Daily Dawg Thread: June 07, 2023

Home >

Daily Dawg Thread: June 07, 2023

Jump To Top of Page

Tennis: Women and Men net 2023 ITA Southeast Region honors

Philip Henning

The University of Georgia men’s tennis team was well represented in the 2023 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regional Awards, as the Bulldogs claimed five of the six honors for the Southeast region, the ITA announced Tuesday afternoon. 

The group is headlined by redshirt senior Philip Henning who was named the ITA Southeast Region Player of the Year, marking the first Georgia winner since 2019. He is joined by redshirt senior Trent Bryde, winner of the Most Improved Senior award, and redshirt freshman Ethan Quinn, the Rookie of the Year. Head coach Manuel Diaz and associate head coach Jamie Hunt round out the Bulldogs’ recognitions, winning the Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year and ITA Assistant Coach of the Year awards respectively. 

Henning notches his first regional award after a stellar final collegiate season. The Bloemfontein, South Africa native finished the year with a 23-13 singles record that saw a perfect 12-0 mark in conference play. The All-SEC First Team member primarily played on court two for Georgia, where he went 17-7. In doubles, Henning paired with Teodor Giusca on court two, winning 14 matches together. Henning concludes his college tennis career with 89 total doubles wins, tied for the 15th-most in program history with Javier Garrapiz. Henning also finished with 191 career combined wins, which ties him with teammate Blake Croyder for 17th-most in program history.





Bryde, a Suwanee native, manned court three in singles and one in doubles this past season, where he went 11-8 and 18-9, respectively. Along with Quinn, the two defeated 13 ranked opponents and finished the dual-match season riding a seven-match win streak together. He held at least a three-match win streak in singles five different times this season, going 22-12 overall on the year. For the second year in a row, a Georgia player won the Southeast Region Most Improved Senior Award, with Bryde winning it this year and Croyder earning it in 2022. 

Quinn now adds ITA Southeast Rookie of the Year to his list of accolades and is the first Bulldog to win the award since 2019. A native of Fresno, Calif., Quinn finished his first collegiate season as the NCAA Singles National Champion, winning the program’s fifth individual national title. The SEC Freshman of the Year finished the season winning 17 consecutive singles matches with a 34-10 record overall, including a 26-7 mark against ranked opponents. Quinn became the fourth freshman to win the singles championship in history and won the ITA All-American Championships singles title in the fall.

Diaz collects the Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year award for the eighth time in his legendary career. He led the team to a 23-7 record, going 12-0 in SEC play to capture to program’s 32nd regular season title. Under Coach Diaz’s direction, the team earned a spot in the NCAA Championships quarterfinals, marking the 27th time in his 35 seasons as head coach. Diaz also earned SEC Coach of the Year this season for the seventh time. 





For the third time in his career, Hunt was named the ITA Regional Assistant Coach of the Year. Hunt, who previously won the Southeast Regional award in 2019, was the lead recruiter for all Bulldogs that were on the roster during the 2022-23 season. He helped to develop players, always making time to have individual practice sessions with the student-athletes to elevate their game. Hunt’s development led to four Bulldogs making an All-SEC team, two ITA All-Americans, numerous SEC weekly awards this season and a national champion in singles.

Georgia had the most individual regional honors of any school in the nation with five out of six total. Harvard, Kentucky and Mississippi State all tied for second with four awards each.

Meg Kowalski

In the Southeast Region, Georgia graduate Meg Kowalski received the Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award plus was named the Most Improved Senior. A five-time member of the SEC Community Service team and ITA Scholar-Athlete, she went 28-6 in singles including winning her final 14 collegiate matches and was 26-9 in doubles.

Bulldog graduate Lea Ma, who earlier this week was named a finalist for the Honda Sport Award for tennis and an All-American, earned the Senior Player of the Year honor. Ma played No. 1 singles, going 32-8 and finished the season ranked No. 3 nationally.

Georgia freshman Anastasiia Lopata was tabbed the Rookie of the Year. A member of the All-Freshmen SEC squad, Lopata tallied a 19-11 record in singles and was 11-11 in doubles.

Jeff Wallace, who recently retired from UGA after 38 seasons at the helm, was named Wilson/ITA Coach of the Year. He led the Bulldogs to a 26-5 record and No. 2 final ranking. Georgia advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Championships, the finals of the ITA National Team Indoors and captured the SEC Tournament crown. The Bulldogs were one of four schools to receive an Honorable Mention for their community service efforts.

Meanwhile, new Georgia associate head coach Jarryd Chaplin was honored for the second time in his career as the ITA Assistant Coach of the Year for the Ohio Valley Region. Last year, he helped guide Tennessee to a 21-6 mark, the round of 16 at the NCAA Championships, a program-record 11 SEC wins and a final ranking of No. 14.

T&F: UGA traveled to Austin, Texas, this week for the NCAA Outdoor Championships

Kyle Garland  >>> 📸: Kirk Meche

Members of the Bulldog track and field program traveled to Austin, Texas, this week before the NCAA Outdoor Championships arrive at the Mike A. Myers Stadium on Wednesday through Saturday.

The third-ranked Bulldog men begin the meet on Wednesday after earning a team trophy with a fourth-place finish at the same facility in 2019.  The eighth-ranked Lady Bulldogs come to the University of Texas campus having finished in the top five at six of the last eight outdoor Nationals. 

The 2020 NCAA Outdoor Championships were also scheduled to be in Austin, however, the COVID-19 pandemic canceled that season.  This year’s meet returns to Texas to make up for the skipped Nationals.  Following the 2023 NCAA Championships, the 2024-27 NCAA Outdoor Championships will be held at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field, which has undergone a $270 million renovation.

Georgia qualified 20 individuals in a combined 20 events from the NCAA East Prelims in Jacksonville, Fla., on May 24-27.  Senior decathlete Kyle Garland (NCAA No. 1) had already qualified automatically for the final round because of his national leading score in the decathlon during his run to a Southeastern Conference title in early May.

When Do The Bulldogs Start? Garland will start the meet for the Bulldogs in the decathlon’s first event (100-meter dash) at 3:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday.  The Philadelphia, Pa., native will complete four more events (long jump, shot put, high jump, 400m) on the first day before wrapping up the final five on Thursday.

Alencar Pereira begins the open events for the Bulldogs in the men’s hammer throw also at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday.  Ana da Silva, who, like Pereira, is a native of Brazil, will begin the competition for the women in the hammer at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday. 

Other than the decathlon running Wednesday-Thursday and the heptathlon going Friday-Saturday, the meet is set up to be a men’s competition on Wednesday and Friday and a women’s competition on Thursday and Saturday.

Coach Caryl’s Comments: “We have arrived at the most important part of the year, and I feel confident our team is prepared for the challenges,” said head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert.  “Every year this meet brings together not only the top track and field athletes in the country, but also around the world.  The months of preparation and excitement about the NCAA Outdoor Championships always makes this meet a spectacular four days for our sport.  I can’t wait to see how our team reacts and represents the ‘G’.  GO DAWGS!”

What Bulldogs Are Competing: For the women, freshman Aaliyah Butler (400m, 4x100m relay, 4x400m relay), da Silva (hammer throw, shot put), graduate transfer Julia Harisay (javelin), sophomore Elena Kulichenko (high jump), freshman Kaila Jackson (100m, 200m, 4x100m relay), senior Titiana Marsh (triple jump, long jump), graduate transfer Erin McMeniman (javelin), junior Dominique Mustin (400m hurdles, 4x400m relay), senior Brandee Presley (100m, 4x100m relay, 4x400m relay), freshman Haley Tate (4x400m relay), senior Mikeisha Welcome (triple jump) and freshman Autumn Wilson (4x100m relay) will line up for the Lady Bulldogs. 

On the men’s side, sophomore Keshaun Black (4x100m relay), senior Matthew Boling (200m, 4x100m relay, 4x400m relay), senior Caleb Cavanaugh (400m hurdles, 4x400m relay), Garland (decathlon), senior Elija Godwin (400m, 4x100m relay, 4x400m relay), freshman Christopher Morales Williams (4x100m relay, 4x400m relay), graduate transfer Marc Minichello (javelin), senior Alencar Pereira (hammer throw) and freshman Will Sumner (800m, 4x400m relay) are slated to compete.

Honors Begin To Roll In: While the most important meet of the outdoor season is still to come, a pair of SEC honors has already rolled in.  Kaila Jackson (Women’s Freshman Runner) and Will Sumner (Men’s Co-Freshman Runner) completed the indoor-outdoor sweep after being voted the SEC freshmen runners of the year for both seasons.

Boling was also recognized as the SEC Men’s Outdoor Co-Scholar-Athlete of the Year during the SEC Outdoor Championships.  This was his record-setting fourth league Scholar-Athlete honor.

In addition, Marsh and Cavanaugh were included on the SEC Community Service Team for their dedication to volunteering in order to help others.

Where To Catch The NCAAs

ESPN has exclusive rights to broadcast the meet and will feature the Nationals on ESPN2 this week:

Wednesday: 7:30 p.m., ESPN2

Thursday: 8:30 p.m., ESPN2

Friday: 9 p.m., ESPN2

Saturday: 9 p.m., ESPN2

Live Results: To check out live results throughout the four-day season finale, check HERE

Georgia’s qualifying performances from the NCAA East Prelims
  • Boling ran the eighth-best time in the 200m quarterfinal with a 20.20 to qualify.
  • Godwin’s 46.05 was the second-best at the East Prelims and put the defending NCAA indoor champion into the 400m field.
  • In his first season, Sumner also had the second fastest time in the 800m with a 1:49.22 to punch his ticket to Austin.
  • Cavanaugh will return to the NCAA Championships in the 400m hurdles after his 51.26 made him the 10th of 12 qualifiers.
  • Both men’s relays advanced as Godwin, Morales Williams, Boling, and Cavanaugh won the 4x400m relay with a 3:04.71, and Black, Boling, Morales Williams, and Godwin had the seventh-best 4x100m relay time (39.62).
  • Pereira had a top effort of 70.98 meters/232 feet, 10 inches to reach third in the hammer throw.
  • Also collecting third-place honors was Minichello, who will be representing the Bulldogs for the first time in the javelin thanks to a toss of 74.74m/245-2.
  • Jackson earned a shot to Nationals in both the 200m (fifth – 22.72) and in the 100m (seventh – 11.09).
  • Presley will join Jackson in the 100m semifinal in Austin thanks to her 11.11 for 10th in the quarters.
  • Butler continued her late-season push with a 52.23 in the 400m to take fourth.
  • Mustin was 10th in the 400m hurdle quarters thanks to a 57.56.
  • Jackson, Wilson, Presley, and Butler registered a qualifying finish of third (43.35) in the 4x100m relay, while Butler, Tate, Presley, and Mustin clocked a 3:33.6 for eighth.
  • Kulichenko continued her dominant performances with a 1.82m/5-11.50, showing in the high jump to be top qualifier.
  • Marsh accomplished what she has for eight other NCAA Championships: punched her ticket to Nationals.  She was second in the triple jump (13.51m/44-4) and 10th in the long (6.24m/20-5.75).
  • Da Silva was another Lady Bulldog to qualify in a pair of events after sneaking in with the 12th spot in the shot put (16.60m/54-5.50) and taking 11th in the hammer (62.27m/204-3).
  • The Georgia women had a duo punch their tickets in the javelin, with Harisay (48.38m/158-9) taking ninth and McMeniman (48.15m/157-11) managing an 11th-place finish.

Ethan Quinn has been awarded a wild card bid into the 2023 US Open for winning the NCAA men’s tennis singles national championship

Watch a fullscreen slideshow HERE.

Georgia men’s tennis student-athlete Ethan Quinn has been awarded a wild card bid into the 2023 US Open for winning the NCAA men’s tennis singles national championship, the United States Tennis Association announced Tuesday morning.

The US Open will begin on August 28 and conclude on Sept. 10 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City. The tournament is one of the four prestigious Association of Tennis Professional Grand Slam events, which are considered the highest level of professional tennis. 

“I am honored to receive the US Open main draw wild card,” said Quinn. “It is an honor to be recognized alongside the company of John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors, both freshman champions. I am excited to be in the Big Apple this coming August and I cannot wait to see you all there. Thank you to the USTA for this opportunity.”

Quinn, a native of Fresno, California, finished his redshirt freshman season on a 17 match-win streak and was the second-ranked singles player in collegiate tennis by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. He ended the year with a 34-10 singles record, going 26-7 against ranked opponents. Quinn went 18-8 on court one during the spring season, helping lead the Bulldogs to their 33rd team appearance in the NCAA tournament quarterfinal. 

He also played on court one in doubles with teammate Trent Bryde, where the pair finished the year ranked No. 3 in the ITA doubles rankings and earned a bid to the NCAA Championships. Together, they went 18-9 on the top court, finishing the dual match season on an eight-match win streak. Bryde and Quinn ended the year with a 22-15 record, beating 13 ranked tandems. 

Quinn’s decorated freshman campaign saw him win numerous accolades. Quinn won the ITA All-America Championships singles title in September and began the spring season ranked No. 1 in the country in singles before eventually becoming a member of the All-SEC First Team, the SEC Freshman of the Year, an ITA All-American and the NCAA Singles Champion. His singles crown marked the fifth individual title in Georgia’s history, and he was just the second Georgia freshman to be named an All-American in both singles and doubles. 

“I am super excited about this opportunity for Ethan,” said head coach Manuel Diaz. “We have seen all his hard work continue to pay off, and for him to have this opportunity means a lot to all of us. We’re excited to see his continued success on the court in the coming weeks.”

Quinn earned a spot in the 2022 US Open Singles Qualifying Draw after finishing as a finalist at the USTA Boys’ 18 National Championship on August 16, 2022. He won his opening round match against Ernesto Escobedo, who at the time was ranked No. 175 in the ATP rankings, by a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 score. Quinn ended his first appearance in the US Open dropping his following match to Federico Delbonis in a three-set decision.

Ethan Quinn’s comments

On getting to play in the US Open for the second time…

“I’m super thankful to the USTA for giving me this major opportunity. I’m thankful they give this opportunity to the NCAA at all. I know a lot of players who are aspiring to be professional tennis players. They look at the potential for earning a wild card like this as a way to jumpstart their career. For me to go back and get to play in the main draw is something I’m really looking forward to. I have a few friends in New York, so it’s nice for me to go back and have them watch me compete at such a high level. They’ve been wanting to watch me in-person for so long, so it’s pretty incredible that they’ll be able to see me play at the highest level of the sport. I am looking forward to playing there again.”

On his goals for playing in the event…

“So far, I’ve just been looking at winning that first round match. It’s hard for me to set a goal for winning a tournament or anything like that, especially since it is the US Open and I’ll be playing in a three out of five-set match. Winning that first round is my first goal and the only thing on my mind. I’m not really thinking about what’s to come after that. I’ll have to be preparing for the possibility of a really long match, knowing that it could go four or five hours long. I’ve just started preparing physically, which is the main thing I can focus on.”

On reflecting on his accomplishments since enrolling last January…

“If you told me I would have achieved everything I have so far when I got to Athens, I wouldn’t have believed it. When I came into college last year, I didn’t feel that I was even ready to be playing for Georgia. I was looking at my teammates and I would think to myself, ‘Gosh, there’s no way I can even touch the lineup.’ For me to even get that chance to play number one after only being here for such a short time is pretty surreal, and to do this all as a freshman is even crazier. Everything is hard to believe. Early this year, I had some struggles, which if you would have told me last fall that’s how I would start the spring, I wouldn’t have believed that either. I think it’s all a process. Everything happens for a reason and that’s the way I have handled the entire year and since I came in.”

On the impact he hopes to have on the program in the future…

“I’m hoping to stay a major part of Georgia tennis just like all the other greats do. John Isner, Mikael Pernfors, Al Parker, all those guys always message me after my big wins, all the alumni message in their group chat about the major things they see. I hope I can continue to represent Georgia the way they have and continue to make my mark in being that player that Manny and Jamie recruit. When our coaches recruit, they looking for players with character and integrity. As long as I’m continuing to show that on and off the court, I think I’ll continue to make my mark on Georgia.”

Jump To Today’s Discussion Thread





share content

Author /

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.