Daily Dawg Thread: January 07, 2024

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Daily Dawg Thread: January 07, 2024

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MTEN: Georgia Sweeps Doubles on Day Two of Gamecock Kickoff

Manny Diaz

The Georgia men’s tennis team continued play at the Gamecock Kickoff on Saturday, with the Bulldogs winning all three of their doubles matches during day two of the event at the Carolina Tennis Center. 

Freshman Niels Ratiu remains undefeated at South Carolina’s home venue, as he again won his singles and doubles matches on Saturday. 





“I thought we had a fantastic day today,” head coach Manuel Diaz said. “Our doubles were exceptional, and all of our guys played at a very high-level. Neils had a stupendous day in both singles and doubles. It was great to get Freddy Blades finally involved and he’s going to be a big addition to our squad. Cyrus also earned a gutsy win. All of our guys continued to compete exceptionally well.”

Freddy Blaydes made his Bulldog debut in doubles play with partner Thomas Paulsell, where the pair won their match 6-4 against Jelani Sarr and Lucas Andrade Da Silva of South Carolina. No. 42 Ryan Colby and Ratiu improved to 8-3 together after defeating the Gamecocks’ Casey Hoole and Carter Morgan, while Cyrus Mahjoob and Miguel Perez Peña beat Sean Daryabeigi of South Carolina and Jeremy Zhang of Illinois, 6-4, in an exhibition match.

Georgia racked up three singles wins on Saturday afternoon, highlighted by the first ranked win of No. 112 Mahjoob’s career. The freshman pulled out a three-set victory over VCU’s No. 78 Mathis Bondaz and improves to 11-6 this season. Both No. 46 Perez Peña and Ratiu earned straight-set wins, moving to 13-5 and 7-6 this year, respectively. 





The Gamecock Kickoff will conclude on Sunday, Jan. 7. The day’s first set of matches will start at 9 a.m. ET with the second slate scheduled to begin not before 1 p.m. The tournament is played in a round-robin format. Georgia, who is joined by host South Carolina, Illinois and VCU, will play in matches against a rotation of the opposing schools in singles and doubles. Players will compete in one match in both competitions each day. Admission is free for fans to attend.

Doubles Results

Day One

Niels Ratiu/Thomas Paulsell (UGA) def. Oscar Pinto Sansano/German Samofalov (VCU) 6-4

Romain Gales/Matisse Bobichon (VCU) def. Ryan Colby/Filipe Costa (UGA) 6-1

Hamza El Amine/Mathis Bondaz (VCU) def. Miguel Perez Peña/Cyrus Mahjoob (UGA) 6-4

Karis Ozolins/William Mroz (Ill.) def. Parker Jacques/Davis Taylor (UGA) 6-0

Day Two

Cyrus Mahjoob/Miguel Perez Peña (UGA) def. Sean Daryabeigi (South Carolina)/Jeremy Zhang (Ill.) 6-4*

No. 42 Niels Ratiu/Ryan Colby (UGA) def. Casey Hoole/Carter Morgan (South Carolina) 6-4

Freddy Blaydes/Thomas Paulsell (UGA) def. Jelani Sarr/Lucas Andrade Da Silva (South Carolina) 6-3 

Singles Results

Day One

Romain Gales (VCU) def. Parker Mariencheck (UGA) 7-6(4), 7-5

Hamza El Amine (VCU) def. Davis Taylor (UGA) 6-3, 6-1

Filipe Costa (UGA) def. Oliver Okonkwo (Ill.) 6-2, 6-3

No. 55 Karlis Ozolins (Ill.) def. No. 41 Thomas Paulsell (UGA) 6-4, 6-4

No. 17 Kenta Miyoshi (Ill.) def. No. 112 Cyrus Mahjoob (UGA) 7-5, 6-1

No. 46 Hunter Heck (Ill.) def. No. 43 Miguel Perez Peña (UGA) 6-2, 6-2

Niels Ratiu (UGA) def. Jeremy Zhang (Ill.) 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-1

No. 36 Ryan Colby (UGA) def. William Mroz (Ill.) 6-2, 6-4

Tyler Bowers (Ill.) def. Parker Jacques (UGA) 3-6, 6-4, 10-8

Lucas Horve (Ill.) def. Parker Mariencheck (UGA) 6-1, 6-3

Day Two 

Jeremy Zhang (Ill.) def. Filipe Costa (UGA) 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(5)

Tyler Bowers (Ill.) def. Parker Mariencheck (UGA) 7-6(7), 6-2

Lucas Horve (Ill.) def. Parker Jacques (UGA) 6-4, 6-4

No. 92 Casey Hoole (South Carolina) def. Davis Taylor (UGA) 6-4*

No. 112 Cyrus Mahjoob (UGA) def. No. 78 Mathis Bondaz (VCU) 6-2, 3-6, 6-2

No. 90 Matisse Bobichon (VCU) def. No. 36 Ryan Colby (UGA) 7-6(6), 7-5

Niels Ratiu (UGA) def. Romain Gales (VCU) 6-0, 6-2

No. 46 Miguel Perez Peña (UGA) def. Oscar Pinto Sansano (VCU) 6-3, 6-2

Hamza El Amine (VCU) def. No. 41 Thomas Paulsell (UGA) 2-6, 6-4, 6-0

German Samofalov (VCU) def. Freddy Blaydes (UGA) 6-4, 3-6, 6-4

* indicates an exhibition match that will not count towards the players’ records

GYM: Georgia secures a home victory against NC State to open the season

Amanda Cashman

The GymDogs were led by freshman Ady Wahl’s all-around event title in her first career meet. Four freshmen competed 10 routines in their Georgia debuts. Lily Smith scored a nearly perfect 9.975 for her bars routine and Anya Turner led the charge on beam with a 9.875.  

“The biggest thing is that we had a hard loss in our warm-up with Haley de Jong getting injured,” head coach Courtney Kupets-Carter said. “I’m not going to lie, it was really difficult for me to watch one of your athletes go down, but to see everyone rally in our warm-up round, not just around her, but in general. A fire that was lit inside of them just inspired me throughout the competition. It was really encouraging to see how much they love each other and the sport. Our message was that it was a hard day, but we pushed through and got it done. There are things to work on for sure. We threw some athletes in there without the experience or the work that we would’ve wanted in the gym before going out to compete, but we came out with lots of wins today.”

The GymDogs began the competition on vault, where graduate Amanda Cashman led the rotation with a solid 9.800. Senior Katie Finnegan vaulted a team-best 9.850 in her 36th career routine. Overall, Georgia posted a 48.975. 

In her first career event, freshman Lily Smith anchored bars for the team and earned the event title with a nearly perfect 9.975. JaFree Scott earned a 9.875 while Ady Wahl notched a 9.800, helping Georgia swing to a 49.175 in the event. Heading into the third rotation, the GymDogs had built a 98.150-97.750 advantage.

Continuing onto balance beam, the team performed to a collective score of 49.100, led by a 9.875 from freshman Anya Turner. Sophomore Sydney Fitzgerald posted a career-best 9.850 in her fourth time performing on the event, while freshman Jaydah Battle matched that score.

The energy continued onto the floor, where the GymDogs finished with a score of 48.950. Graduate Ashlyn La Clair led the rotation with a 9.800. Smith and Wahl rounded out the event, both posting 9.825 in their debuts. In total, Georgia outscored NC State in three of the four events. 

Up next, Georgia will travel to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to take on the Razorbacks inside Bud Walton Arena on Friday, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. ET. The GymDogs competed against Arkansas twice last season, averaging a score of 196.7375 between the two meets. 


GEORGIA: 196.200 (VT- 48.975, UB- 49.175, BB- 49.100, FX- 48.950)

NC STATE: 194.225 (VT- 49.025, UB- 48.725, BB- 47.775, FX- 48.770)


Amanda Cashman: 9.800

Ashlyn Laclair: 9.750

Jaydah Battle: 9.800

Katie Finnegan: 9.850

Ady Wahl: 9.775


Amanda Cashman: 9.200

Sidney Fitzgerald: 9.750

Ady Wahl: 9.800

Katie Finnegan: 9.775

JaFree Scott: 9.875

Lily Smith: 9.975


Ady Wahl: 9.775

Jaydah Battle: 9.850

Sidney Fitzgerald: 9.850

Anya Turner: 9.875

Lily Smith: 9.750

JaFree Scott: 9.250


Ashlyn Laclair: 9.800

Eryn Williams: 9.725

Sidney Fitzgerald: 9.775

Amanda Cashman: 9.500

Lily Smith: 9.825

Ady Wahl: 9.825

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Greg is closing in on 15 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.

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