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Beyond the Hedges 11/15/2012

Keeping pace with all of the Dawg Sports at Dawg Sports.

Both the men's and women's cross country teams are competing Saturday in the NCAA Championships Saturday. The men advanced from the South Regionals in Tallahassee by placing second behind FSU and ahead of Florida, Georgia Tech, and Mississippi State. The women, meanwhile, placed third in the Regional meet, barely missing the automatic advance granted to the top two finishers, but earned an at-large bid based on the season's body of work. Bulldog Carly Hamilton also advanced to an individual spot in the NCAA championship.

Struggles continue in volleyball. Last Friday, the Dawgs fell to visiting LSU in a hotly contested 3-1 (30-28, 17-25, 26-28, 21-25) match, and Sunday suffered another setback to Texas A&M in an even more hotly contested five sets, 3-2 (25-15, 25-23, 20-25, 18-25, 10-15). Notwithstanding the close losses, Allison Summers was named the SEC's co-defensive player of the week for her performances, including 30 receptions with no errors in the LSU loss. The Bulldogs now stand at .500 over all at 13-13 (7-9 SEC) and travel to Fayetteville and Lexington tomorrow and Sunday before wrapping up the season the following weekend at home with SEC West basement-dweller Mississippi State and SEC East leader Florida.

Fall competition wrapped up for the women's tennis team last weekend. Sophomore Lauren Herring advanced to the quarterfinals at the USTA/ITA National Indoors Thursday but lost to Florida's Sofie Oyen 6-3, 1-6, 6-3, after having defeated Oyen at regionals. Herring's fall record is a stellar 17-2. junior Maho Kowase, now 17-4 on the fall and ranked 37th, upset UNC's Zoe DeBruycker, ranked 26th, 6-4, 6-2, in the consolation quarterfinals. Also participating was the Dawgs' doubles team of Herring/Kate Fuller, who fell in the consolation quarterfinals to UVA. Out in California, freshman Makenzie Craft and junior Lilly Kimbell advanced to the quarterfinals in the Jack Kramer Invitational before elimination with a loss to a team from Baylor. Craft lost her quarterfinals singles match in a 3-6, 6-1, 10-7 heartbreaker to UCLA's Kaitlin Ray. The team will be back in action in January for the Georgia Invitational at the Dan Magill Tennis Center in Athens.

In New York last Thursday, the men's tennis team's doubles pair junior Hernus Pieters and freshman Ben Wagland sliced through the competition at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships, defeating teams from Columbia 8-3 and UVA 8-5. Junior KU Singh was narrowly defeated by Pepperdine's Sebastian Fanselow, 7-6, 6-4. Then on Friday, Pieters/Wagland battled in the quarterfinals against Ole Miss's Jonas Lutjen and Nik Scholtz, advancing to the semifinals by beating the Rebears in a tiebreaker 9-8(6), setting up a second consecutive SEC contest against the tournament's No. 1 seed Daniel Cochrane and Andreas Mies of Auburn. (We hate Auburn.) On Saturday, while the Dawgs were getting ready to trounce the Plainsmen on the Plains, Pieters/Wagland handled them on the court in New York, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, to advance to the finals, where they fell on Sunday to the 2-seeded team of Henrique Cunha and Raphael Hemmeler from Duke, 6-4, 6-2. Meanwhile, Singh defeated UVA's Harrison Richmond (is there a more UVA-tennis-player name?) 6-1, 6-3 in Friday's consolation draw before splitting on Saturday, beating Columbia’s Winston Lin 6-2, 7-6(4) in the quarterfinals but losing to Ohio State's Peter Kobelt 7-6(6), 7-5 in the semifinal round.

Meanwhile in Athens, Bulldogs played through the weekend at the round-robin Bulldog Scramble. There were strong performances all around, but Nathan Pasha was perfect on the weekend, defeating players from Bama, (two different players), Mississippi State, ETSU, Bama, and Kentucky to emerge with the tournament singles title.

The equestrian team fell to third in the national rankings after their losses to South Carolina a couple of weeks ago and to Auburn last Friday. It was not a good day for these Dawgs on the Plains: Hunt Seat fell 7-3, and Western rode to a 5-5 tie. UGA travels to Brookings, South Dakota, this weekend to compete against South Dakota State and New Mexico State.

Last Friday, the men's and women's swimming and diving teams hosted SEC newcomer Mizzou and bested the Tigers by scores of 186-106 (women) and 151-147 (men). Heading into the 400 freestyle relay, the men trailed the visitors 141-140 but won the event with a time of 2:58.70 to clinch the meet victory. Earlier, Dawgs took first, second, third, and fourth in the men's 1,000 freestyle.

The men's basketball team has had some, er, struggles with early losses to Youngstown State and Southern Miss, about which you may read in the linked stories here at Dawg Sports if you haven't already, but the women's basketball team is a perfect 2-0. Sunday, the tenth-ranked Lady Dogs edged Rutgers 57-51 at Stegeman in the season opener. Khaalidah Miller, Anne Marie Armstrong, Jasmine James, and Jasmine Hassell all scored in double digits (12 for Miller, 10 each for the others). It was a close game all afternoon, but Georgia went on an 8-3 scoring run in the second half to take and hold the lead to the buzzer. Wednesday, the ladies were back on the Stegeman Court against Presbyterian and downed the Blue Hose 66-38. Hassell led the team in scoring with 14 points as UGA marched out to an early lead and held at least a 20-point advantage throughout the second half. The next game, also at home, is against South Carolina State tonight at 7:00.

These are your quick highlights from around the fields (and courts and lanes) of competition around the Bulldog sports world. Fall's winding down, but there's a little bit of volleyball remaining, and of course, basketball, tennis, gymnastics, and more will be cranking up for the winter-spring seasons soon.