started, the two decided that their best chance of winning states would be as a doubles team.
It worked out well for everyone. Commack won the Suffolk County title, Dean and Roberts won counties and states and their teammate Brett Gordon won the Suffolk singles crown.
Dean and Roberts complement each other well. Both are defensive minded at heart, according to Dean, but Dean brings the power with a lightning quick serve and Roberts has the consistency and movement.
They were in sync from the beginning Saturday, winning the first game on Dean's serve, dropping the second before winning the next five games to cruise into the second set. They went up 5-1 in the second set, dropped a game, then won the final game the way they started, with Dean serving.
The two Cougars beat David Goldberg and Jake Gorobetz of Scarsdale (I), 6-3, 7-6 (6), in the semifinals.
"In both matches, we played extremely well," Roberts said.
Frost and Chow advanced to the finals with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Andrew Yaraghi and Jon DeFransesch of Friends Academy. Yaraghi and DeFransesch bounced back, defeating Gorobetz and Goldberg to earn the third-place medal.
Steven Milo and Ricky Wang of Syosset won the consolation doubles for the second straight season, beating Matt Celentano and Matt Imbo of Islip, 6-2, 6-3.