DU men’s tennis crowned Summit League champs

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The DU men’s tennis team captured the Summit League Championship for the fourth consecutive year when they defeated the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) 4-1 on April 29 in Indianapolis.

Denver earned the doubles point, as the combination of senior Diogo Rocha (Lisbon, Portugal) and junior Jesse Ruder-Hook (Denver), as well as the duo of freshman Pedro Fernandez Del Valle (Newport Beach, California) and Wyatt Lovera (Miami, Florida), each won their competitions 6-3.

The No. 87-ranked combination of seniors Alex Gasson (Alton, United Kingdom) and Yannik James (St. Georges, Grenada) was leading 5-4 when play was halted.

James was named Summit League Player of the Year for men’s tennis on April 27 after another excellent season in crimson and gold. Capping a legendary career, James finished his career undefeated in Summit League play, going 17-0 overall and 3-0 in 2017. He recorded a pair of No. 1 singles wins this season.

The Pioneers closed out the day quickly in the singles competition, only surrendering one point overall. Del Valle, Ruder-Hook and Rocha recorded victories, earning DU three more points to clinch the conference championship 4-1. Both Del Valle and Rocha earned wins in only two sets.

The accolades continued to pour in for DU, as Head Coach Ricardo Rubio took home Coach of the Year honors for the conference in only his second season with the program.

DU’s men’s tennis is still undefeated in the Summit League, posting a 28-0 all-time record in conference play. Denver is 13-12 overall this season and will play next in the 2017 NCAA Tournament by virtue of their conference title. The tournament will take place on May 18-29 in Athens, Georgia.

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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