Posted: 9:13 am Monday, April 21st, 2014
By Chip Towers
MONDAY MORNING REWIND
ATHENS – It was a productive weekend for UGA athletics when it comes to collecting hardware.
The Bulldogs claimed two championships over the weekend. The women’s tennis team completed an impressive run through the SEC tournament with a win over top-seeded and No. 3-ranked Alabama in the finals on Sunday to claim that title. Meanwhile, the equestrian team won its NCEA national championship when it defeated South Carolina in Waco, Texas.
Both victories were especially sweet as each avenged bitter late-season losses. The equestrian team thought it had defeated top-ranked South Carolina earlier this month at the SEC Championships only to have to return the trophy after a scoring error was discovered. The rematch was equally as close as it ended 8-8 and was decided on judges’ points 2,323-2,219. It was the sixth national championship for the Bulldogs and first since 2010..
“I could not be more proud of how these riders performed, especially in pressure situations,” said coach Meghan Boenig, who has overseen all six championships. “For the first time, this competition has been about the entire team and we had outstanding efforts from every single person on the team today. This is a ‘hunker down’ group that has competed to the very last point in every single ride in every single meet this season. They have never given up and I am so proud of them for that.”
The No. 6 Georgia women’s tennis team (21-4) won its seventh SEC tournament title by avenging a loss last week to Alabama with a gritty 4-0 victory. The Bulldogs beat No. 53 LSU and No. 11 Vanderbilt in the days leading up to Sunday’s win.
“For the second day in a row, to come back and beat a team that beat us earlier in the year and to do it 4-0 is great,” coach Jeff Wallace said. “I’m proud of this team. I thought everyone played great tennis today. We played a really great doubles point and that gave us a lot of momentum headed into singles. We did a great job out there in every singles match. All of our players did such a great job and really supported each other. This sets us up nicely for our next big tournament in our own backyard.”
Georgia’s enigmatic men’s tennis team was not quite as fortunate. The SEC’s regular-season champions were upset by Vanderbilt 4-2 in the quarterfinals in Nashville on Friday.
UGA is again host of the NCAA tennis championships. The men and women will each host first- and second-round matches the weekend of May 9-11, then the championship rounds will be held May 15-26 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex.
Georgia’s gymnastics team also came up short at the national championships. The Gym Dogs made it to the Super Six but ended up finishing fifth overall. Florida and Oklahoma tied for the national title, oddly enough.
Here’s a question for discussion for UGA fans: How much do these SEC championships in women’s and non-revenue sports matter to you?