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Georgia Bulldogs Claim Victories in Equestrian, Softball, and Women's Tennis on Busy Saturday

Because Georgia is now a basketball school, most of our attention on Saturday was directed toward Columbia, S.C., where the Georgia Bulldogs held on to card an SEC road win over the South Carolina Gamecocks. The Fox Hounds, however, were just one of the groups of University of Georgia student-athletes who were in action yesterday, which places us in the same position as Inigo Montoya. There being no time to explain, I will summarize; to wit:

Equestrian: Despite coming up short on the Western score and being tied 5-5 in Western points, Georgia used strong showings by Kacy Jenkins in equitation over fences and Michelle Morris in equitation on the flat to out-point Auburn 3-2 in each of the hunter seat events. Indy Roper earned the Tigers a 4-1 points lead in horsemanship, while Becca Haaland returned the favor by leading the Bulldogs to a 4-1 points lead in reining. The Red and Black avenged a November 12 loss to the ladies of the Plains with this weekend’s home win at the Georgia Equestrian Complex in Bishop, Ga., by a 1,519-1,481.5 overall score. I have no idea what any of that means, but I know I hate Auburn, so I’m glad we kicked their horses’ asses.

Gymnastics: As noted by vineyarddawg, the top-ranked Gators came to Athens and emerged victorious over the No. 4 Gym Dogs before almost 9,800 fans in Stegeman Coliseum. Although the setback dealt Georgia its third loss of the season and dropped the Red and Black to .500 in league meets, the Gym Dogs actually performed well, notching a mark higher than 49.0 in all four events for the first time in 2011. Unfortunately, the Athenians could not keep pace with the Floridians, who carded the highest team score recorded in the country this season to claim a 197.725-196.6 triumph in the Classic City.

Men’s tennis: The details of the Bulldogs’ rare loss to the Yellow Jackets already have been shared by NCT, so it suffices to say that Manuel Diaz lost to Georgia Tech for the first time as the Georgia head men’s tennis coach. The Red and Black’s 4-3 loss to the Engineers ended a 24-match winning skein against the Athenians’ in-state rivals and marked the Bulldogs’ first setback against the Golden Tornado since 1988, the year I first set foot in the Classic City as a student.

Softball: After opening the season with a one-run win over Illinois State to kick off the annual Red and Black Showcase on Friday, the Bulldogs registered another one-run win over East Carolina and pounded Iowa 8-1 to justify their No. 3 national ranking with a 3-0 start to the campaign. Two more games, against Maryland and Lipscomb, are scheduled to follow in Athens on Sunday afternoon.

Swimming and diving: Saturday was the second day of the SEC Diving Championships in Gainesville, Fla., and head coach Dan Laak summed up his team’s performance by stating frankly, "It just wasn’t a great day for Georgia diving." Three Bulldog divers accumulated points to improve upon their opening day performance on Friday.

Track and field: Georgia distance runners, jumpers, multi-event athletes, pole vaulters, sprinters, and throwers were in action in three different venues on Saturday, competing simultaneously in Clemson, S.C.’s Tiger Paw Invitational, Fayetteville, Ark.’s Tyson Invitational, and Seattle, Wash.’s Husky Classic. The day’s success stories included wins in the Palmetto State by Lindsay Farr in the pole vault and Caleb Whitener in the weight throw, as well as Torrin Lawrence recording the world’s fastest 400-meter dash in the Natural State.

Women’s tennis: 28 Georgia track and field athletes were joined beside the shores of Lake Hartwell by the Red and Black women’s tennis team. The visiting lady netters handed their hosts a 5-2 loss, beating previously undefeated Clemson to give No. 12 Georgia its first road win of the year. Chelsey Gullickson and Kate Fuller captured the doubles point in an upset over the ninth-ranked Tigers.

You may now go about your weekend, secure in the knowledge that you are up to speed after a busy Saturday in Bulldog Nation.

Go ‘Dawgs!