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Beyond the Hedges is winding down the fall and gearing up for the slow winter months

Members of the UGA Equestrian team during the Bulldogs' meet with Tennessee-Martin at the UGA Equestrian Complex in Bishop, Ga., on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016. (Photo by John Paul Van Wert)
Members of the UGA Equestrian team during the Bulldogs' meet with Tennessee-Martin at the UGA Equestrian Complex in Bishop, Ga., on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016. (Photo by John Paul Van Wert)
John Paul Van Wert and UGA Sports Communications

Welcome back Beyond the Hedges, where we talk about the stuff that isn't depressing like barely beating Kentucky in a sport that isn't basketball.  And for sports that aren't football, today is the first day of the week-long Fall Signing Period.


Speaking of the bouncy orange ball, HOOPS SEASON STARTS IN LIKE 48 HOURS Y'ALL!!!!!  And speaking of signing recruits, we have a good shot at an elite F out of the Atlanta area (and sadly it seems not much else).  Georgia's men already got a sweat in Stegeman with a blow out victory over Fort Valley State in their exhibition. The competition in the season opening game Friday night in Clemson, led by second team preseason All-American Jarron Blossongame (out of Alpharetta), will be much tougher.  Mark Fox starts his home schedule Monday evening at 7 with UNC-Asheville.

The ladies meanwhile will host South Carolina St Friday night at 7 in Stegeman.  Then Mercer shows up to town Sunday afternoon at 2 for the Dawgs' first two games of the season.  Anyone planning to go to the Bahamas and watch them over Thanksgiving should know that the tip off times have changed, and I wanna come with!  Coach Joni Taylor may or may not be on the sidelines to begin her second season running the Lady Dawgs, which would be little over a week past the birth of her daughter and first child, so CONGRATS COACH TAYLOR!


The women are resting until spring, and the men just concluded their fall campaign as well.  A burst in to the lead in Hawai'i was short lived, as the men finished behind Clemson for second at the Ka'anapali Collegiate Classic.  They'll get back on the course in late February in Puerto Rico.


The fall season has ended for the tennis teams as well.  Freshman Eleni Christofi made it to the consolation bracket quarterfinals before falling to Kentucky senior Aldia Sutjiana at the USTA/ITA National Collegiate Indoor Championships. Junior Wayne Montgomery also made it to the quarterfinals at the Indoors on the men's side of things. He knocked off one top-five ranked opponent before falling to another, Georgia Tech's Chris Eubanks.  In Athens, Emil Reinberg won the Bulldog Scramble for the men as they put the rackets down until spring.


Preparations for the season are underway, and the annual Pumpkin Peak gave fans a chance to see some of the action early on.  The first meet of the season isn't until January though, and if you missed lasts weekend, they'll have another exhibition on December 16th.


The Net Dawgs fell to Florida and South Carolina last week.  This weekend, they'll go west with matches against LSU Friday night at 8, and Texas A&M Sunday afternoon at 2 (both times are Eastern).  Lizzy Stemke also has the only signee of the day announced so far on, with Panama City, Florida'sT'ara Ceasar joining the program.


A trip to College Station to face top ranked Texas A&M saw the Horse Dawgs fall 13-7.  But they'll be back in the saddle Friday at 1 down in Bishop, Ga to host Auburn.  And what do you need to haul horses? Trucks. I like trucks. In spite of last weekend's defeat, senior Meg O'Mara is undefeated, and the National Rider of the Month.


The top ranked men and women Swim Dawgs are rolling, having beaten Georgia Tech and Wisconsin in the past week.  Performances that led to Javier Acevedo earning Freshman of the Week honors.  Some credit is given to the confidence and enthusiasm still spilling over from the summer when several Dawgs earned medals at the Olympics.  They'll have a meet in Missouri tomorrow night before taking the rest of the month off.  They'll be back in the pool on December 2 for the Georgia Fall Invitational.