These are busy days in Bulldog Nation, and not only because the Georgia Bulldogs will be playing a football game in Nashville on Saturday night and began basketball practice on Friday afternoon. There are intercollegiate athletic competitions other than these being played by University of Georgia undergraduates, and, in order to keep you as fully informed as reasonably possible, I now present you a short summation of noteworthy events of which you ought to be aware this weekend:
The Bulldogs arrived in Baton Rouge sporting an 8-10 ledger, and they came to the Pelican State to take on an LSU squad that entered the arena at 11-6. Those trends continued as the SEC West-leading home team took care of business on the court. The Tigers edged their guests, 25-18, in the initial set, but the Red and Black responded by taking the second set, 25-19. Louisiana State then finished off the Athenians by capturing the last two sets, 25-16 and 25-13. The Bayou Bengals led the Bulldogs in kills in all four sets, 14-9, 16-9, 16-9, 13-8, and held a similar overall advantage in digs (63-39). Among the few bright spots for Lizzy Stemke’s team was sophomore outside hitter Brittany Northcutt, who delivered nine of the Bulldogs’ 35 kills.
In Friday night’s conference encounter in Nashville, the Georgia soccer team claimed a 2-0 victory over Vanderbilt, hopefully setting the tone for Bulldog-Commodore clashes in the Music City this weekend. Alexa Newfield gave the Red and Black a 1-0 lead in the 28th minute, and Meghan Gibbons added another goal before the break. The Red and Black led their hosts by sizable margins in shots (13-5) and fouls (15-9), though the Athenians’ edge was significantly smaller in shots on goal (4-3) and saves (3-2).
The Bulldogs will travel to Lexington next to take on Kentucky at 4:00 p.m. Eastern on Sunday. Since that contest is scheduled to be televised on ESPNU, an open comment thread will be published here half an hour before the game begins.
On the opening day of the 2011 Bulldog Tennis Classic, the Georgia lady netters were undefeated in doubles play and almost flawless in their singles matches. Nadja Gilchrist and Chelsey Gullickson improved to 8-1 for the autumn with a 9-7 tandem win over the 17th-ranked Michigan duo, while two other Wolverine pairs fell to the teams of Kate Fuller and Lauren Herring (9-8) and Rachael Hart and Lilly Kimbell (8-5).
In the singles showdowns, Georgia’s Alina Jerjomina fell to Virginia’s Marjorie Baker, 6-4, 6-1, but her Red and Black teammates all emerged victorious. Hart defeated her Cavalier opponent, 6-2, 6-0, while the West Virginia representatives lost, in succession, to Fuller (6-1, 6-0), Gilchrist (6-1, 6-3), Gullickson (6-2, 6-3), and Kimbell (6-1, 6-2). Competition is set to resume at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex at 10:00 a.m. Eastern on Saturday.
In an exhibition outing in Athens, the Georgia women’s softball team fell, 6-1, to the National Pro Fastpitch professional club, which improved to 11-0 all-time in the annual NPF "back to school" tour. The Red and Black did not go gently into that good night, tying the game in the third frame and trailing by a lone run after five innings, but the Bulldogs were hampered by the fact that some of their best players were wearing the wrong uniforms: 2011 NPF Rookie of the Year Alisa Goler, Brianna Hesson, Taylor Schlopy, and All-NPF selection Megan Wiggins all are former Georgia softball players who suited up for the visitors on Thursday.
As tankertoad noted, Jack Bauerle’s men’s and women’s teams made short work of their in-state rivals, as the Georgia swimmers and divers swept their dual meet against Georgia Tech in Athens. The men carded a 152-87 decision over the Yellow Jackets, while the ladies claimed their 74th straight home victory in dual or tri-meet action with a 141-91 win that preserved a Gabrielsen Natatorium winning streak dating back to 1995.
There were 270 competitors on hand for the Wisconsin Invitational---had the electoral college been there convened, there were enough athletes present to elect a president---and the Georgia men finished 21st out of 39 teams in the 8k race, paced by Brandon Lord’s SEC-best performance. The Red and Black finished eleven spots in front of league rival Florida. On the distaff side, Kristie Krueger was one of the conference’s top runners, and her top 20 finish in the 5k aided the Lady Bulldogs’ bid for a 37th-place finish.
If you’re ready for some baseball, head to Foley Field, where the first game of the annual Red-Black World Series is set to get underway at 3:00 p.m. Eastern on Sunday. The event marks the culmination of the Diamond Dogs’ fall practice schedule, and admission is free for the best-of-seven series, which will continue through Tuesday, October 25, if necessary.