June 7, 2022 Article from GOBLUERAIDERS.COM


Tennis' Rocha Recipient of C-USA Spirit of Service Award

Photo of Francisco Rocha

Dallas – Middle Tennessee men's tennis senior Francisco Rocha is a recipient of the 2021-22 Conference USA Spring Spirit of Service Award, announced by the conference office on Tuesday morning.

Per the conference, the award honors student-athletes with significant community service endeavors, good academic standing and participation in their sport. The Spirit of Service Award is presented three times throughout the season, with Tuesday's honorees representing baseball, men's and women's golf, outdoor track and field, softball, men's and women's tennis and beach volleyball.

Rocha was instrumental in the success of MT men's tennis in the best season in program history. The Porto, Portugal product helped the team capture their third consecutive C-USA Championship, advance to the NCAA Round of 32 for the third time, and achieved the highest ITA team rank in over 20 years.

Individually, Francisco also qualified for the 2022 NCAA Doubles Championship by earning the C-USA Automatic Bid as the highest rated doubles pairing in the C-USA, along with teammate Brostrom Poulsen. He finished the 2021-22 season going 42-20 overall and earned end-of-season ITA ranks in singles (No. 97) and doubles (No. 62). Rocha was also named to the All-C-USA First Team in singles and doubles.

In the classroom, Rocha obtained a 4.0 GPA while pursuing a degree in Business Administration. He ends the season with a plethora of academic awards, notably, receiving the MTSU President's Award for consecutive seasons, named to the C-USA All-Academic Team, CoSida All-District Academic Team, and given the 2022 C-USA Commissioner's Academic Medal.

Off the court, Rocha spent countless hours giving back to the Middle Tennessee community, regularly running free youth tennis clinics, reading to children at local schools, and volunteering around the area.

"Francisco suits the meaning of this award perfectly," said assistant coach Andrea Caligiana. "He not only plays tennis at the highest level, he's a phenomenal student and is extremely involved with the community."

Tuesday's Spirit of Service Award is the first of Rocha's career.

2021-22 Spring Spirit of Service Award Recipients

Cori Henderson, Charlotte Softball, Jr.
Nick Toney, Florida Atlantic Baseball, Sr.
Bailey Grossenbacher, FIU Softball, So.
Emma Hutchinson, Louisiana Tech Softball, So.
Jackie Schmidt, Marshall Women's Golf, Sr.
Francisco Rocha, Middle Tennessee Men's Tennis, Sr.
Zion Hill, North Texas Track and Field, Sr.
Matthew Coutney, Old Dominion Baseball, Sr.
Travis Dowd, Rice Track and Field, So.
Olivia Hepworth, Southern Miss Beach Volleyball, Sr.
Toni Gonzalez, UTEP Softball, So.
Riley Grunberg, UTSA Softball, Sr.
Faith Martin, WKU Women's Golf, Fr.