Beyond the Hedges: 9/19/2013

Nathan Pasha, 2013 Southern Intercollegiate singles champion (photo by Bill Kallenberg) - UGA Sports Communications

Men's tennis earns Georgia's first championships of 2013-14.

This week's scoreboard is highlighted by Georgia's sweep of the Southern Intercollegiate Tennis Tournament titles. On y go ...

MEN'S TENNIS

This past Friday through Monday, September 13-16, the University of Georgia men's tennis team hosted the nation's oldest fall tournament at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex, the Southern Intercollegiate Championships, sweeping the singles and doubles titles. For the 20th time in the 46 editions of the event, a Bulldog captured the singles title. Five Georgia players participated in the singles draw, and as a group, they racked up an impressive 22-4 record over the course of the tournament. Even more impressive, all four losses came to teammates. And if that weren't enough on the impressive scale, Pasha never lost a set the entire weekend.

Junior Nathan Pasha won the singles tournament by defeating sophomore Ben Wagland. Pasha and Wagland reached the finals by defeating sophomores Nick Wood and Austin Smith, respectively. The fourth Georgia loss was senior Hernus Pieters's to Pasha in the quarterfinals, while Wagland, Wood, and Smith defeated players from Clemson, Vandy, and ETSU. Let that sink in for a sec: all four semifinalists were from Georgia, three sophomores and a junior. And it took one of those to keep a fifth Georgia player from advancing. A tournament where only a Dawg could beat a Dawg is a great way to start the year.

In doubles, Georgia's Smith and Wood reached the quarterfinals before they fell to the Vandy pair of Ryan Lipman and Gonzales Austin, but the Vandy team couldn't get past Bulldogs Pieters and Wagland, who took the tournament doubles title.

The team had a quick turnaround, as the SEC Fall Classic began play today in Nashville. The tournament consists of 81 singles participants and 39 doubles teams from all 13 conference schools (because Mizzou can't be a true member of the Southeastern Conference until it has a men's tennis team--seriously, what is up with that?).

In today's action, after all four participating Georgia singles players got first-round byes, but only Pasha, Pieters, and Smith advanced. Wood was forced to retire with an injury. Nick joined the team in January 2013 and participated in only five dual matches before a season-ending ankle injury. I haven't found any details of what happened today, but let's hope it's nothing serious and he'll be back in action soon. If you know anything, let us know in the comments. In doubles, the pair of Wood and Smith had to withdraw from play due to Wood's injury, but Pasha and Pieters advanced to the round of 16. Play continues tomorrow, with Pasha, Pieters, and Smith facing opponents from Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and Tennessee, respectively, and with Pasha/Pieters going up against an LSU pair.

CROSS COUNTRY

The UGA women finished third and the men fifth this weekend in Greenville, South Carolina, at the Furman Cross Country Classic. Not bad finishes considering each team ran without its top handful of runners, opting to rest them in preparation for the September 28 Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, a prestigious national event.

VOLLEYBALL

Georgia is now 8-1 after a trio of victories at the Steg this weekend, defeating North Florida 3-1 Friday and U-La-La 3-0 and UNC Greensboro 3-0 Saturday. The ladies have one more three-match tournament tomorrow and Saturday before SEC play begins at LSU on September 27.

UPCOMING

  • The women's tennis team begins fall play tomorrow, hosting the Bulldog Classic with round-robin singles and doubles play against players from N.C. State, Old Dominion, and South Florida.
  • Men's golf will be in Kingston Tennessee for the first Dick's Sporting Goods Collegiate Challenge Cup, which is a sort of SEC-ACC challenge, featuring 54-hole stroke play Friday and Saturday to decide team and individual champions, followed by and an 18-hole match-play final on Sunday to determine the "top conference" for the weekend. Along with Georgia, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Vandy will represent God's Conference, while BC, Clemson, Duke, UVA, and Wake will represent the ACC.
  • Georgia hosts the Red and Black Scrimmage in equestrian tomorrow beginning at 4:00 p.m., giving fans a chance to get a preview of the team in advance of the upcoming season.
  • Next Wednesday, the men's and women's swimming and diving teams will host the Kentucky Wildcats at the Gabrielsen Natatorium for the first meet of 2013-14. Competition begins at 2:00 p.m.

Until next time,

GO DAWGS!

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