There were new, fresh faces on the court for Syosset but the result was the same for the Braves Tuesday in the Nassau team tennis final at Eisenhower Park against Roslyn.
Behind freshman Neel Rajesh and eighth grader Kabir Rajpal at first and second singles, the top-seeded Braves defeated No. 3 Roslyn, 5-2, to cap its second straight undefeated championship season.
“We both felt a little more pressure coming into the match today,” Rajesh said. “We knew we had to help keep the reputation and tradition going.”
Rajesh was on serve in the first set against Sangjin Song with the chance to close it out. Sangjin fought back for a break to tie it at 5 but Rajesh kept his poise to break Song and close out the set 7-5.
“It’s tough playing against him because we’ve played each other so much,” Rajesh said. “He knows how I’m going to play and he’s really able to strategize.”
Rajesh won the second set 6-2 minutes after Syosset’s second doubles team of Adam Canarick and Yash Samantaray defeated Ben Tenner and Jared Cohen 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 to clinch the title.
Rajpal, who won the county doubles title with Rajesh last week at Oceanside, defeated Roslyn’s Zach Khazzam 6-3, 6-4.
“We knew coming into the season the competition was going to be very tough,” Syosset coach Shai Fisher said. “We lost a ton of kids from last year and it’s really a testament to these players how seriously they take their tennis and how they’ve been able to improve from not only one season to another but during this season.”
Aditya Dave and Zach Chan defeated Andrew Lieblich and Evan Kirsch 6-3, 7-5 at third doubles for the Braves, who split the four doubles matches and swept the singles matchups.
“This is honestly the best feeling to end your senior year with a championship,” Dave said. “We worked hard throughout the season to prepare for this . . . it’s something that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.”