Women’s tennis runs hot out of the gate in season opener

Feb. 26, 2021, 10:17 p.m.

A blustery day on the Farm might interrupt your plans to hike the Dish, but the weather didn’t stop women’s tennis (1-0) from picking up exactly where it left off last season. With every member on the team returning and the addtion of two new freshmen, the team dominated Santa Clara (1-2) in a 7-0 rout at Taube Tennis Center on Friday. 

The team handily won the doubles portion of the match. Junior Sara Choy and senior Janice Shin crushed their set without dropping a single game. Senior Michaela Gordon and junior Niluka Madurawe also finished strong, winning their set 6-2. The pair was able to consistently swat Santa Clara’s returns into the front court, forcing the Broncos to concede the point.

The team’s two freshmen, India Houghton and Ana Geller, struggled to find their rhythm early and split the first six games 3-3. As their teammates finished their sets and went on to cheer the freshmen, the pair rallied to close out the set 6-3.

From there, Stanford continued to string together victories. Geller demonstrated her versatility in her singles debut, returning volleys from all over the court and defeating Santa Clara’s Katherine Petty 6-1, 6-2. 

Fifth-year Emma Higuchi showed her poise and experience. She beat Santa Clara’s Jamie Schroer with a 6-0, 6-2 score. Higuchi’s win featured long rallies and showcased her ability to neutralize whatever Schroer managed to throw at her. 

Choy was the only player to drop a set to the Broncos. After winning the first set against Finley Kalinic 6-3, Choy dropped the following set 2-6. With the rest of the team cheering her on, the junior managed to win several methodical points to take the tiebreak set 10-6 and secure the shutout for Stanford.

The Cardinal were ranked fourth on the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) preseason poll in January, but fell out of the rankings due to the delayed start to the season. They’ll continue the quest to regain their ranking on Tuesday afternoon against UC Davis.

Michael Espinosa '22 is majoring in international relations. He's the head of The Daily's social media team, and editor for the University beat and also occasionally writes for sports, arts, and The Grind. He's the biggest Taylor Swift fan at Stanford and the proudest New Yorker you will ever meet. Contact him at mespinosa 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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