While you’ve already heard the big news of the day, and although inclement weather in Athens reduced the number of sports stories available to report in Bulldog Nation, there are a few matters of note from Saturday which warrant our attention beyond those previously reported by vineyarddawg. These are they:
- Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Georgia extended a tennis winning streak with a 7-0 shutout of an SEC foe. That’s what happened when the male netters carded their tenth straight victory on Saturday, defeating Arkansas in the Natural State to improve to 6-0 in conference play. Although Drake Bernstein and Wil Spencer fell in the first completed doubles match, the Bulldogs won the other two to take the doubles point. Bernstein redeemed himself in singles play with a 6-0, 6-0 triumph, while Spencer closed out the 7-0 victory with a three-set super tiebreaker. Hernus Pieters, who was part of the tandem that claimed an 8-1 win in doubles, clinched the Red and Black win for the fifth time this season, taking his singles match 6-3, 6-0. I’m telling you, if you aren’t psyched about the 11th-ranked men’s tennis team’s April 16 showdown with Tennessee in Athens, you need to get your head in the game.
- Saturday’s Southern Equestrian Championship went right down to the wire before Auburn edged Georgia by an 11-9 margin. Three of four events were settled by 3-2 tallies, with the Bulldogs finishing first in equitation over fences and horsemanship but the Tigers taking top honors in reining. The Plainswomen’s 4-1 victory in equitation on the flat kept the Red and Black from capturing their seventh championship. Next up for the Athenians are the Varsity National Championships in Waco, Tex., where Georgia has captured five of the eight national titles bestowed in the history of the sport, including each of the last three.
- While the members of the U.S. men’s soccer team were kissing their Argentinean sisters, the members of the Georgia women’s soccer team were splitting a pair of matches in Knoxville. A 1-0 lead over host squad Tennessee evaporated before halftime, and the Volunteers held on for the 2-1 triumph over the Bulldogs. The Red and Black bounced back in their second game, trouncing UNC Greensboro by a 3-0 margin. By the way, since these were spring games, I have no idea if they count. Heck, I’m not even sure that "kissing their Argentinian sisters" isn’t a euphemism for hiking the Appalachian Trail, but, since soccer was a major topic of discussion here at the weblog on Saturday, I thought I ought to mention it.
- In track and field, Nikola Lomnicka and Justin Welch both won hammer toss events for Georgia at the Arizona State Invitational, while the Bulldogs were among their league’s representatives in a loss to the Midwesterners in the SEC v. Big Ten Challenge held in Starkville, Miss.
- While the Georgia men’s swimming and diving team managed only to finish tenth at the NCAA Championships in Minneapolis, Mark Dylla took home the national title in the 200 butterfly. Dylla, a two-time national runner-up in the event, broke his own school record with a 1:40.6 time to finish first this year after apparently winning the 2010 title, only to be disqualified for having supposedly touched one-handed on his first turn. Last year’s loss on an officiating call made Dylla the sympathetic favorite in the event this year, and he completed his goal of coming in first and, finally, getting credit for that achievement.
Mark Dylla’s story of coming back to triumph over adversity ought to have Bulldog Nation feeling pretty good heading into Sunday, when the Red and Black will be represented in intercollegiate competition by the baseball, men’s golf, softball, women’s basketball, and women’s tennis teams.