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


OTZ Interview with Alex Warstler

It is time for OhioTennisZone's fifth and final "pre-season" interview. This interview is with Indian Hill's Alex Warstler. Warstler is a Marquette recruit and a three-time state qualifier in singles. The conversation with Warstler took place on March 25.

Warstler got off to a later start in tennis than most high level players do. He started at age 12 partly because his family moved to Geneva, Switzerland for three years when Warstler was in elementary school. Warstler's father, Todd, had an assignment in Switzerland for Proctor and Gamble. Before he began focusing on tennis in seventh grade, Warstler played basketball, tennis, and soccer. As for the other members of his family, his mother, Deanne (Dunkle), played tennis for Centerville and for the University of Tennessee. Warstler also has two younger brothers. Ben is a junior in high school and Coleman is a seventh grader.

Alex Warstler
Indian Hill's Alex Warstler - Click to enlarge
Warstler is a math/science guy, and he has taken a rigorous course load at Indian Hill. He has taken seven AP classes, and as a freshman and sophomore, he took four advanced classes. Indian Hill has been on the Gerber Analytics' Top Academic Ohio High School Report for seven out of seven years, so he is ready for college.

When asked about why he selected Marquette, he said, "I chose Marquette because the coaching staff is fantastic. Coach Rodecap is a great guy. They have the program that I wanted academically. I got into their six year physical therapy program, which I'm super excited about. Only 50 people get in out of 1,000 plus applicants... It was: the coaching staff, academic perspective, and the guys on the team... It was all those things combined. Plus, it is a decent ways from home - it's not too far and it's not too close."

Other schools that Warstler considered included: Xavier, Valparaiso, UNC Ashville, Belmont, and Davidson. It came down to Xavier and Marquette, but Xavier was too close to home and they did not offer the physical therapy program that Marquette provided. The physical therapy program is a six year program with a three year undergrad. Warstler's "senior year" will be his first year in physical therapy.

Warstler played primarily in the high-level tournaments during the summer, playing in the US National Clay Courts and multiple "Closed" tournaments. He amassed an 8-20 record in his USTA matches. He is a 3-star with a 441 national ranking. He is rated 10.57 by Universal Tennis Rating, and he is currently ranked ninth on's Top Players List. His USTA wins included: Kenton's Parker Banning and Columbus Academy's Austin Lawrence. He had a win and a loss to St. Xavier's Andrew Niehaus. He also had a loss to Columbus Academy's Jacob Wareti in the Midwest Closed.

Hampered by an injury, Warstler was not able to play tennis tournaments two months prior to the boys' tennis season. He is ready to go now though. His weapons are his forehand and serve. His favorite shot is his inside-out forehand. He estimates his serve to be in the 100-105 mph range. The biggest thing that he has been working on recently is his movement. He gained three inches to 6'1" over the summer so he has been working on drills to improve his speed and agility.

When asked about his individual goals for this season, Warstler replied, "I've set my goals pretty high. I hope to be undefeated and to hopefully win States [in singles] this year." Warstler has a talented teammate with Andrew Pregel who will be a contending force in post-season play. Warstler expects Columbus Academy's Jacob Wareti, Cincinnati Country Day's Kevin Yu, and Seven Hills' Nick Williams to be other contenders.

His team goals are equally high. Warstler stated, "I think our team is fully capable of: beating CCD [Cincinnati Country Day] this year since they lost Asher [Hirsh], making it to the State team [Final Four], and maybe winning the State team title as well. That is definitely a goal of ours but it is going to take many steps to get there." He also expects Seven Hills to be strong this year in the Southwest and Columbus Academy will be strong in the Central District. Indian Hill lost only one senior to graduation last year.

Outside of tennis, Warstler has been working with Buddy-Up Tennis. "I do Buddy-Up which is a community service where you teach kids with Down's Syndrome how to play tennis... I've done that since my freshman year. It is every other Saturday from 4:00 to 5:30 at Harper's Point. I absolutely love it. I've been with the same kids for four years now and I've seen drastic improvement in their motor skills, capabilities, and communications, so it's an enlightening experience."

In his non-tennis time, he is an Instagram and Snapchat user.