Castellvi is Honda tennis honoree

Following a ballot sent to more than 1,000 NCAA member institutions, senior Vilmarie Castellvi of the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers received the Honda Sports Award in tennis today, given annually to the nationâs top woman collegiate player. Castellvi, who ended the 2002-03 campaign ranked No. 1, is now a finalist for The Honda-Broderick Cup, which recognizes the nation's outstanding collegiate woman athlete of the year.

The announcement of the recipient will come on June 23 in a press conference at Columbia Universityâs Low Library at 11 a.m. Other nominees for the cup include Rachael Becker (Princeton, lacrosse), Natalie Coughlin (California-Berkeley, swimming), Shalane Flanagan (North Carolina, cross country), Elva Goulbourne (Auburn, track and field), Mikaela Parmlid (Southern California, golf), Christine Sinclair (Portland, soccer), Tiffany Snow (Old Dominion, field hockey), Diana Taurasi (Connecticut, basketball), Logan Tom (Stanford, volleyball), Natasha Watley (UCLA, softball) and Onnie Willis (UCLA, gymnastics). The American Honda Motor Co. will also make a $5,000 donation to the womenâs athletics program at each award winnersâ institution.

Castellvi is the first Orange and White netter to pocket the Honda Sports Award. Stanford has the most with nine, followed by Florida (4), Georgia (3), Trinity [Texas] (2), UCLA (2), Duke (1), Indiana (1), Rollins College (1), Southern California (1), Trenton State College (1) and Wake Forest (1).

Should Castellvi go on to win The Honda-Broderick Cup she would be setting a precedent, as no tennis player has ever won the prize. Since the award was first given out in 1977, the list has gone on to include athletes from basketball (11), swimming (5), track and field (5), soccer (2), volleyball (2), gymnastics (1) and softball (1). Chamique Holdsclaw is the only Lady Vol to win the cup, doing so in 1998 after UT finished with a 39-0 record en route to its sixth National Championship in basketball.

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