UGA Roundup: Loeb, Zielinski win SIC title

Georgia’s Robert Loeb (L) and Jan Zielinski during the NCAA Championships at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., on Thursday, May 25, 2017. (Steven Colquitt/UGA Sports Communications)

ATHENS, Ga. | Rain and strong winds forced the final day of the 2017 Southern Intercollegiate Champions inside as two Georgia’s men’s tennis doubles teams battled for the main draw title.

 

Sophomore Robert Loeb and junior Jan Zielinski, ranked No. 1 nationally for most of the 2016-17 season, got the better half of their Bulldog counterparts in a 6-4, 4-6, 11-9 victory Monday.

After winning the first set, Loeb and Zielinski went down a break in the second and Wayne Montgomery and Walker Duncan served for the set at 5-4, setting up the 10-point tiebreaker. The two duos went toe-to-toe, before Loeb and Zielinski pulled away for the win.

“Well for a second there at the end I thought it was over about four times,” head coach Manuel Diaz said. “I think both teams put themselves in a good position to win. The tennis was incredible. I’m very encouraged with the team that won but just as much with Walker and Wayne because their level is now the equivalent of a top-notch team.”

Georgia has now won the doubles title of the Southern Intercollegiate Championships in three-straight seasons. A year ago, Zielinski teamed with Duncan to bring home the trophy.

The doubles final brought to a close another successful week at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. In all, 16 teams, close to 100 singles players and over 50 doubles teams played in 179 total matches over the four-day event. This season’s tournament marked the 50th year of the Southern Intercollegiate Championships — a tradition that dates all the way back to 1968.

Up next, Georgia heads to the Hall of Fame Tournament in Newport, Rhode Island this weekend.

Georgia soccer routs Coastal Carolina

ATHENS, Ga. | Freshman Mollie Belisle scored four goals and senior Kelsey Killean had a hat trick, leading the Georgia (4-3-1) soccer team to an astounding 9-1 victory over Coastal Carolina (5-2) on Sunday afternoon at the Turner Soccer Complex.

The outstanding performances from Belisle and Killean mark the first time in Georgia soccer history that two Bulldogs have had hat tricks in the same game. Additionally, the nine goals scored by the Bulldogs is the second highest in program history and the most scored during the Billy Lesesne era. Georgia last scored nine or more goals in 1996 with an 11-0 win over Jacksonville.

The Bulldogs entered the match having scored seven goals on the season.

“We’ve never seen anything like this and it is great for our confidence as we head into SEC play,” Killean said.

Georgia was on the board early when Mariel Gutierrez scored off a corner kick that soared right to the back of the net in the fourth minute of action.

The score held for 15 minutes before Sydney Shultis passed the ball to Reagan Glisson, who played it to Killean for the finish, marking her first goal of the season.

Ten minutes later, Belisle had the first goal of her Georgia career. Daria Stan sent a corner kick into Delaney Fechalos, allowing Belisle to head the ball to the back of the net to give Georgia a 3-0 lead.

Coastal Carolina scored its lone goal of the game in the 31st minute.

The Bulldogs took a comfortable 5-1 lead into half time after Belisle completed her hat trick. The Atlanta native scored at the 42:24 mark with assists from fellow rookies, Delaney Erwin and Landon Lambert, to make the score 4-1. With five seconds remaining in the half, a free kick from senior Summer Burnett was headed by freshman Ashley Andersen, allowing Belisle to score.

Georgia picked up right where it left off and continued to dominate offensively in the second half.

Kelsey Killean scored her second of the day on a penalty kick in the 50th minute.

The Thornton, Colorado native completed her hat trick nearly three minutes later off an assist from freshman Reagan Glisson.

Freshman Katie Ralys scored the first goal of her Bulldog career in the 73th minute to give Georgia the 8-1 advantage.

Belisle notched her fourth and final goal of the match at the 81 minute mark after Lambert crossed the ball into the box allowing her to finish. She marks the first Bulldog to score four goals in a game since Marion Crowder scored the same number in 2013 against the College of Charleston.

“This is a really big confidence booster as we head into conference play,” Belisle said. “It’s really helpful. We really needed these goals, we scored more today than we have all season. We’ve been so close on shots in the last few games that have just slipped away. This was very exciting.”

The Bulldogs and Chanticleers each took nine shots in the first half, but the Bulldogs only allowed four shots in the final 45 minutes of play, tacking on 17 more of their own. Georgia outshot Coastal Carolina 26-13.

Georgia will open conference play at Missouri on Friday, September 15 in Columbia, Missouri.

“This non-conference play is built in for us to really prepare for the SEC,” Georgia head coach Billy Lesesne said. “We needed some confidence in our scoring area. We’ve struggled a little bit with scoring goals on set pieces, but to get two goals off set pieces was a big thing for us today. Also, quality balls were played in from our midfield and that’s the fun part of it—to see everyone contributing.”

Drop duo, Kamau lead Bulldogs in SEC Preview

ATHENS, Ga. | Sophomores Jessica Drop and Sam Drop took the top two spots to lead the Lady Bulldogs to a team victory, while the Bulldog men placed fourth despite senior Bryan Kamau’s top finish Saturday morning in the 2017 Bulldog SEC Preview at the UGA Golf Course.

All five scorers for the Lady Bulldogs finished inside the top-10 to showcase an impressive 19-point total, 30 points ahead of second place Georgia Tech. On the men’s side, the Bulldogs finished with 78 points behind Tennessee (68), Georgia Tech (56) and first place Texas A&M (49).

“A spectacular performance,” said Georgia head coach Patrick Cunniff. “Obviously the twins [Jessica Drop and Sam Drop], up front, one and two. Again that experienced group of girls, Addy (Lippitt), Grace (Tavani), and Hailey (Branch), were battling for every point and running really strong down the finish. It was a great start to the season. I think our three men who were in the front, Bryan (Kamau), Austin (Sprague), and Eric (Westog), really led this team. [It was] Disappointing that rest of the team didn’t show up but I know we’ll move forward. We’ve been dealing with some illness.”

The Lady Bulldogs’ finish mirrored their season opening win as the Drop twins placed first and second again to set the tone. Jessica crossed the 6,000m line with a time of 21:10.7, while Sam came in five seconds later. It marked Jessica’s third collegiate victory and her seventh time being the team leader.

The trio that rounded out the Georgia scoring were senior Addy Lippitt in fourth (21:58.1) and juniors Grace Tavani and Hailey Branch in sixth (22:07.0) and ninth (22:16.4), respectively – all personal best places.

Kamau recorded his third collegiate win and headed his team for eighth time going back to the start of the 2016 season. Tennessee’s Zach Long and Georgia Tech’s Nahom Solomon contested the final straight away, but Kamau ran strong to finish the 8,000-meter race at 25:20.2. Senior Austin Sprague nabbed Georgia’s other top-10 finish with a four-place showing and a time of 25:30.8.

Senior Eric Westog finished seconds off the top-10 pace at 25:47.9, good for 12th. The last two Bulldog scorers were redshirt freshman Michael Hans and senior Jon Moses in 37th and 38th place, respectively.

With the SEC Championships getting held at the UGA Golf Course in October, this early season race provided teams with a chance to preview the course and the competition that is expected.

“I thought that the course was beautiful,” Cunniff elaborated. “I thought it was laid out very, well and I think it is challenging as heck. I was much happier to be riding it in a golf cart than running it…Hopefully the biggest takeaway for everybody is just the sense of how to run this course. How to adjust their effort to do the course well.”

The Bulldogs return to action in the Paul Short Run in Bethlehem, Pa. on Saturday, Sept. 29.

 

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