Castellvi among 4 finalists

Lady Vol senior Vilmarie Castellvi is one of four finalists for the prestigious Honda Sports Award in tennis. The awards recognize the top female athletes in the country in their respective sports. After nationwide balloting, the winner becomes a nominee for The Honda-Broderick Cup, awarded annually to the nationâs outstanding collegiate woman athlete of the year. Castellvi is up against sophomore Kelly McCain (Duke), junior Agata Cioroch (Georgia) and freshman Amber Liu(Stanford) for the award.

Castellvi recently finished as the runner-up in the NCAA Singles Championship in Gainesville, Fla., dropping a straight-set decision to Liu. The Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, native became the first player in Tennessee history to advance to the semifinal and final rounds of the tournament. It was the fourth meeting between Castellvi and Liu during the 2002-03 campaign. Castellvi claimed two of their three matchups prior to the NCAA Championship.

In addition to earning All-America recognition in singles for the second-straight year, Castellvi picked up the honor in doubles as well with freshman Melissa Schaub. She was also named the Intercollegiate Tennis Associationâs (ITA) National Senior Player of the Year, becoming the first Lady Vol to be honored as such. Castellvi was the first member of the Orange and White to be tabbed SEC Player of the Year this season as well. She also picked up a spot on the All-SEC first-team for singles and the second team for doubles with Schaub.

Numerous other honors have fallen Castellviâs way this year as well. In January, she was honored as one of three Female Amateur Athletes of the Year by the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. Additionally, Castellvi was named ITA National Player of the Month for January and March. In March, she was also named one of Puerto Ricoâs Women of the 21st Century by the islandâs largest circulating newspaper El Nuevo D'a.

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