South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Josh Tiemann’s banner year for OHS tennis

OHS graduate and tennis star will attend Coe College in the fall
Josh Tiemann.

It was a banner year for Oakville tennis player Josh Tiemann.

The recent Oakville High School graduate put it all together at the right time, wrapping-up his high school tennis career with a fourth place finish at the Missouri State Tournament in May.

Tiemann said he was content with the finish, but would have loved to win the entire tournament. 

“I was very happy with my fourth place finish,” he said. “Of course, I wish I could have won, but the top players were all very good.”

OHS will miss Tiemann next season when he attends Coe College on a tennis scholarship. The standout tennis player for the Tigers explained how he made his decision on the school.

“After I hit with a few tennis teams from different colleges, I knew Coe was a good fit for me,” Tiemann said. “I ultimately chose Coe because I liked the coach, the players are good and friendly, and their indoor court facility is amazing.”

The Coe commit has won several awards in his four years with Oakville. Tiemann was awarded first team all-conference in singles during his freshman, junior and senior years. He took second-team during his sophomore year. He also took first in doubles in each of his four years. 

“As a freshman, my doubles partner, Danijel Blagojevic, and I placed fourth in districts, and we went to state my sophomore and junior years,” Tiemann said. “My junior year we placed sixth in state. My senior year I won the Webster Quad Tournament, played singles in districts and won first place, and placed fourth in Class 3 State in singles.”

Tiemann began playing tennis when he was just 10 years old after his parents signed him up for a summer session that St. Louis tennis instructor Mark Platt was running at Bernard Middle School.

It was at that academy where he met Nayri Khordayans. Tiemann began training with her at Frontenac Racquet Club and the pair have been working together since.

“Nayri taught me everything I know about the game of tennis and how to work hard for each point,” he said. “She taught me what my next shot should be, even though I can’t always make it happen.”

The duo even worked together during the pandemic, when most athletes were unable to train.

“When COVID hit, Nayri would meet me outdoors at a park so I could continue to train,” Tiemann said. “I am the player I am because of Nayri and I consider her my friend.”

OHS tennis coach Connor Cassity also received thanks from Tiemann for helping him progress.

“Tennis isn’t the most popular sport to play at my high school, therefore, it can be hard to find players,” he said. “Coach Cassity did a great job making the season fun for everyone.”

To prepare for the game at the college level, Tiemann has already begun to put in extra work.

“Over the past few years, I have hit with tennis players from Washington University and Principia College in order to help me prepare for the speed of college tennis,” he said. “Currently, I am working with a player from Principia several times a week.”

Like most great athletes, Tiemann knows he has room for improvement and is ready to put in the work at Coe.

“I am looking forward to improving my game and to see how much I can improve being a part of a college team of 16 or so great players,” he said. “I am also looking forward to the team camaraderie that college tennis offers.”

As far as what his major will be, Tiemann said he is currently leaning toward a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics. Coe is offering that degree for the first time in 2024-25.

Looking back on his time at OHS, Tiemann admitted he has a lot of fond memories and has made a lot of great friendships. He said he would miss playing tennis for Oakville.

“I will miss my teammates and driving my friends to and from practice and matches,” he said. “Coach Cassity is a great coach and I consider her a friend. I will definitely miss her. She made tennis at Oakville fun and I will always remember my tennis bag / Biofreeze story.”

Tiemann also credits several high school classes for helping improve the strength of his serve.

“Overall, I hit harder now compared to my freshman year,” Tiemann said. “I took several classes in high school that focused on strength and conditioning and I am sure that has helped me with my serve and racket speed.”