Higuchi hits 100 wins as women’s tennis tops Arizona

March 20, 2021, 9:04 p.m.

Fifth-year Emma Higuchi logged her 100th singles victory in a 5-2 win for Stanford women’s tennis (6-0, 3-0 Pac-12) over Arizona (9-7, 0-4 Pac-12) on Saturday.

Higuchi paired up with junior Sara Choy to win a 6-2 doubles set. A 6-4 set win from fifth-year Emily Arbuthnott and sophomore Angelica Blake clinched the super-set and put Stanford on the board first.

Higuchi went on to fill the Cardinal’s No. 6 spot in the singles portion. She logged her first collegiate singles victory at the St. Mary’s invitation in October of 2016, defeating Cal’s Alexis Nelson in straight sets. She crossed the century mark exactly 1,626 days later in another straight sets win, this time over Arizona’s Khim Iglupas.

Higuchi played nearly flawlessly in her win on Saturday, refusing to take an aggressive swing until she could guarantee it would end the point. Her play forced Iglupas to take risks to win points, but the Arizona sophomore couldn’t hang on as Higuchi took the win, 6-2, 6-1.

The victory for the fifth-year from Los Angeles combined with a win from Choy put the Cardinal up 3-0. Blake, in her first singles appearance of the season, would provide the clincher. 

Blake filled the Cardinal’s No. 3 singles spot for freshman Ana Geller, who sat out the match. She started by attacking the left side of Arizona’s Talya Zandberg, who struggled with her backhand. Once the Arizona senior started landing returns, Blake went to attack the other side. The sophomore would have started to run away with the match, but her returns frequently landed just outside the baseline to keep Zandberg competitive in the first set. As Blake started to limit her mistakes, she closed out the match and earned a 6-3, 6-1 victory.

The top of the Cardinal roster didn’t fare as well. Senior Michaela Gordon and Arbuthnott both fell in the No. 1 and No. 2. slots, respectively. Senior Janice Shin rounded out the list of results for the team, edging out a 6-0, 2-6, 6-3 win.

The Cardinal will hope to continue its undefeated season against UC Santa Barbara (1-2, 1-0 Big West) on Wednesday.

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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