EUGENE, Ore. -- University of Oregon junior Alex James Rovello, a member of the men's tennis team, died Saturday following a drowning accident on the McKenzie River. Linn County Sheriff’s office confirmed Rovello died as a result of a diving accident at Tamolitch Falls.
"The Oregon tennis family is devastated by the loss of Alex," said Nils Schyllander, Head Men's Tennis Coach. "He was an amazing person and teammate and his spirit will live on forever with all of us who were fortunate enough to have known him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his parents, Geri and Jim Rovello, and to the entire family."
Rovello recorded a 21-8 match record in 2013, playing mostly in the No. 3 and No. 4 spots in singles. He and his partner, Daan Maasland, won 16 matches in the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles spots, tied for eighth most in school history. Sophomore year, he won ten matches at No. 1 singles, following up on his eleven wins at the No. 1 spot as a freshman.
Rovello joined the Ducks after a successful prep career that saw him go 50-0 in singles and 65-2 overall for Cleveland High School, becoming the first player ever in the state of Oregon to win four consecutive state singles titles. As a prep athlete, Rovello appeared in the June 14, 2010 issue of Sports Illustrated's "Faces In the Crowd".
“Alex was so much more than a dedicated and exemplary student-athlete at the University of Oregon,” Director of Athletics Rob Mullens said. “He was a son, a friend, a teammate, a leader, whose warm personality brought everyone together and whose contributions to the extended Oregon community will resonate long after today. On behalf of the UO family, we extend our sympathies to Alex’s family, and we will honor his memory each and every day.”
Rovello's family is planning a memorial service for Saturday, May 18th.