Rewind: Eventful weekend in Athens results in two Georgia teams advancing

THE MONDAY REWIND

It was an eventful weekend in Athens and for several Georgia teams. Let’s get caught up:

Men’s Tennis

The men’s tennis team suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Pepperdine in the NCAA Championships. Playing before a raucous pro-Georgia crowd that filled the stands at Henry Feild Stadium, the No. 2-seeded Bulldogs were upset to the seventh-seeded Wave 4-3. Here’s Ken Sugiura’s MATCH REPORT.

This was one of those situations where you simply had to tip your cap to the opponent. Pepperdine really played out of its mind and played as good as it possibly could, especially at all the crucial moments.

Here’s what Pepperdine coach Adam Steinberg said about it:

“Incredible. What a great college match. If you know me, I’m not usually at a loss for words, but I’m a little bit. Incredible match against such a great team. I’m so proud of the guys. We’ve never really been in this situation with this team in front of a crowd like that and how they handled that. Coming out and winning the doubles point, I was so proud of them for that. We’ve never played in front of a crowd like that before, especially here. Manny’s (Diaz) teams are so well coached and coming out and winning the doubles point, I thought was so big because I kinda thought, wow we can really do this. It made a believer out of everybody. I’m so proud of Alex (Llompart) for pulling that out after giving up that second set, and coming back against, to me, one of the best college players in the country. Great job by the Waves.”

Really tough loss for Georgia, which had assembled one of its best teams in years to make a run at a seventh national championship. The Bulldogs lose a couple of highly-decorated seniors in Wil Spencer and Ignacio Taboada, so they’ll have to rebuild a little bit to have a shot next next year.

Likewise, the No. 6-ranked women’s team lost to Duke in the quarterfinals. Certainly not as surprising as the Blue Devils were the higher-ranked team at No. 3. But UGA traditionally does special things when hosting the NCAAs. It’s too bad for the Bulldogs and for the NCAAs that they won’t be involved in today’s semis. The women’s final four commences at 1 p.m. (UCLA-USC, Florida-Duke) while the men get underway at 5 p.m. (UCLA-USC, Virginia-Pepperdine).

Baseball

Georgia (31-24, 14-15 SEC) was unable to accomplish its mission in Tuscaloosa, Ala., this past weekend, which was to win two of three against last-place Alabama to effectively lock up an NCAA tournament at-large bid. As has been their penchant, the Bulldogs went down in excruciating fashion. In Saturday’s rubber game, they led 4-3 in the eighth inning before giving up a walk- and wild-pitch aided three-run rally and lost 6-4.

So as it stands, Georgia enters the conference tournament as the No. 8 seed and will face No. 5 seed Vanderbilt (29-25, 16-14 SEC) Tuesday night at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala. The game will be late, scheduled to start 30 minutes after the conclusion of the 5:30 p.m. ET Florida-Auburn game

The Commodores are a tough draw for Georgia. Vanderbilt has had the Bulldogs’ number, beating them 10-0 to open last year’s SEC tournament, taking two games earlier this year and owning a 6-1 record in this event.

Redshirt sophomore LHP Alex Wood (7-2, 2.58 ERA, 95K, 19BB, 97.2 IP) and senior RHP Michael Palazzone (2-6, 4.89 ERA, 66K, 12BB, 81 IP) will start the first two games for Georgia. Wood earned his seventh win this past Thursday at Alabama (7 IP, 6H, 1R, 0BB, 8K) in an 8-4 win. Palazzone pitched his first complete game of the season this past Friday but the Bulldogs failed to score, falling 4-0.

Golf

Georgia’s men’s golf team did not play particularly well on its home course this past weekend but played well enough to finish fourth in the Athens Regional and advance to the NCAA Championships next week in Pacific Palisades, Calif.

Needing a top-5 finish, the 24th-ranked Bulldogs shot 12-over 864 with a 12-over 296 in the final round to get under the line by a couple of strokes. Also advancing from the Athens Regional were Alabama (828), East Carolina (853), North Florida (858) and Iowa (866). Long Beach State’s Philip Chian (210) claimed the regional’s individual berth. Now, a year after a runner-up finish, Georgia heads back to nationals May 30-June 3 at the Rivera Club.

“At the beginning of the year, knowing all the new faces we were going to put in the lineup, I didn’t even know if we’d have a chance to make it to the regionals,” Georgia coach Chris Haack said. “To be able to not only make it but finish fourth and move on, I’d say it’s been a great year. No matter what happens, it’s been a great year.”

Softball

Probably the most impressive NCAA feat of the weekend was coach Lu Harris-Champer’s young softball team making it back to a super regional. The 10th-seeded Bulldogs (44-15) earned their sixth regional championship with a 2-1 win over North Carolina (43-15) this past weekend.

Now they will travel to Knoxville, Tenn., this coming weekend to take on seventh-seeded Tennessee (50-11). The best-of-three series begins Saturday afternoon at noon. The second game will be played Sunday at 1 p.m., with the if necessary game scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Saturday’s game will be televised by ESPNU. Georgia and Tennessee split a pari of games in the regular season.

44 comments Add your comment

txfood

May 21st, 2012
11:58 am

t

May 21st, 2012
12:06 pm

Any recruiting updates – if it’s not football I don’t think many people care – rule of thumb if people will pay big bucks to see it that usually means it’s of interest – reverse is also true – thanks

txfood

May 21st, 2012
12:07 pm

Congrats to the Golf and Softball teams. Tennis was a bit of a letdown, but hats off to Pepperdine. I’ve been to the NCAA’s in Athens and it can truly be a “raucous pro-Georgia crowd.”

uga student

May 21st, 2012
12:09 pm

Can we get some football articles?

dbc

May 21st, 2012
12:16 pm

Why is it always the opponent that rises to the occasion? This headline should have read “UGA Teams Underachieve Again.” The baseball team needs a new coach, and the tennis team had no business losing to Pepperdine. But I guess we should all be used to it because that’s the Georgia way. Instead of Finish the Drill, they should just print up t-shirts that say We Got Drilled. What is McGarity being paid to do again?

Spike 80DF

May 21st, 2012
12:45 pm

yea dbc, UGA should win everytime no matter what or it’s the AD’s fault!

Old Dawg

May 21st, 2012
12:54 pm

Nice job, Chip. Thanks for covering spring sports. I always like to read about the football team, but it’s also great to see copy on other teams.

Thanks!

Ted Striker

May 21st, 2012
1:00 pm

Good article, Chip — thanks!

rawdawg

May 21st, 2012
1:01 pm

At least there was some bright spots in Athens this weekend…

Recruiting updates? Seems like maybe you should voice your need for recruiting updates on the Recruiting Blog…

Not sure if you folks ever think about this, but most of the football players aren’t even at school right now (unless they are taking summer classes). Therefore, there it little to no news involving the football team… As a proud UGA ALUMNUS, I enjoy knowing whats going on with ALL the teams at UGA. I’d rather read REAL news than speculative, unfounded, or fabricated news about the football team. Besides, after our latest bout of attrition with FB players getting in trouble, NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS!

Thanks for all your hard work, and fair/balanced reporting, Chip!

UGA Insider

May 21st, 2012
1:04 pm

I’m anxious to see what happens with Perno now that Adams is a lame duck. This situation will tell me all I need to know about his skills as an AD.

Abe Lincoln

May 21st, 2012
1:08 pm

Sounds like to me we were getting our butts kicked !

Dawg Fud

May 21st, 2012
1:09 pm

Perno will get a pass on this year (injuries, serious family illness) but next year he will have to make hay.

I wish we had Varsity Lacrosse. It is the fastest growing sport. Hope McGarity sees its benefits and makes a strong case for it.

JB

May 21st, 2012
1:12 pm

In other big news, just 15 weeks till football season. Now that’s BIG NEWS

JB

May 21st, 2012
1:15 pm

The biggest thing to happen in Georgia football will take place early winter 2013. Dawgs will open the season will only 1 defensive starter back. Florida will be a whole lot better. Tennessee will be loaded finally , with a new coach to boot. Auburn, Bama will be tough…….and Dawgs will have a real schedule and a tough hill to climb and a new UGA President will be in charge………..Just casting moon shadows here.

UGASlobberknocker

May 21st, 2012
1:18 pm

Am I the only one that wonders how Perno keeps his job? Georgia is one of the best baseball player producing states in the U.S.,yet UGA is avreage at best most years. I know he has taken the Dawgs to the CWS, but since spitting the bit in 2008 in the Finals, it has been all downhill.

It is time for McGarrity to make a change like in Fla when he fired Lopez.

RHall55

May 21st, 2012
1:27 pm

The biggest win this weekend in Athens was that Will Friend finally got another OL commitment!! After losing out on Max Garcia to FL, Josh Outlaw to FL, and Shamire Devine to Ga Tech, WF finally came thru!! I’m not totally sold on his recruiting prowess; must get a big name like Larry Tunsil and others before I’m sold on him!! C’mon Man, do your job!!

DawginLex

May 21st, 2012
1:45 pm

Cardiello was a nice get but Kublanow, Vonashek, Seymour and Tunsil are all still out there.

3 of the 4 are UGA leans

JB

May 21st, 2012
1:46 pm

Dawgs have not been able to run the ball with any consistency for the last three years, which has cost us wins over ranked teams and to much burden on Murray.

DawginLex

May 21st, 2012
1:54 pm

If we go 2 and out in Hoover, we don’t make the NCAA’s and Perno will be done

Joey

May 21st, 2012
1:57 pm

JB, I just hope after week 2, we aren’t ready for some other season. The Mizzou game is gonna have the same flavor as the Boise game last year. The Tigers will have a huge chip on their shoulder.

And unfortunately, Richt’s teams just are not the “Road Warriers” that they were ‘01-’05. Richt’s UGA’s teams’ recent lack of preparedness effectively eliminates the intimidation they once took on the road – Colorado, Ok State, UCF, Boise, etc have shown that.

Joey

May 21st, 2012
2:04 pm

“Am I the only one that wonders how Perno keeps his job?”
******************************************
Well, UGASlobberknocker, he’s got two SEC titles in what, 11 seasons?

He’s a UGA coach, so he’ll probably get a new 5-year contract and raise . . .

JB

May 21st, 2012
2:11 pm

Joey, I think our Defense will keep us in most games this year. The biggest down side to me not being able to run the ball is way to many 3 and outs, which keeps the defense exhausted. I can’t tell you the times I’ve watched Bobo call that run up the middle for no gain then two incomplete long passes….and the D goes right back out there after manning a 7-8 minute drive. Happens to much.

DawginLex

May 21st, 2012
2:38 pm

If you are expecting a power running game in 2012, you will be waiting 12 months from now

Won’t happen

The OL has talent but is very very young. The 1st 6 players are capable of competing at an SEC level but there is no way UGA is going to shove the ball down throats.

Look for 4 WR sets and a lot of screens to the backs instead of running plays.

The OL is young but they are athletic and can move better than Cordy and Bean.

The key is Murray stepping up and being a leader and not making the same stupid mistakes.

He is the difference between 11-1 or 12-0 versus 8-4 or 9-3

DawginLex

May 21st, 2012
2:39 pm

Joey

I think you are wrong about Perno. If he doesn’t get a NCAA bid, he is toast

Joey

May 21st, 2012
3:03 pm

“He (Murray) is the difference between 11-1 or 12-0 versus 8-4 or 9-3′
***************************************
That is the cold hard truth. If Murray takes care of the ball better this season, we can get another East Title.

You usually are more often right about UGA politics than most of us, but wouldn’t it be a little uncomfortable for McGarity to fire Perno, then field questions about Perno’s similarities with Richt’s record? Perno did win the SEC in ‘08 – three years after Richt won his last title.

JB

May 21st, 2012
3:08 pm

Everyone will be watching with baited breath in the Athletic building on the new UGA President. Who would of thought MARYLAND and MIAMI would of pulled the trigger to fire those 2 coach’s, although I imagine she knew at Miami what was coming down. Will the new UGA President be passive or demanding with UGA athletics?

UGA Insider

May 21st, 2012
3:12 pm

Look for a pro-style run first offensive set from UGA this season. IC and Boo are gonna have monster seasons and Hines has done a good job putting the Pittsburgh system in place.

OLine struggled this spring because we are focusing on run first and not passing. The best 5 who run run block will play. Richt has decided will win or lose with defense this season.

Book it!

evil empire

May 21st, 2012
3:14 pm

LSU and SCe played a great series in Columbia this past weekend with the outright SEC title on the line…college baseball at its finest…uga’s baseball program mirrors the uga athletic department..mid pack leeches on the SEC title train…no different than ole miss or missy state…how about contributing a little to the SEC’s success…

Beast from the East

May 21st, 2012
3:17 pm

JB and DawginLex,
Be thankful for Murray. You could be deciding between 2 new starters like we are doing down in Gainesville. The good news is our (UF) offense can’t be any worse than last year’s, so there’s nowhere to go but up!

DIT

May 21st, 2012
3:22 pm

If the Dawgs have a great season or average season it rests on Murray’s shoulders! Much improvement needs to be made. However, there is usually a great improvement for QB’s between their Sophmore and JR years. We will see this fall.

DIT

May 21st, 2012
3:23 pm

Beast… y’all are the darkhorse this year. Tons of talent. If y’all mold well quickly it will be a very good year for the gators.

nomobama

May 21st, 2012
3:31 pm

CMR needs to ask the softball coach if he can borrow some of the heffers for his OL this year…esp the pitcher…shes huge.

Beast from the East

May 21st, 2012
3:31 pm

DIT,
I kind of like the underdog role. Haven’t been in that position for a number of years down in Gainesville, so I hope the players are operating this offseason with a little chip on their shoulders. No one is talking about UF doing anything. It’s all UGA or SC in the East. Our defense should be stout. The season will depend on how much our offense improves. No matter what, I expect a brawl in Jacksonville. Can’t wait!

DawginLex

May 21st, 2012
3:50 pm

Brent Pease was a great hire at OC for UF

Insider, you may be right but I flat out don’t see it working. I hope it does. I would love to run for 300 yards, throw for 100 and beat folks 21-6 and stuff like that.

Joey, I just think with Adams gone, McGarity is going to show his quick trigger. I’m telling you(IMO) Richt better win big this year……..

ga gator

May 21st, 2012
4:25 pm

Lex, good 2:39 post. Bobo will have to open it up more this year because of the young (inexperienced) OL. But if Murray doesn’t go brain dead 5 or 6 plays a game again this year, UGA could surprise everyone on the Natl scene. I agree with the Beast about our QB’s; if Driskell lives up to his pre UF billing, with Pease’s tutoring he could be special. Dude runs a 4.5, is 235lbs and a canon for an arm. His deal is between the ears, but if Pease can do with him what he did with Jared Lorenzen at Ky a few years back we will be in good shape.

Joey

May 21st, 2012
4:45 pm

ga gator, in my opinion, Pease moving to UF is (unfortunately) gonna be the biggest assistant-coach hire in the SEC since LSU got Chavis, and UGA got Grantham.

We UGA fans got a front row seat watching Pease make adjustments in the Dome last Sept.

Can’t wait to see Pease and Grantham go at it in Jax.

Neutral

May 21st, 2012
4:53 pm

@Evil Empire (3:14)

What a joke SC is in overall athletics!!! What do you mean UGa needs to contribute to SEC success? SC has never finished ahead of UGa in the Sears Cup recognizing the best overall athletic program. Yes, SC is now mediocre in football and great in baseball, but you suck in all other sports. Get real dude!

bucket

May 21st, 2012
5:24 pm

@ DawginLex – I couldn’t agree more about McGarity. With Adams leaving he will have a window of opportunity to truly take control of the athletic department in the next 12 months. McGarity put all the other coaches on staff @ UGA on notice when he made a change with the gymnastics coach a few weeks ago. I personally like CDP and CMR, but they better win big starting now or they will be gone.

Italian_29

May 21st, 2012
5:28 pm

Beast, isn’t Brantley going to be the starter this year? I know that alot of Gator fans are high on the Driskell, but do he have the playbook down enough? I have to agree that you guys are the dark horse in the East this year, TONS of talent on the Offense and a SMASHMOUTH Defense. Should be a knock down drag out GREAT game in Jacksonville this year, I know that you guys are going to want revenge for us pulling last year out of the hat. Good Luck this season, except for, well you know. Go DAWGS!

Beast from the East

May 21st, 2012
5:51 pm

Italian_29,
Brantley graduated (thank God). It’ll be between Jeff Driskell and Jacoby Brissett. Driskell is the better athlete, but Brissett appears more poised. Both even after the spring.

Captain

May 21st, 2012
6:26 pm

Regarding Perno, he’s got to go. For those questioning McGarity and blaming Adams, be reminded of Adams history. Adams demanded Donnan be fired, Adams fired Jirsa, Adams fired Felton, Adams fired Harrick, but in fairness he also hired his good friend Harrick. Adams may want to make a legacy statement by replacing Perno. It is painfully evident Perno is woefully inadequate to get the job done at the highest level of college baseball at the SEC level.

If one takes into account McGarity’s own words as regards the expectations for each coach in each sport in a recent interview, men’s and women’s, Perno is gone. It would be difficult to explain firing Jay Clark, coach of a women’s sport after three years, yet retain Perno after the last three years with Perno having a worse record. Perno has a losing record in the SEC the last three seasons, which is McGarity’s measure of success. McGarity has fired two women’s coaches, when does the axe fall on one of the men’s coaches?

CitizenK9

May 24th, 2012
12:17 am

As far as sports we can drop the Georgia and make ourselves the University of Mediocrite. No more underachieving athletic program in the country-mens and womens and not a spark of fire to be seen. But as a season ticketholder I do cherish the Fla Atlantic, Buffalo , and Ga Southern games at $ 95 a ticket. How stupid are we ?

hillary clinton

May 26th, 2012
11:39 am

I think you all need a new hobby, stop obsessing over this… We get it u win

hillary clinton

May 26th, 2012
11:48 am

Why dont we play the game already, show your faces and pull the trigger already…. I feel sorry for the energy waisted is the dead end story!!!