Miami Trace senior Juan Diego Navas and coach Mitch Augenstein made the trip down I-71 to Mason and the Lindner Family Tennis Center for the 98th annual boys State tennis tournament Friday morning.
Navas had a 9 a.m. match against junior Andrew Pregel of Cincinnati Indian Hill.
It was a tough challenge for Navas against Pregel.
Pregel took the match in straight sets, 6-0, 6-1 on a sunny, mild morning.
Navas held serve to start the second set. However, that was the only game he would win in the match.
“First of all, it’s an honor to be here,” Augenstein said. “These are the top 16 players in the entire state. For Juan to be in the top 16 in Division II, it’s quite an accomplishment.
“He worked hard this year and played a good match,” Augenstein said. “The kid he played from Indian Hill clearly plays regularly and has been to the State before (in 2015). He really didn’t give Juan a chance to play his best tennis and that’s what a good tennis player does. If you play your best, someone else can’t play their best. (Pregel) did that today.
“I’m completely proud of Juan for everything that he did,” Augenstein said. “He did all that he could and left it all on the court. I can’t say much more than that.
“(Pregel’s) a smart player,” Augenstein said. “He set up the points well. He didn’t let Juan use his weapons. Juan loves his forehand and his first serves just weren’t on today. It just wasn’t Juan’s day today. (Pregel) came to play and played well.”
“I didn’t play tennis today,” Navas said. “I didn’t move, I didn’t do anything. I watched the match and I watched him play.
“He played really good, but, I could have done better,” Navas said. “I wish I could have done more.”
“Every season I’ve coached (Miami Trace) boys and (Washington) girls, I’ve taken someone to Districts,” Augenstein said. “It’s been exciting to see the growth, especially in Miami Trace. Two years ago, before I started, we were 1-11. Last year we were 6-9, fifth in the league. This year, 13-2, second in the league.
“It’s been great to work with these boys,” Augenstein said. “They work hard, they want to play. They know that they can be good. I’m excited to see what they do in the future, even if that doesn’t involve me any more.”
Augenstein previously announced he was resigning as coach and moving to Marysville.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1