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


OTZ Interview: Sycamore's Noah Stern

As was done last year, OhioTennisZone will feature several seniors who have excelled in Ohio high school tennis. The first interview this year is with Sycamore's Noah Stern [click for Player Profile]. Stern is a three-time State qualifier in doubles and doubles finalist last year with Alex Taylor [click for OTZ article]. He is also now a captain of a team that has won the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association Division 1 crown for the last three years. This interview took place on April 4th.

Noah Stern
Stern @ '16 OVTA Qualifier - Click to enlarge

While Stern started playing tennis at a young age - at five or six - he did not only play tennis. He was a five sport athlete prior to focusing on tennis in high school. His other sports included football (playing as QB and defensive end), baseball (short stop and pitcher), basketball (forward), and soccer. This athleticism is also apparent in his tennis game.

Stern has an all-around game. He is a 3-star and he has a UTR rating of 11.48. Stern practices five days a week for two to three hours a day, and he has focused his efforts this year on his serve (which is now 110-115 mph) and his court positioning. He wants to stay aggressive on the court by getting into the net whenever possible. When asked which tennis strokes he wanted in an OTZ photo this season, his answer was "forehands or volleys". Hopefully his opponents will cooperate.

GCTA Award
Stern @ '16 UA Match- Click to enlarge

As far as his team goals go, Stern was not in the sharing mood when asked if it was time that three-in-a-row champion Sycamore share an OTCA team title with another team. He stated, "I know that obviously some of the other teams are thinking otherwise, and I know that we have a huge target on our back which we have had for a couple of years now. But we are definitely still looking to do it again. We know that it will be a tough thing to do. It's really incredible that we've happened to do it three times. Everyone knows how hard it is, and we still believe that we can do it. We have it as one of our big goals despite losing some of the players that we had last year."

In terms of his personal goals, Stern stated, "Individually for me, I'd say that I definitely want a state title for sure. I don't know if that will be in singles or doubles. I want to see how I do in events that include the better players in the state in the regular season because I am going to have a chance to play most of them. If I feel like I have a good shot at singles, I might pursue singles, but if I think that maybe doubles is a better option, then I'll stick with doubles. But definitely a state title for sure, and also winning the Coaches' Classic first singles bracket would also be something very memorable. ... So those two things for sure would be the two things that I want to do individually."

After graduation, Stern will be going to Ohio State where he plans to major in business. He has already been admitted into OSU's Fisher College of Business, and his Sycamore curriculum has certainly prepared him for the rigors of OSU. In addition to the strong curriculum that Sycamore provides, Stern took nine AP classes. His two favorites were AP Psychology and AP U.S. History. He plans to play club tennis at Ohio State and he already has a strong connection with that club. His brother, Dylan, is the president of the club. Dylan will graduate in finance and international business this spring. [Click for photo of Dylan at States with partner Deepak Indrakanti in 2013.]

Stern's parents are Linda and Joe. Both are big high school tennis fans. Linda is also a regular contributor of Sycamore photos, and Joe is an avid tennis player who played with his sons at an early age.

When he is not studying or playing tennis, Stern enjoys being with friends and family. He likes watching NetFlix and tennis. He also likes reading classic books in his backyard hammock. In addition to Twitter (his handle is @besthands_), he also uses InstraGram and SnapChat. Click to view Stern's and profiles.