(Editor’s note: story by Montana Sports Information)
MISSOULA – Senior men’s tennis star Victor Casadevall capped the final regular season weekend of his career at Montana in perhaps the sweetest way possible – going undefeated in wins against rivals Montana State and Eastern Washington.
Those rivalry wins were made even sweeter on Wednesday as the Spaniard was named the Big Sky Player of the Week for the first time in his illustrious career.
His award marks the third Player of the Week nod for UM in the past four weeks, with fellow senior Yannick Schmidl earning the award twice. The pair has combined to go 17-4 in Big Sky play this season.
Casadevall and the Grizzlies make their 28th-straight foray into the conference championship tournament this week as one of the hottest teams in the league, riding a six-match win streak and winners of seven of their last eight outings.
At 4-0 in singles and doubles last week, Casadevall won each match in straight sets and did not allow an opponent to win more than three games in a set.
Against Montana State, he clinched the match for the Griz on court two with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Rok Sitar and also clinched the doubles point for UM with a 6-2 win over MSU’s Sitar/Flink pair alongside his partner Ignacio Tejerina.
On Senior Day, he and Tejerina blanked Eastern Washington’s Paz/Field pair 6-0 in the doubles round. Casadevall kept the momentum going into singles, dominating two-time Big Sky Player of the Week Scott Paz 6-1, 6-0.
With the wins, he improved his singles record to 9-2 in Big Sky play this season and 12-5 overall, the fifth-best overall record in the Big Sky. At 7-2 on court No. 2 for UM, he has the second-best winning percentage in the Big Sky at that position (.778).
The Player of the Week award puts a bow on one of the greatest careers in Montana history.
As a sophomore, he went undefeated in Big Sky play (10-0) to earn first team all-conference honors. He would have likely repeated as a first-team performer his junior year had he not missed several weeks due to injury.
In the fall of 2017, he won the Bank of Commerce Invitational at Idaho State and played in the final of Boise State’s Dar Walters Classic. He also became the first Grizzly ever to advance to the quarterfinal round of the ITA Mountain Region Tournament, cementing his place as one of the top players in the western United States.
He finished the regular season with a 28-8 singles record to give him 73 career wins for the Griz, looking to cement three more wins at the Big Sky tourney.
Casadevall has also excelled in the classroom for the Griz. As a math major, he has compiled a 3.51 GPA (taking courses at UM in his second language) and has been named Academic All-Big Sky twice since arriving in Missoula.
“He’s one of the most self-aware and honest people I’ve ever been around, and it’s served him well on the tennis court,” said interim head coach Jason Brown during the team’s senior day presentations.
“I’ve never seen him do anything but the right thing in four years which is an absolute tribute to what great guy and great human being he is. His tennis has spoken for itself, and he’s been a true joy to coach.”
Casadevall and the Griz open the conference championship tournament on Thursday at 2 p.m. (MT) against Southern Utah at the Phoenix Tennis Center in Phoenix, Arizona.