Sure, we have some pretty big
fish chicken to fry on the gridiron this weekend in South Carolina, but there's always a lot going on in other arenas of Bulldog athletic competition.
The collegiate equestrian coaches' poll had a hard time deciding who ought to be the preseason No. 1 team, placing Georgia and Texas A&M tied for first, but it couldn't last, because the Aggies came to Athens to decide who really was the best. UGA welcomed the visitors to the SEC by handing them a 17-5 defeat: 11-1 in Hunt Seat and 6-4 in Western. The Dawgs lead the four-horse race in the SEC (but to be fair, Auburn and South Carolina haven't had a conference contest yet) and sit alone atop the coaches' poll, followed by South Carolina, Auburn, and Texas A&M at spots two through four. S-E-C! S-E-C!
On Saturday, while Athens was abuzz waiting for the showdown with the Vols to get under way between the hedges, the volleyball team was out in Columbia West trying to improve on its third-place standings in the SEC Eastern Division. Second-place Mizzou stood tall and swept the Dawgs 3-0 (15-25, 25-23, 25-11). Georgia took early leads in the first and third sets but saw the leads slip away against 5-0 and 9-0 runs, respectively, by the Tigers. In the second set, UGA fought from an early 4-2 deficit to hang with the host team, including a 4-0 run mid-set and kept things tied up in the late points until dropping the last two. Coach Stemke complimented her young team's fight, singling out senior Briana Bahr's contributions, "but we need more people to be contributing in our offense."
If you joined us last night here at Dawg Sports for the Wednesday Night Georgia Bulldogs ESPNU Women's Volleyball UNITE Twitter Distraction Open Comment Thread, you already know that Georgia defeated LSU in a match televised on ESPNU. It was a tight back-and-forth contest in which neither team would give up until UGA poured it on strong in the fifth set to take the match 3-2 (27-29, 26-24, 23-25, 25-23, 15-6).
The Diamond Dogs' 2013 schedule is finalized. The football team travelled to Missouri to welcome the Tigers to the conference, and the baseball team will be headed to College Station, Texas, to the same for the Aggies in the first conference series. On the home SEC slate, we get Bama, Mizzou, Vandy, Arkansas, and Florida at Foley Field.
The soccer team hosted Missouri on Friday and LSU on Sunday. The first of the visiting Tigers, No. 11 Mizzou, handed the Dawgs a tough 2-1 loss. After the end of the first half saw the teams tied at one goal apiece, Missouri scored its second goal in the first five minutes of the second half, which was the eventual final score. On Sunday in the rain and on ESPNU, Georgia got two goals out of a season-high 35 shots, but the match ended in a 2-2 tie. At 1-3-2 (5-6-2 over all), UGA is now in sixth place in the division, ahead of only South Carolina.
Former UGA men's golf standout Russell Henley took his first professional title Sunday at the Web.com Tour Chiquita Classic. Henley had a one-stroke lead after a birdie on the five-par seventeenth, but bogeyed the 18th, including a visit to the water feature, to finish -22. But two other players also couldn't manage to finish any higher, and Henley took the three-way playoff on the same hole by surviving for a two-putt par while the other finalists bogeyed. The win vaulted Henley from 35th to 12th place this season with $216,566 in earnings. The top 25 at the end of the season earn PGA Tour cards. With four events remaining, it's looking good for Henley.
With the above results, analysis of the significance of Michael Bennett's season-ending injury, and this week's podcast, we should be up to speed, but there's always more Bulldog news, so check back with Dawg Sports early and often.