Denver's Rocha, Daffinrud Named April Athletes of the Month

Denver's Diogo Rocha and Tonje Daffinrud (photo by David Pyke)
Denver's Diogo Rocha and Tonje Daffinrud (photo by David Pyke)

April Athletes of the Month Release

ELMHURST, Ill. - The Summit League has named Denver men’s tennis player Diogo Rocha (Lisbon, Portugal) and women’s golfer Tonje Daffinrud (Tonsberg, Norway) as its Male and Female Athletes of the Month for April.

Rocha captures his first career Athlete of the Month award after going a perfect 5-0 in singles play against league competition and being named The Summit League Newcomer of the Year. The freshman started the month with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Western Illinois’ Christoph Haertel at No. 1. He then earned straight-set wins at No. 2 singles against South Dakota State (6-3, 6-1), IUPUI (6-4, 6-2) and Fort Wayne (6-1, 6-0) and went unblemished vs. Fort Wayne’s Jonathan Raa in The Summit League Championship match. His lone loss in singles play was against Ben Lott (1-6, 5-7) of No. 32 Drake. The April 15 Player of the Week, Rocha guided Denver to its first Summit League Championship and went 4-2 in double dual play during the month while teaming with Fabio Biasion.

Daffinrud, ranked No. 14 nationally, garners her first career award after collecting Championship MVP honors at The Summit League Championships last month. The senior used a third-round 71 to earn individual medalist honors by two strokes en route to being named to the All-Tournament Team. In the 54-hole event, the Norway native fired a 219 (74-74-71) to finish three-over par. She also led No. 41 Denver to its first Summit League Championship title and 11th consecutive conference title. Daffinrud was named All-Summit League First Team and enters NCAA Regional play with a league and school all-time season-low average of 72.18. At the Georgia Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic from April 4-6, Daffinrud defeated Alabama’s Stephanie Meadow, the No. 3-ranked player in the nation, in match play.

Also nominated for Men’s Athlete of the Month: Jacob Groninger, Fort Wayne, golf; Rob van de Vin, IUPUI, golf; Tim Colwell, North Dakota State, baseball; Jeff Mettler, South Dakota, track & field; Adam Bray, South Dakota State, baseball; Neil DeCook, Western Illinois, baseball.

Also nominated for Women’s Athlete of the Month: Miranda Kramer, Fort Wayne, softball; Lindsey Richards, IUPUI, softball; Ashley Tingelstad, North Dakota State, track & field; Sami Spenner, Omaha, track & field; Rachel Cue, South Dakota, softball.