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Rewind: Tough weekend on SEC front for UGA teams

Georgia tennis coach Manuel Diaz was hoping the Bulldogs would capture the program's 40th SEC title when they went to College Station, Texas, this past weekend. UGA lost to Texas A&M in the finals. (UGA photo)

Georgia tennis coach Manuel Diaz was hoping the Bulldogs would capture the program’s 40th SEC title when they went to College Station, Texas, this past weekend. UGA lost to Texas A&M in the finals. (UGA photo)

MONDAY REWIND:

1. It was a tough weekend for Georgia on the conference championship front. The Bulldogs competed for four tournament titles over the weekend and did not land a one of them.

What’s more, the competitions were in sports in which UGA traditionally claims championships. Georgia’s men’s and women’s tennis teams finished as runners-up to Texas A&M and Vanderbilt, respectively. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs’ men’s and women’s golf teams uncharacteristically finished well back of the packs as conference tournaments were conducted in Sea Island and Birmingham, respectively.

In men’s tennis, No. 5 Georgia was edged by No. 6 Texas A&M 4-2 in College Station, Texas. The two teams shared the regular-season championship with one loss apiece.

Sunday’s final came down to third sets at Nos. 1 and 2. The match was suspended for approximately two hours due to rain and lightning with Georgia leading on both courts, but the Aggies clinched the win at No. 1 when play resumed.

“This was one of the best collegiate matches I have been around,” coach Manuel Diaz said. “I’m proud of our guys. They fought very hard against a very tough opponent today, and the crowd here was very loud. We seemed to have a lot of momentum when the match was suspended, but we didn’t handle the delay as well as they did, and that obviously was the difference.”

2. Georgia’s sixth-ranked women’s tennis team dropped a 4-3 decision to No. 9 Vanderbilt in the tournament finals in Columbia, S.C.  It was the defending champion Bulldogs’ fourth-straight appearance in the finals.

UGA (20-6) battled back from 3-0 down to tie the match at 3-3. Sophomore Caroline Brinson then had a two game lead in the third set of the deciding match on Court 5, but eventually fell to Vanderbilt’s Marie Casares  6-4 to give the Commodores their first-ever SEC tournament title.

“This was a heck of a final, an epic battle between two teams who just didn’t want to go away,” Georgia coach Jeff Wallace said. “We got down 3-0 and were losing this match for the better part of five hours, but through our hard fighting and unbelievable tennis we put ourselves in a position where we were momentarily in the lead. In the end we couldn’t quite get it done, but Vanderbilt played great.”

3. The Georgia men’s golf team, a perennial powerhouse in the SEC, finished a disappointing seventh in the conference tournament on Sea Island Golf Club’s Seaside Course.

The Bulldogs shot a final-round 3-over 283 to tie with Florida at 2-over 842. Team honors went to LSU at 13-under 827, followed by South Carolina and Vanderbilt at 10-under 830.

Junior Lee McCoy, who was medalist in his previous three tournaments and four overall, posted an even-par 70 on Sunday and wound up 17th overall with a 1-over-par score of 211. Freshman Zach Healy was Georgia’s low man individually with an 11th-place finish (208).

“We still have a lot of our season left,” Georgia coach Chris Haack said. “We can compete if we play well, so we need to go work on our game. We didn’t make a whole lot of birdies and a whole lot of putts this week. To win tournaments, you’d better make putts. So we’ll get back and work on that.”

4. The Georgia women’s golf team carded a 10-over 298 in Sunday’s final round to finish in 10th place. The Bulldogs covered the 54 holes at Greystone Golf and Country Club at 893. Manuela Carbajo Ré led the Bulldogs with her second-consecutive even-par 72.

Texas A&M swept the team and individual titles. The Aggies finished at 851, a dozen shots ahead of No. 2 South Carolina. Bianca Fabrizio, who began the weekend at the No. 4 spot in the A&M lineup, captured medalist honors at 9-under 207.

5. It was a disappointing, rain-marred weekend for Georgia’s two hard-ball-playing teams. Both played host to the nation’s No. 2-ranked teams as the baseball Bulldogs faced LSU and the softball team faced Florida. They were swept in Saturday doubleheaders in both cases, with no chance at redemption as the scheduled Sunday contests were rained out.

The Bulldogs’ 11th-ranked softball team (35-13, 12-8 SEC) will play host to Georgia State on Wednesday  before wrapping up the regular season on the road at Kentucky this weekend.

The Diamond Dogs (20-20, 6-11) host Clemson on Tuesday, then head to Auburn for a set of three this weekend.


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