Daily Dawg Thread: January 08, 2024

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Daily Dawg Thread: January 08, 2024

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MTennis: Freshman Niels Ratiu went undefeated in singles and doubles at the Gamecock Kickoff this weekend

Georgia tennis player Niels Ratiu during Georgia’s first round match of the 2023 Southern Intercollegiate Championships at Henry Feild Stadium inside the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., on Friday, September 29, 2023. (Kari Hodges/UGAAA)

The Liège, Belgium native is now 8-6 in singles and 11-3 in doubles on the year after going 3-0 in both competitions this weekend. Ratiu won two of his three singles matches in straight sets and played with different doubles partners each day.

“Our team played exceptionally well today,” head coach Manuel Diaz said. “We went 3-0 in our top doubles matches and had great singles performances from Niels, Ryan and Cyrus against excellent opponents. These matches were a great opportunity to get better. We will be using the next few weeks to work hard and get ready for the ITA Kickoff Weekend in Athens at the end of the month. We are looking forward to introducing our young team to our fans.”





The Bulldogs won three of their final four doubles matches this weekend, with all three wins coming from pairs playing in their first matches together. Thomas Paulsell and Ryan Colby picked up the win against Karlis Ozolins and Will Mroz of Illinois while Freddy Blaydes and Ratiu beat Illinois’ Hunter Heck and Kenta Miyoshi, with both matches finishing in a 6-4 result. Blaydes, who began his Bulldog career on Saturday, won both of his doubles matches at the event. Miguel Perez Peña and Cyrus Mahjoob picked up a 7-5 win against Tyler Bowers and Jeremy Zhang as well. 

Georgia totaled 11 singles wins this weekend, five of which came on Sunday. No. 41 Paulsell won his second ranked match of the season with a three-set victory over No. 78 Mathis Bondaz in a 6-1, 5-7, 7-5 decision, winning the final five games in the third set. No. 36 Colby also picked up a win against a ranked opponent, defeating No. 92 Casey Hoole of South Carolina 7-6(4), 6-1 for his fourth ranked victory this year. Filipe Costa, No. 112 Mahjoob and Ratiu all won their matches in straight sets. 

Georgia will begin its dual match season during the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kickoff Weekend at the Athens Regional inside the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. The Bulldogs will host Louisiana for its first match on Sunday, Jan. 28 and play either conference foes Auburn or No. 19 Texas A&M the following day. The winner of the event will clinch a spot at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships on Feb. 16-19.





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 

Day Three

Oscar Pinto Sansano/German Samofalov (VCU) def. Parker Mariencheck/Parker Jacques (UGA) 6-3

Thomas Paulsell/Ryan Colby (UGA) def. Karlis Ozolins/Will Mroz (ILL) 6-4

Niels Ratiu/Freddy Blaydes (UGA) def. Hunter Heck/Kenta Miyoshi (ILL) 6-4

Miguel Perez Peña/Cyrus Mahjoob (UGA) def. Tyler Bowers/Jeremy Zhang (ILL) 7-5

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

No. 78 Mathis Bondaz (VCU) 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

Day Three

No. 41 Thomas Paulsell (UGA) def. No. 78 Mathis Bondaz (VCU) 6-1, 5-7, 7-5

Tyler Bowers (Ill.) def. Davis Taylor (UGA) 6-4, 6-2

Jeremy Zhang (Ill.) def. Parker Jacques (UGA) 6-2, 6-0

Filipe Costa (UGA) def. Lucas Horve (Ill.) 6-4, 6-0

Niels Ratiu (UGA) def. Lucas Andrade da Silva (South Carolina) 6-3, 7-5

Jelani Sarr (South Carolina) def. No. 43 Miguel Perez Peña (UGA) 6-2, 6-1

No. 112 Cyrus Mahjoob (UGA) def. Carter Morgan (South Carolina) 6-1, 6-0

No. 36 Ryan Colby (UGA) def. No. 92 Casey Hoole (South Carolina) 7-6(4), 6-1

Sean Daryabeigi (South Carolina) def. Freddy Blaydes (UGA) 7-6(3), 6-2

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

Dawgs On Tour: Chris Kirk won The Sentry with a 29-under, 263, his sixth major

Chris Kirk wins The Sentry - January 07, 2024
Photo: UGA Sports Communications

Kirk shot 67-65-66-65 to win the event by one stroke. Four former Georgia golfers finished in the top 15 of the event, including Brian Harman tied for fifth, Sepp Straka tied for 11th and English tied for 13th.

“I’m so happy for Chris,” head coach Chris Haack said. “Anytime you win on the PGA TOUR, it’s a huge accomplishment because it’s so hard to do. It was a great week for Chris and all six of our Bulldogs out there representing the G well to begin this season. It was made even more special by getting to hear Kevin Kisner in the booth commentating the event. It was a great week to be a Bulldog.”

Kirk stood two strokes back of the lead after the second round at 14-under. He made his jump to the top of the leaderboards on day three, taking the solo lead heading into the final day after shooting four birdies on the final seven holes. Heading into the 17th hole, Kirk was tied for the lead with Sahith Theegala. He created separation by hitting his five-iron 209 yards and left his birdie putt just two feet and six inches away from the hole to reclaim the solo lead and the event title. 

The 2006 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, Kirk now ranks third among former Georgia golfers with six PGA Tour titles. He trails just Bubba Watson with 14 and English with seven. Kirk has also won the 2011 Viking Classic, The McGladrey Classic in 2013, the 2014 Deutsche Bank Championship, the 2015 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial and The Honda Classic in 2023.

Kirk was named the recipient of the PGA TOUR Courage Award on Nov. 14, 2023. The PGA TOUR Courage Award is presented to a person who, through courage and perseverance, has overcome extraordinary adversity, such as personal tragedy or debilitating injury or illness, to make a significant and meaningful contribution to the game of golf.

Harman’s t-fifth finish at 25-under is his 26th top-five finish of his career, most recently also finishing tied for fifth at the BMW Championship in Aug. 2023. 

WBB: Georgia Falls to Arkansas, 83-43

Georgia guard Chloe Chapman (1) during Georgia’s game against Texas A&M at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. (Madison Keel/UGAAA)

The University of Georgia women’s basketball team lost to the Arkansas Razorbacks, 83-43, Sunday afternoon at Bud Walton Arena. 

Georgia is now 10-5 overall and 1-1 in the Southeastern Conference. Javyn Nicholson led Georgia with her seventh-straight double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds. 

Arkansas stormed out to a 24-9 lead in the first quarter, with 12 points coming from Mikayla Daniels. The Razorbacks continued to step on the gas in the first half to take a 49-18 lead at the half. 

Georgia hit just 7-of-31 (23 percent) and forced just one Razorback turnover in the first 20 minutes. Arkansas also knocked in 15-of-16 (94 percent) from the free-throw line in the opening half. 

The Razorbacks continued the scoring spree in the second half and won the game 83-43. Daniels led the Razorbacks with 24 points off 5-for-10 shooting from 3-point range. 

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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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