Scott Gerber photographed the action photos and most, but not all, of the state qualifier group photos. Interview


OTZ Interview with Indian Hill's Andrew Pregel

At the beginning of each boys season OhioTennisZone interviews Ohio's top senior players. The first interview this year is with Indian Hill's Andrew Pregel.

When asked about his high school tennis goals, his response was succinct, "To finally win States." He has been close in the past. Last year, Pregel got beat in the semi's in a grueling, 3-set match (7-5, 4-6, 7-6) against the 2016 Division II champion, CCD’s Kevin Yu. This year's competition will also be strong with Seven Hill's Nick Williams (2017 State Champion), Wellington's Connor Biernat (2016 State Finalist), and Miami Valley's Colton Morehart returning.

Andrew Pregel
Andrew Pregel - Click to Player Profile
Pregel is a 4-Star player on's system. Over the last four years on, his national ranking has improved from 229 in 2015 to its current, 135. His UTR rating is 11.78.

When asked about his tennis strokes, Pregel stated, "My favorite shot is probably my forehand. It is a big weapon for me and I can take control of the point with it." In the off-season (not that there is an off-season), he has been working on "stepping in" and becoming more aggressive.

To continue with his academic and tennis career, Pregel chose Bryant University because it offered a strong business school with a successful tennis team. Bryant is a small D1 in Smithfield, RI. Pregel added, "Their tennis schedule is really good. They play a bunch of good schools. They make the NCAA tournament almost every year." Pregel plans to major in business in college. "I'm more of a math student. I like how each problem has a definite answer and it is less opinion-based and biased." He should be ready for Bryant's academics after taking a strong academic course load at Indian Hill. Pregel has taken five AP courses. His favorite APs were AP Econ and AP Stats. Tennis-skill-wise, Pregel should fit in well with the team. The UTR's of Bryant players range from 11.88 to 13.24. Other colleges he considered included University of Dayton and Quinnipiac University (Hamden, CT).

Pregel is one of three children. He started playing tennis at age nine, and he played soccer prior to focusing on tennis. His sister, Samantha, is a sophomore on Indian Hill's tennis team and she reached States in singles last year. [Click for Samantha's photo and OTZ Player Profile.] His older brother, Alex is attending college at Penn State. All three kids are lefty's. His father, Richard, and mother, Melissa, both work in business at R3 Investments and Ipsos, respectively. Melissa played college tennis at Brown University. Interestingly, neither parent nor his grandparents are left-handed. (Lefty's make up 10% of the population.)

Obviously sportsmanship is a big deal in tennis and Pregel earned one of the sport's highest honors in February when he won the Ohio Tennis Coaches' Association Harlow Sportsmanship award. [Click for photo.]

In addition to his States goal, Pregel would also like to be one of the 16 Midwest Section players who compete at the USTA Boys 16-18 Tournament in Kalamazoo (commonly referred to the 'Zoo). He was very close to making it into the tournament last year. At this point, he is currently ranked 14th in the Midwest.

The tennis tools on OhioTennisZone that he enjoys using include the ability to look at rosters and to review the results each day.

For his service-related projects, Pregel assists at the Over-the-Rhine Soup Kitchen. The primary mission of the kitchen is to provide hot meals for the homeless. Pregel and his sister also make and bring in 100 to 200 brownies each time they work at the kitchen.

His favorite part of high school tennis, "I like the team aspect of it. During the rest of the year, it is almost all individual tournaments."

OTZ asked for a few comments from Indian Hill Coach Wade Ward. Coach Ward stated, "My thoughts on Andrew, or "Drew", are he leads by example, he's not a vocal leader and that's fine but when it's time to play he's all in! He's focused and he fights like hell to win the tougher matches. I know he works hard on and off the court, he's reliable, and he enjoys playing high school tennis. I have big goals for Drew this season and I know he can achieve them. Honestly, I have big goals for my entire team this season and Drew will be a big part of that before he moves onto college tennis."

Indian Hill is now on spring break, and when they return, they start the season against Sycamore Varsity B on April 2.