Men’s and women’s tennis win Summit League titles


Both the DU men’s and women’s tennis teams claimed Summit League championships on April 29-30 in the Koch Family Tennis Center in Omaha, Nebraska. For both teams, it was their third straight championship title.

Ranked No. 48, the men’s team began their title conquest with a match-up against the University of Nebraska-Omaha. DU would defeat their opponent 4-0.

Collectively, the team would accumulate a 3-0 mark in singles play, thanks to performances from Henry Craig (Murrieta, California), Yannik James (St. Georges, Grenada) and Alex Gasson (Alton, United Kingdom).

The men’s team also went undefeated in doubles play, going 2-0. James and Jesse Ruder-Hook (Denver, Colorado) were victorious in their match, while Zach Fryer (Centennial, Colorado) and Diogo Rocha (Lisbon, Portugal) also pulled out a win.

Matched up against Oral Roberts University in the final, Denver would again win 4-0, earning them their third straight Summit League title.

Although the team did surrender one loss in doubles play, they still earned a 2-1 record in those matches overall. Once again, DU went undefeated in singles play with a 3-0 mark.

Rocha, the Summit League Player of the Year, was one of the players who dominated his singles match. He clinched the championship for the Pioneers with his victory.

Denver secured a bid to the NCAA National Championship, which is set to take place in Tulsa, Oklahoma on May 13-15.

Not to be outdone by their male counterparts, the women’s tennis team brought home a Summit League title of their own. The two teams combined to become the first men’s and women’s tennis teams in the Summit League to win three championships concurrently.

Entering the weekend ranked No. 43, the team arrived at the tournament focused. They defeated their first opponent, Oral Roberts University, 4-0.

An impressive 6-0 singles record was attributed to the work of Julia O’Loughlin (Highland Beach, Florida), Maureen Slattery (Newport News, Virginia), Bianca Mok (Boise, Idaho), Charlotte Derbyshire (Stockton, England), Evy Van Genechten (Antwerp, Belgium) and Morgan Barnhill (Austin, Texas).

Denver was also undefeated in doubles, going 2-0 after combinations of O’Loughlin and Slattery, as well as Derbyshire and Gracia Mboko (Burlington, Ontario) won their matches.

To claim their third straight Summit League Championship, DU would defeat South Dakota State University 4-0 in the final. The team replicated 6-0 marks in singles and again went 2-0 in doubles play.

The team earned a bid to the NCAA National Championship with the hard-fought victory, which will take place in Tulsa, Oklahoma on May 19-30.

Braiden is a senior at the University of Denver and currently in his third year working in the sports section at The Clarion. Originally from Aurora, Colorado, he is studying Finance, Economics and Data Analytics in the Daniels College of Business. He is also involved on campus with the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity and was previously a Resident Assistant. He enjoys rooting for the Broncos, Avalanche, Nuggets, Marlins, Buffaloes and of course, the Pioneers. In his free time, as well as playing basketball and hockey.

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