Daily Dawg Thread: January 28, 2024

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Daily Dawg Thread: January 28, 2024

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WTennis: UGA punched its ticket to the 2024 ITA National Team Indoor Championships after it knocked off South Carolina, 4-1

Mell Reasco

“We came out firing,” head coach Drake Bernstein said. “Our doubles has been steadily improving, especially in the last month here. I’m just happy with the way we competed down the stretch there with Mell saving match points and again, with the way we took care of business in doubles.”

The Bulldogs (2-1) and the Gamecocks (3-1) opened up to a back-and-forth battle in doubles play. Despite dropping a match on court one, Georgia bounced back immediately as the No. 58 duo of Aysegul Mert and Dasha Vidmanova secured a 6-3 victory over Sarah Hamner and Misa Malkin.





Within minutes, the tandem of Mell Reasco and Alexandra Vecic followed up with a 6-3 victory of their own against Shahar Biran and Elise Mills to secure the doubles point for the Bulldogs.

In singles play, No. 70 Anastasiia Lopata doubled Georgia’s team score to 2-0 as she earned her second singles win of the tournament in a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Malkin in straight sets.

After a South Carolina win on court one, No. 108 Mai Nirundorn followed suit with her second win in as many days as she secured a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Olympe Lancelot to extend Georgia’s lead to 3-1.





With two battles in the third set remaining on courts two and three, No. 116 Mell Reasco overcame a one-set deficit to earn a 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 comeback victory over No. 76 Biran and clinch the title for the Bulldogs.

No. 4 Georgia will now take the week in preparation for its second road trip of the season as it takes on No. 10 Texas on Sunday, Feb. 4 at 10 a.m. CT in Austin.

Saturday Singles Results

No. 6 Ayana Akli (SCAR) def. No. 35 Alexandra Vecic (UGA) 7-5, 6-4

No. 30 Dasha Vidmanova (UGA) vs. No. 4 Sarah Hamner (SCAR) 6-3, 4-6, 3-2, unfinished

No. 116 Mell Reasco (UGA) def. No. 76 Shahar Biran (SCAR) 1-6, 6-3, 7-5

No. 70 Anastasiia Lopata (UGA) def. Misa Malkin (SCAR) 6-2, 6-2

Guillermina Grant (UGA) vs. Elise Mills (SCAR) 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 2-0, unfinished

No. 108 Mai Nirundorn (UGA) def. Olympe Lancelot (SCAR) 7-5, 6-2

Saturday Doubles Results

Ayana Akli/Olympe Lancelot (SCAR) def. No. 15 Guillermina Grant/Mai Nirundorn (UGA) 6-1

No. 58 Dasha Vidmanova/Aysegul Mert (UGA) def. Sarah Hamner/Misa Malkin (SCAR) 6-3

Alexandra Vecic/Mell Reasco (UGA) def. Shahar Biran/Elise Mills (SCAR) 6-3

Match Notes:

South Carolina 3-1

No. 4 Georgia 2-1

Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (4,1,6,3)

ITA Kickoff 2nd Round: Match Moved to Clemson, S.C. due to rain/construction

WGolf: Caterina Don’s led four Bulldogs who posted top-10 finishes in the rain-shortened Lady Bulldog Individual Invitational

Photo: Rob Davis/UGAAA

Originally scheduled for 36 holes, the tournament ended following the first round at the UGA Golf Course after rain delays made playing the complete second on Saturday impossible.

“It’s great to start the spring season, compete and just get going,” head coach Josh Brewer said. “Even though it’s an individual tournament, we had a lot of really good scores and people continue to make their case for helping us get started for a strong spring.”

Don, a fifth-year senior from Pinerolo, Italy, fired a 2-under 70 and finished a stroke behind Washington’s Stefanie Deng. In addition, LoraLie Cowart and Natachanok “Drive” Tunwannarux tied for fourth at even-par 72 and Kate Song played eighth with a 73.

“Caterina continued what is shaping up to be a very special senior year for her,” Brewer said. “LoraLie showed how much she’s learned and how she continues to grow. It was nice to have Drive back in competition and playing well.”

Don covered the front half of the UGA Golf Course at 2-under, notching birdies at No. 6 and No. 9. She moved to 4-under with back-to-back red numbers at Nos. 12-13 but posted a double bogey at No. 16.

In addition, to the quartet of Bulldogs in the top 10, Savannah De Bock tied for 11th, Bernice Olivarez Ilas tied for 16th, Grace Frei tied for 19th, Celine Brovold Sanne tied for 24th and Isabella Helper tied for 28th.

The Bulldogs will being the team portion of their spring season next weekend when they compete in the Collegiate Invitational at Guadalajara Country Club on Friday and Saturday.

“We’re happy to have some competition under our belts before heading to Guadalajara very soon,” Brewer said.”

Individual Leaderboard

Stephanie Deng, Washington       69

Caterina Don, Georgia            70

Anna Foster, Auburn              71

LoraLie Cowart, Georgia          72

Drive Tunwannarux, Georgia       72

Jamie Hsieh, Washington          72

Louise Reau, Ga. Southern        72

Kate Song, Georgia               73

Haley Yerxa, Ga. Southern        74

Maddie Smith, Washington         74

Additional Georgia Scores

T11. Savannah De Bock            75

T16. Bernice Olivarez Ilas       76

T19. Grace Frei                  77

T24. Celine Brovold Sanne        80

T28. Isabella Holpfer            82

MTennis: UGA will play host to a regional site of the ITA Kickoff weekend on Jan. 28 and 29 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex


Date: Jan. 28-29, 2024

Time: 11 a.m. + 2:30 p.m. ET, both days

Location: Athens, Ga.

Venue: Dan Magill Tennis Complex

Sunday Match Schedule:

·       Match 1 – No. 2 Texas A&M vs. No. 3 Auburn, 11 a.m. ET

·       Match 2 – No. 1 Georgia vs. No. 4 Louisiana, 2:30 p.m. ET

Monday Match Schedule:

·       Match 3 – Match one loser vs. Match two loser, 11 a.m. ET

·       Match 4 – Match one winner vs. Match two winner, 2:30 p.m. ET


Tournament Central: https://gado.gs/bag

CrackedRacquets Crosscourt Cast, Sunday: https://gado.gs/bap

CrackedRacquets Crosscourt Cast, Monday: https://gado.gs/baq

Live Stats + Video: https://gado.gs/8mk

Georgia Season Stats: https://gado.gs/bau

Auburn Season Stats: https://gado.gs/bas

Louisiana Season Stats: https://gado.gs/bar

Texas A&M Season Stats: https://gado.gs/bat


Kickoff Success: The Dan Magill Tennis Complex has become a frequent spot as a regional site for the ITA Kickoff Weekend. This is the ninth time the Georgia men’s team has been selected as a host site in the last 11 years and the 13th since the Kickoff Weekend format began in 2009. 

Teams who finished in the top 15 of the final ITA team ranking of the 2023 season were selected as hosts for the Kickoff Weekend regional sites. The field of each regional was selected during the ITA Kickoff draft that took place virtually on June 14 and 15, 2023. As the host, Georgia is the top seed, followed by No. 2 Texas A&M, No. 3 Auburn and No. 4 Louisiana.

The winner of each regional will advance to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships on Feb. 16-19 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The Bulldogs have won the ITA National Team Indoor title on two occasions, doing so in 2006 and 2007.

Dawgs in the Rankings: Georgia enters the weekend ranked No. 19 nationally by the ITA. The Bulldogs are one of seven teams in the Southeastern Conference ranked in the top 25 to begin the season, joined by No. 2 South Carolina, No. 6 Tennessee, No. 10 Kentucky, No. 12 Mississippi St., No. 18 Texas A&M and No. 20 Florida. 

Georgia’s successes in the fall put four athletes in the ITA singles rankings and a pair in the doubles poll. After a trio of ranked wins in Austin, Texas, junior Ryan Colby leads the team with a No. 36 ranking. He is closely followed by No. 41 Thomas Paulsell, who picked up his highest-ranked win against No. 46 Nemanja Malesevic (Miss. St.) at the Georgia Tech Invitational, and No. 43 Miguel Perez Peña. Freshman No. 112 Cyrus Mahjoob, a semifinalist at the ITA Southeast Regional, closed out the ranked Bulldogs in singles. In doubles, No. 42 Colby and Niels Ratiu, the lone ranked tandem at the ITA Kickoff Athens regional, are currently 8-3 together. 

Last Time Out:  The Georgia men’s tennis team defeated Eastern Kentucky in both matches of its season-opening doubleheader, 7-0 and 5-1, on Monday, Jan. 22 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

In his first singles match on court one, No. 41 Paulsell delivered the second clinching win of his career, while on court three No. 112 Mahjoob notched his first clincher in the latter match. Georgia improved to 33-3 in season openers under head coach Manuel Diaz and begins the 2024 campaign with a 2-0 record. Freshman Freddy Blaydes, who enrolled and joined the team at the beginning of the month, earned his first collegiate singles wins, picking up a pair of straight-set victories.

Scouting the Ragin’ Cajuns: Louisiana will come to Athens with a 0-3 record this season, falling to Florida Atlantic, Florida Gulf Coast and LSU. The Ragin’ Cajuns returns eight players from its 2022-23 roster, which finished 12-10 overall with a 5-3 mark in Sun Belt competition. The team ended their season in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, falling to Georgia State. Sunday’s match will mark the first meeting between the Bulldogs and the Ragin’ Cajuns.

Scouting the Tigers: Auburn returns eight players from its 2023 roster that finished 17-12 and in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in a 4-3 loss to Cornell. While the team is not ranked, the Tigers earned 27 singles wins in the fall and have two ranked singles players – No. 58 Tyler Stice and No. 77 Raul Dobai. In two matches, No. 58 Stice and No. 78 Dobai have each played on courts one and two, as the team beat Samford and Alabama St., both by a 7-0 result.

Scouting the Aggies: Texas A&M brought in four freshmen, two transfers and returned seven players from its 2023 roster. The Aggies finished with a 19-12 record last season, including a 7-5 finish in the SEC, before eventually falling in the second round of NCAA Tournament to eventual semifinalist TCU. Texas A&M is the only other ranked team at the ITA Kickoff Athens regional, coming in one spot ahead of the Bulldogs at No. 18. The Aggies’ two ranked singles players are No. 109 JC Roddick and No. 93 Luke Casper. In the team’s match at UCLA, the lone match the pair has played in, they competed on courts two and six, respectively. Texas A&M comes to the Dan Magill Tennis Complex with a 2-0 record, beating UCLA and Georgia Southern.

ICYMI: Video – Mike White’s Postgame Comments – Georgia vs. Florida 2024

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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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