NCAA Womens Tennis

HUSKY SPOTLIGHT: ERIKA MATSUDA – University of Washington Athletics

HUSKY SPOTLIGHT: ERIKA MATSUDA - University of Washington Athletics

Erika Matsuda never even thought college tennis was an option. 

Growing up in Yokohama, Japan, the rising junior always thought professional tennis was her next step out of high school. With those intentions in place and no knowledge of the English language, the University of Washington was nowhere near her radar. 

It wasn’t until she started learning English and began having phone calls with Head Coach Robin Stephenson that collegiate tennis became an option. And a highly favored one, at that. 

Her first year at Washington was challenging, with the language barrier making for a rocky start in conversations with her teammates. With time — and a lot of practice — Matsuda now feels like she can talk to her teammates about anything, and has a much easier time understanding conversation. 

One main worry while being recruited to UW was the Duolingo English test that was a required piece for attending the University of Washington. 

Matsuda communicated those concerns to Coach Stephenson, who encouraged her that she could do it, and that there was a spot for her on the team if she wanted it. Since then, she has never looked back. 

“I have no regrets coming to UW,” Matsuda said. “Being here has been one of the best moments of my life. I’m just having fun with the people around me.”


“I am so incredibly proud of Emat and how far she has come in her first two years,” Head Coach Robin Stephenson said. “I remember when we were recruiting her, she was so worried about her English and how she would do academically. She has come into UW and has gotten a 4.0 almost every quarter. That is just a glimpse into her dedication and work ethic and how she goes about everything. She has made a huge jump with her tennis and that’s all credit to her and her mindset and her commitment to be the best that she can be for the team. Emat is someone that can will herself to do most anything and when she sets her mind to something she is a force. It has been so much fun to see her continue to flourish in this environment on and off the court and I know the best is ahead for her. She has some big goals for herself and the team and she has a quiet confidence and poise about her that spreads to those around her. Emat has a lot of pride in being a Husky and we are grateful that she chose to be here. She is a huge part of our success over the past couple of seasons and will continue to lead the team to new heights in the coming…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at University of Washington Athletics…