I hate to interrupt you when I know you’re trying to get your college football on, but, as hard as it sometimes is to believe, the University of Georgia actually fields squads of student-athletes in intercollegiate competition in a variety of sports. No, seriously, it’s true! Here is the short course on recent action in Red and Black athletic endeavors not involving the gridiron:
The Bulldogs and the Broncos began a weekend full of head-to-head hostilities when Georgia and Boise State split a sextet of men’s tennis matches on the first day of competition at the Atlanta Athletic Club. Sadio Doumbia and Wil Spencer claimed an 8-4 doubles victory, while Eric Diaz and Nathan Pasha dropped an 8-6 decision in their tandem match. Diaz, a redshirt freshman, and Pasha, a true freshman, were making their Red and Black debuts.
Spencer (6-1, 6-2) and Pasha (6-0, 6-2) prevailed in their respective singles matches, while their teammates came up short, with Doumbia falling, 7-6(4), 6-3, to James Meredith and Diaz being beaten, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, by Nathan Sereke. The two tennis clubs will resume play at 10:00 Saturday morning before making their way to the Georgia Dome for the game between the two universities’ football teams.
Meanwhile, former Bulldog netter John Isner advanced to the third round of the U.S. Open by dispensing swiftly with Robby Ginepri. In the course of carding his 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 victory, Isner never double-faulted and never had his serve broken. He carded 20 aces and faced just two break points.
The Georgia ladies spent their Friday evening in Minneapolis, where they outlasted Minnesota in overtime to card a 2-1 victory in the 92nd minute. Ashley Baker contributed seven saves to the cause, including four in the first half, while Alexa Newfield added the game-winning goal.
A scoreless first half saw the Golden Gophers take nine shots to the Bulldogs’ two, but the host squad also amassed four fouls to the visitors’ one. Though Minnesota out-shot the Red and Black, 15-7, after intermission and had four times as many corner kicks as the Classic City Canines (12-3), Meghan Gibbons made the most of her lone shot of the evening, scoring the goal that broke the 0-0 deadlock gave the Athenians the lead in the contest’s 77th minute. The Minnesotans’ Shari Eckstrom tied it up anew in the 84th minute of play, forcing a one-shot overtime in which Jenna Owens got the assist with a serve across the box and Newfield drove home the go-ahead goal on the header that ended the game.
The Georgia ladies, who improved to 2-2 on the season, will close out the Minnesota Gold Classic against Iowa State on Sunday morning before returning home for a pair of home games against Mercer and Georgia State next weekend. The odds that this postgame writeup neither mangled soccer terminology nor inflamed Panther message board posters are slim to
Unfortunately, Friday ended with a loss, as the Red and Black volleyballers fell in Malibu at the Pepperdine Asics Classic. Against the host squad, Georgia took the first set, 25-19, on the strength of a 16-kill performance, but Pepperdine took charge thereafter, claiming the second and third sets by identical scores of 25-18 before closing out the contest with a 25-13 triumph in the fourth and final set. In the final three sets, the Waves carded 47 kills to the Bulldogs’ 30.
The Athenians will conclude the West Coast road swing with games against Miami and UC-Santa Barbara on Saturday afternoon and evening, respectively, before returning home to tussle with Kennesaw State in the Classic City.
We now resume our scheduled countdown to kickoff, which is already in progress.