It’s been a while since we’ve looked outside the hedges around here. We’ve had our usual mess of basketball coverage, and plenty of gymnastics stuff has been warranted and well done. And the PGA Dawgs too, since we are Country Club U. But what about the rest of the spring sports you ask? Well, I’m glad you asked.
The men have been to Puerto Rico and Cabo San Lucas so far, but are spending this afternoon in their home town at the Southern Intercollegiate at Athens Country Club. In fact, they won’t leave the state until the NCAAs, with the Linger Longer in Greensboro next week, the Augusta Invitational on April 1st and 2nd, and the SEC Championships being in St. Simon’s later that month.
The ladies also started their spring in Puerto Rico before a trip to Hilton Head for the Darius Rucker, finishing fifth at both events. They are in LA today Los Angeles, not Lower Alabama) for the Gifford Great 8 Match Play and get Ohio St in the fifth place matchup tomorrow, before the Bryan National in two weeks, and of course hosting the Liz Murphey in early April.
SEC play begins this weekend when Kentucky comes to town, but so far so good for the Diamond Lady Dawgs. They sit 24-3 on the season and have overwhelmed most of their opposition (hitting .398 as a team on the year and limiting opponents to a .177 average tends to have that effect).
TRACK AND FIELD
A tremendous indoor season is in the books with the outdoor portion of the schedule beginning this weekend as the weather (hopefully) warms up. The women finished second in the NCAAs, and the men fourth, for the best ever combined finish for the program. Junior Keturah Orji, current field athlete of the year for the area, won her fourth triple jump title (second indoors), while senior Kendell Williams became the first woman to win four indoor titles in a single event (pentathlon). Kendell’s brother, fellow senior Devon Williams, posted the fifth highest total in NCAA history to win the heptathlon title. This was on the heels of numerous titles at the SEC indoors. Petros Kyprianou has got things going over on Spec Towns track.
The men lost five straight matches to start February, but have yet to lose in 4 SEC matches so far. They’ll host Wake Forest Friday before a trip to Tennessee Sunday. LSU and Alabama will be at the Magill courts next weekend.
The ladies lost to Vandy earlier this month, but rolled over the Yellowhammer state last weekend beating both Bama and Auburn. This weekend will be the tough test, with a trip to perennial power Florida on Friday before a Sunday date with South Carolina.
The men, as you know, are in the NIT. The ladies will not be playing anymore after falling to South Carolina in the SEC Tournament. They finish the year 16-15 overall, 7-9 in SEC play.
A talented but extremely young roster has shown their age so far with a 7-9 record for the Diamond Dawgs, including multiple losses to College of Charleston and Rider in addition to dropped games against Xavier, Kennesaw St, Georgia Southern, and Mercer. We get a chance for payback against the Bears when they make the trip to Foley Field for a 6 p.m. game tonight, host Presbyterian at 4 tomorrow, then head to red stick for a weekend series with LSU.
SWIMMING AND DIVING
EVERYBODY OUT OF THE POOL! I know, it’s not even spring yet, but the swimming season is almost over. The women will be in Indiana this weekend for the NCAA Championships. They finished second at the SECs at the end of February. The men will be up there next weekend, and also finished second at the SECs last month.
The regular season is over, as the 9-4 Horse Dawgs will head to SEC Championships in Auburn next Friday, the 24th, as the top seed. Since losing to Baylor to start the spring campaign back in, ahem, January, they’ve reeled off five straight victories including over Auburn, South Carolina, and Texas A&M. The national championships will be back in Waco when Baylor hosts them in early April.
And as always, GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DAWGS!