Alex Rovello, 21, the number one ranked Pacific Northwest college tennis player and University of Oregon student, drowned on Saturday after a 60-foot cliff jump.
Rovello was reportedly with other University of Oregon athletes at Tamolitch Pool, a popular cliff jumping site in Eugene, Oregon. The talented athlete hit the water with his face and upper chest and failed to surface. His classmates tried to save him, but he was too far under the water’s surface to be retrieved.
Blue Pool is located in a remote location off the McKenzie River trail that does not receive cellphone service. Witnesses ran more than two miles before rescue services could be contacted.
A rescue dive team found Rovello dead at the bottom of Blue Pool, about 30 to 40 feet beneath the surface. Local authorities have reported that alcohol doesn’t appear to be involved.
The University of Oregon mourns the loss of Rovello, a key member of the Ducks’ team, compiling 39-27 singles and 36-18 doubles records in his first two seasons, Corvallis Gazette-Times reported.
“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.”
“R.I.P. Alex Rovello,” University of Oregon associate head tennis coach Jonas Piibor posted on his Facebook. “I love you like my own son.”