Daily Dawg Thread: May 22, 2024

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Daily Dawg Thread: May 22, 2024

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BSB: Dawgs exit SEC Tournament on day one

LSU defeated ninth-ranked Georgia 9-1 Tuesday in the an elimination game on day one of the SEC Tournament at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.

Fast Facts





  • Senior Fernando Gonzalez delivered an RBI-single to cut the Tigers lead to 3-1 in the second inning.
  • Redshirt sophomore Charlie Condon finished 0-for-4, ending a season-long 24-game hitting streak.
  • Graduate right-hander Christian Mracna came on with the bases loaded and one out in the first and provided four innings of relief. He allowed three runs on five hits with five strikeouts.
  • Sophomore left-hander Jarvis Evans started and allowed two runs on three hits and two walks in 0.1 innings to fall to 3-2.
  • The Bulldogs dropped game one of the SEC Tournament for the third straight year and fall to 39-15.

Key Quotes

Fernando Gonzalez, C

On the game…
“It’s hard to defend walks and barrels. Things didn’t go our way. He (LSU winning pitcher Gage Jump, 7 IP, 4H, 1R, 1BB, 7K) filled up the zone, and as coach said, we missed too many fastballs. He did a good job of not walking guys. We didn’t execute our plan.”

Ike Cousins Head Coach Wes Johnson
On the team’s performance today…
“There are times in this game when you get beat and times when you let the other team win, and you look at the way we played, and I think that’s what happened today. We gave up 11 singles, and we walked too many guys. We missed too many fastballs in the strike zone. We did some things that were very uncharacteristic for us. Our pitching walked too many guys and there’s no manual for overcoming a starter going one-third of an inning.”

Up Next

Georgia will learn Sunday night, May 26th, if it is one of the 16 teams selected to host an NCAA Regional and consequently be in the field of 64. The full tournament bracket will be announced during a one-hour NCAA Selection Show Monday, May 27 starting at noon ET on ESPN2.





UGA Interview Video

Box Score

LSU Postgame Video

UGA Tennis: Bulldogs advance at National Championships

Niels Ratiu


Freshmen Freddy Blaydes and Niels Ratiu of the Georgia men’s tennis team won their Round of 32 match at the NCAA Doubles Championships on Tuesday afternoon, beating Middle Tennessee State’s Ondrej Horak and Leo Raquin by a 6-3, 6-2 score at the Greenwood Tennis Complex.

Five Fast Facts

• Blaydes and Ratiu notched the highest-ranked win of their careers together with the straight-set victory over No. 28 Horak and Raquin. Their previous best was versus No. 29 Bozo Barun and Jared Horwood of Arkansas on March 24. 

• The Bulldog tandem now stands 13-6 together this season with eight wins against ranked opponents.

• Blaydes and Ratiu won 61 percent of their 33 first-serve points and went six-for-six on break points in their win.

Freddy Blaydes

• This marks the seventh time since 2009 a Georgia tandem has at least reached the Round of 16 in the NCAA Doubles Championship. 

• Junior Thomas Paulsell’s season came to an end on Tuesday morning after falling to Dylan Dietrich of Virginia in the NCAA Singles Championship Round of 32 by a 6-4, 6-3 score. He finished the season with 16 singles wins, half of which came on court one. 

Up Next

The NCAA Doubles Championships will continue with the Round of 16 on Wednesday, May 22. Blaydes and Ratiu will take on No. 5-8 seed Etienne Donnet and Natan Rodrigues of Louisville with the time yet to be determined. The Cardinals’ pairing is nationally ranked No. 8 in the country and are 15-5 with a 6-2 mark against ranked opponents. \

Dasha Vidmanova

Three Bulldogs of the Georgia women’s tennis team advanced in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships, as Dasha Vidmanova and Anastasiia Lopata earned singles victories while Aysegul Mert and Vidmanova opened their first day of doubles with a win in the round of 32.

Fast Facts

• No. 70 Anastasiia Lopata earned All-American status after picking up her highest career-ranked victory with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 upset win over No. 5 Fiona Crawley (UNC) in the round of 32.

• No. 16 Dasha Vidmanova advanced to the round of 16 after defeating Janice Tjen (Pepperdine), 7-6(1), 7-5.

Aysegul Mert

• No. 41 Alexandra Vecic battled early in her round of 32 match, but fell to No. 29 Alexandra Yepifanova (Stanford), 7-6(4), 2-6, 2-6.

• No. 14 Aysegul Mert and Vidmanova opened their first round of the NCAA Doubles Championships in dominant fashion, taking down Xinyi Nong and Isabella Pfennig (Miami), 6-2, 6-2.

Up Next

The Bulldogs will resume competition at the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships round of 16 on Wednesday, May 22. In singles, Lopata will face Sofia Johnson (Old Dominion) at noon ET followed by Vidmanova taking on No. 6 Connie Ma (Stanford) at 12:30 p.m. ET. In doubles, Mert and Vidmanova will compete against No. 3 Dana Guzman and Alina Shcherbinina (Oklahoma) at 5 p.m. ET.

WGOLF: Erika Brennan named head coach

Graphic: Georgia Sports Communications

Erika Brennan, who led the University of South Florida to back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Championships for the first time in more than two decades in 2023 and 2024, has been named the head women’s golf coach at the University of Georgia, J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Josh Brooks announced on Tuesday.

“We are excited to welcome Erika to the Georgia family,” Brooks said. “She has done an outstanding job throughout her coaching career, including most recently as the head coach at USF. Not only is Erika a great leader, she brings tremendous positivity and energy to everything she does. She will be an excellent mentor for our student-athletes and an exceptional representative of the University of Georgia women’s golf program.”

Brennan arrives in Athens after spending the past seven seasons as the head at USF. The Bulls earned bids to NCAA Regionals each of the past two seasons, their first consecutive appearances since 2002. In addition, Melanie Green qualified for an NCAA Regional individually in 2022 and became the program’s first All-American since 1999.

“I’m honored to get down to work as the next coach here at the University of Georgia,” Brennan said. “This program has such a storied past, and we’re ready to ensure the rich tradition continues at the highest level. Thank you, Mr. Josh Brooks for trusting me to lead the Dawgs and for bestowing this incredible opportunity. My husband, Brian, along with our daughter Blakely are looking forward to living in the best city in the Southeast as we plug in to Athens. You’ll see us at countless home events throughout the year across all sports. The UGA Women’s Golf Team will be led, first and foremost, with love. Empowered student-athletes who are able to embrace their authenticity and values are cornerstones of our coaching philosophy. From day one, you’ll be able to own your unique brilliance AND unlock your best golf when you commit to the G. Comprehensive excellence is the standard, and our student-athletes will show up to prove that every day. The Georgia fan base is one of the most passionate in the country, and we’re amped to give you yet another reason to stand up and cheer!”

Brennan’s coaching career also includes successful stints as head coach at Southern Miss from 2015-17, an assistant coach at Tennessee from 2013-14 and head coach at Saint Leo from 2008-13.

South Florida won 13 titles under Brennan, with six team victories and seven individual crowns. In Brennan’s first full season in Tampa, USF ascended 74 spots in the national rankings, from No. 154 to No. 80. That progression consistently continued, with the Bulls climbing as high as No. 32 this season. 

Brennan led USF to one of the most productive seasons in program history during 2023-24. The Bulls won three tournaments, equaling the second-most in a season in school history. USF also broke its records for team and individual stroke average, with Green’s 69.73 effort leading a team average of 287.30.

USF’s team and individual record books were almost totally rewritten during Brennan’s tenure. In addition to the aforementioned season average marks, her golfers produced the seven best season stroke average records and the three lowest team season averages. 

Bulls under Brennan’s tutelage notched the top-10 18-hole and 54-hole scores in school history. Green set both those records last season. She shot 8-under 64 in the second round of the Dale McNamara Invitational and the third round of the Westbrook Invitational and carded 11-under 205 tallies at the Westbrook Invitational and the Mountain View Collegiate. 

Brennan’s teams produced all of the top-20 18-hole and 19 of the top-20 54-hole scores in USF history. The low single-round tally, a 17-under 271, closed out the best tournament effort, a 28-under 836, en route to winning the Westbrook Invitational last season.

Individually, Green was named All-American in 2023 and is set to become USF’s first two-time All-American since 1993. She was voted 2024 American Athletic Conference Golfer of the Year and will represent the United States in the Arnold Palmer Cup this summer.

South Florida has been equally successful in the classroom during Brennan’s tenure. The Bulls finished with the ninth-best grade point average in the nation during the 2021-22 season and sport a 3.57 GPA over the past five seasons. USF produced 14 WGCA All-American Scholars during Brennan’s first six seasons in Tampa.

Prior to her stint at USF, Brennan spent two seasons at Southern Miss from 2015-17. The Golden Eagles showed dramatic improvement in her first campaign, climbing 111 spots nationally from No. 187 to No. 76. She led Southern Miss to six tournament titles and a third-place finish, with three top-10 individuals, at the 2017 Conference USA Championships.

Brennan arrived in Hattiesburg after spending the 2013-14 at Tennessee, where she helped the Lady Volunteers earn an NCAA Regional bid.

Brennan’s collegiate coaching career began at Saint Leo, a Division II school in Central Florida. She led the Lions to their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2010, the first of three consecutive NCAA bids. St. Leo also earned top-10 national rankings during 2011, 2012 and 2013, and Brennan was named Saint Leo’s Coach of the Year in 2011.

In addition to her coaching experience, Brennan served as the National Recruiting Coordinator for Dan Tudor Collegiate Strategies from 2014-15, as a certified instructor for the David Leadbetter Golf Academy from 2006-08 and in an operations role for the American Junior Golf Association.

Brennan played golf collegiately as Western Carolina University, where she finished her career ranked among the top 20 in the Southern Conference and No. 9 among WCU’s career scoring average leaders. She was named the Catamounts’ 2005 Female Scholar Athlete of the Year, served as the vice president of WCU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council and was a member of the Southern Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Council. 

Brennan received her bachelor’s degree in Sport Management from WCU in 2006 and earned a master’s in Management from Warner University. 

Brennan and her husband, Brian, have a daughter, Blakely.

T/F: Georgia headed to NCAA East Prelims

Alexander Kolesnikoff at the 2024 SEC Regional Track and Field Championships on Friday, May 10, 2024 at the Percy Beard Track at James G. Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, FL. Photo by Chris Watkins Photography.

Georgia’s track and field teams are set to compete in the NCAA East Prelims on the campus of the University of Kentucky from Wednesday through Saturday as individual Bulldogs look to punch their tickets to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in June.

The eighth-ranked women’s squad and the 15th-ranked men’s team will be represented by a combined 29 athletes in 24 events. Each individual event will feature 48 competitors from the East Region while 24 teams will compete in each relay.

The NCAA West Prelims, which will take place in Fayetteville, Ark., from Wednesday through Saturday, will take on the same format as the Kentucky-hosted meet. The top 12 competitors in each event from both regions will advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, which will be held on the campus of the University of Oregon from June 5-8.

Ella Rush automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships with her personal-best mark of 5,606 points in the heptathlon, set at the SEC Outdoor Championships two weekends ago.

When Do The Bulldogs Start?: The NCAA East Prelims will begin with the men’s first round on Wednesday followed by the women’s opening round on Thursday. The men will then compete in the quarterfinals on Friday followed by the women on Saturday. All field events will feature one round in Lexington to qualify for the Oregon meet while running events will hold first round and quarterfinal races.

Marc Minichello will look to punch his ticket to the NCAA Championship meet first on Wednesday, competing in the javelin at 12 p.m. Jehlani Gordon and Micah Larry will kick off Georgia’s day on the track at 7 p.m. when they participate in the first round of the 100-meter dash.

On Thursday, Stephanie Ratcliffe will open the day in the hammer throw at 10 a.m. while Charlotte Augenstein competes for Georgia in the 1500m at 6:30 p.m.

Where To Catch The NCAA East Prelims: There will be live ESPN coverage of all four days of the NCAA East Prelims. The meet will be live streamed on ESPN+ on each day in Lexington.

ESPN+ Info:

Day One – Wednesday, May 22

ESPN+ – 5:58 p.m.: https://gado.gs/bx3

Day Two – Thursday, May 23

ESPN+ – 5:58 p.m.: https://gado.gs/bx4

Day Three – Friday, May 24

ESPN+ – 4:58 p.m.: https://gado.gs/bx5

Day Four – Saturday, May 25

ESPN+ – 4:58 p.m.: https://gado.gs/bx6

Live Results: For results throughout the weekend from the NCAA East Prelims, please visit: https://gado.gs/bx7

Coach Caryl’s Comments: “We have reached the point of the season where improvements and personal bests are welcomed, but the key for the next four days is doing whatever it takes round by round to finish in the top 12 and qualify for Eugene,” said Georgia head coach Caryl Smith Gilbert. “We have put in the training and preparation necessary, and now I’m excited for us to get a step closer to our final goals. GO DAWGS!”

What Bulldogs Are Competing?: The Lady Bulldogs have qualified 16 individuals in a total of 13 events. Individually, Kaila Jackson (100m, 200m), Karsen Phillips (100m), Aaliyah Butler (400m), Haley Tate (400m), Sydney Harris (400m), Kimberly Harris (400m), Augenstein (1500m), Zoe Pollock (400m hurdles), Dominique Mustin (400m hurdles), Elena Kulichenko (high jump), Rush (long jump), Mikeisha Welcome (triple jump), Leah Anderson (triple jump), Kelsie Murrell-Ross (shot put), Ratcliffe (hammer throw) and Erin McMeniman (javelin) will compete for the women’s squad this week. In the relays, Jackson, Kimberly Harris, Phillips and Butler are expected to compete in the 4x100m relay while a combination of Butler, Sydney Harris, Kimberly Harris, Mustin, Tate and Pollock will run in the 4x400m relay.

On the men’s side, 13 individuals are slated to compete in 11 events. Jehlani Gordon (100m), Micah Larry (long jump, 100m), Christopher Morales Williams (400m), Hossam Hatib (400m), Wesley John (3000m steeplechase), Riyon Rankin (high jump), Nikolai van Huyssteen (pole vault), Zavien Wolfe (triple jump), Alexander Kolesnikoff (shot put), Gavin Beverage (shot put) and Marc Minichello (javelin) are all set to compete individually in Lexington. Larry, Gordon, Jordan McKenzie and Morales Williams are qualified in the 4x100m relay, and a combination of Morales Williams, Hatib, Gordon, McKenzie and Mekhi Gammons will take the track in the 4x400m relay.

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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.