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Underclassmen shine in women’s tennis Pac-12 opening weekend
Freshman Emma Higuchi notched her 20th win this season against USC on Saturday. The Cardinal continued to display their team depth as the underclassmen all contributed to the team's conference-opening sweep. (LYNDSAY RADNEDGE/isiphotos.com)

Underclassmen shine in women’s tennis Pac-12 opening weekend

No. 14 Stanford women’s tennis (9-1, 2-0 Pac-12) once again displayed its team’s depth as the Cardinal swept their conference opening weekend. Stanford started its conference play with a 4-3 win over No. 28 UCLA before dominating its dual against No. 21 USC (4-5, 0-2).

Against the Bruins, Stanford dropped the doubles point after losing on Courts 1 and 3.

“We need to start winning the doubles more,” said captain senior Taylor Davidson after the weekend.

The Cardinal were able to quickly bounce back with wins at the third and fourth spot. Sophomore Caroline Lampl evened the score after winning her contest in straight sets 6-4, 6-1, while fellow sophomore Melissa Lord gave Stanford the lead after a 6-4, 6-4 victory.

Stanford’s underclassmen continued to lead the team in the dual, as freshman Emma Higuchi put Stanford a point away from victory before freshman Emily Arbuthnott provided her fourth career clincher with a hard-fought, three-set win, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. The Cardinal depth once again allowed the team to come on top of the dual as senior Caroline Doyle and Davidson dropped their respective games after winning the first set, allowing UCLA to earn three points in the dual.

The Cardinal were still riding their momentum from the day before as they entered their face-off against the USC women on Saturday.

Stanford quickly jumped to an early lead after taking the doubles points, thanks to wins from the pairs Higuchi/Lampl and Davidson/Arbuthnott on Courts 3 and 2, respectively.

The Cardinal never looked back, and they cruised to a sweep as Higuchi got the team started on singles. Higuchi blanked her opponent on Court 6 to advance to a team-high 20th win. She has yet to lose in a dual match.

Lampl followed at the No. 4 spot with a 6-2, 6-2 win before Davidson completed the 4-0 shutout with a victory on Court 1 6-1, 6-2.

The Cardinal have gained a lot of confidence in the past few weeks, especially with successes from their lower lineup. However, Davidson thinks that the team still has work to do. “We are winning most of our matches right now, but we are not peaking yet, which is great at this point in the season,” she said in an interview after the sweep of USC.

The Cardinal now have a week-long hiatus before facing Arizona State and Arizona.

 

Contact Alexandre Bucquet at bucqueta ‘at’ stanford.edu.