UO Tennis Star Alex Rovello Passes Away
Junior Alex Rovello of the University of Oregon Men’s Tennis team has passed away due to a cliff diving accident at Tamolitch Falls, near Trail Bridge Campground in the Willamette National Forest, resulting in an apparent drowning Saturday night.
Around 2 p.m. on Saturday, Linn County Emergency Dispatch received a 9-1-1 call requesting emergency assistance to the Tamolitch Pool at the bottom of the 60-foot falls. A witness saw a man jump off the cliff at the top of the falls into the pool and did not see the man resurface. The witness had to run nearly two miles to get enough cell reception to make the 9-1-1 call.
Attempts were made on the scene to revive Alex by bystanders, but such attempts were rather difficult and unsuccessful due to the depth of the Tamolitch Pool, as well as the near-freezing water temperature.
The Oregon athletic department released a statement regarding Rovello’s death Sunday afternoon.
“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.”
“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 brother, 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.”
Alex was one of the premier players for the men’s tennis team this last season as a junior, racking up 21 singles-match wins and 16 doubles-match wins alongside teammate Daan Maasland. His season ended a few weeks ago in the Pac-12 Championships when Oregon was eliminated by Utah. Alex is a product of Cleveland High School in Portland, where he became the first player in Oregon to win four consecutive state singles titles; finishing his high-school career with a perfect 50-0 record. He leaves behind parents Jim and Geri as well as a girlfriend.
Athletics officials confirmed the Rovello family is planning a memorial service for Saturday, May 18. The location is unannounced.
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