Athletics News

Cavs Corner: Spring Sports Season Preview, Part 3
Posted 03/30/2017 04:40PM

By Andy Pogach, Assistant Director of Athletics and Sports Information Director, Varsity Girls Tennis Coach
Twitter: @daathletics
Instagram: @dacavsathletics  

It has been another great week on the fields and courts as our spring teams are all ready to head into conference play. Tuesday was as busy as it gets, with seven varsity teams in action as well as JV track, JV tennis and Middle School boys lacrosse. In addition to recapping the past week for our varsity teams, we will finish our spring sports previews with a look at our track and boys lacrosse programs.

 

VARSITY TEAM PREVIEWS

Boys and Girls Track and Field
Coach Costen Irons is excited about his boys team featuring four senior captains who will contribute in each meet. Nijel Hunt is considered by Irons to be one of the best middle distance runners in the state this year. He will anchor the Cavs’ 400m and 800m individual and relay events. Erik O’Luanaigh will put up strong numbers in the shot put and discus events. His throw of 147 in the Cary meet last week would have won the state championship last year. He is currently third on the DA all-time list for that event. Sonio Kum and Ben Womble will earn points in field events. They are considered two of the top pole vaulters the school has ever had. Kum will compete in both long jump and triple jump, while Womble will be a jack of all trades entering in the long jump, discus and 4x100.

Irons also mentioned underclassmen Ethan Goldman (long distance), Mark Alkins (middle/long distance) and Wilson Hansen (third-fastest 200m time in school history), who will help the team succeed. In last Friday’s tri-meet at Cary Academy, the DA boys took down both the Chargers and Fayetteville Christian. In one of the more exciting events of the day, the Cavs 4x400 relay team of Alkins, Hunt, Matt Tucker and Josh Klein squeaked out a two-tenths-of-a-second win over Cary Academy. O’Luanaigh took home top honors in both the shot put and discus, while Womble won the pole vault and long jump. 

For the girls squad, Irons is focusing on his team getting better with each meet. Senior captains Katie Concannon (eighth-fastest girls miler in school history) and Safiya Gallaghan (800m) will join junior captains Leah Granger (second-best pole vaulter in school history) and Cami Simpson (long distance) as the leaders of the squad. Junior Virginia Capehart is another runner (200m and 400m) who will win races in key meets (she won last week’s 400m at Cary). In the tri-meet at Cary Academy, the DA girls took second behind the Chargers and ahead of Fayetteville Christian. Capehart, victorious in the 400m, was joined by junior Ava Pacchiana’s 300m hurdle victory as the race winners. Both track teams are on their home turf this afternoon hosting North Raleigh Christian at 4 p.m.

Boys Lacrosse
Coach Jon Lantzy and his talented lacrosse team have their sights set on a TISAC title and a run at a state championship. Last Thursday’s 9-8 win over Ravenscroft put DA one step closer to the conference crown, and some key non-conference games await to see where the Cavs stand among the state’s best. The first on the list is tomorrow’s road match-up with Charlotte Latin, a team Lantzy has not yet defeated in his 10 years as coach at DA. An April meeting with Charlotte Country Day and May tilts with Christ School and Cannon School will all determine where DA will fit in the state tournament picture six weeks from now. With a 3-2 record, the Cavs own wins over Charlotte Christian and Greensboro Day, in addition to the home win over Ravenscroft.

Offensively, sophomore Shaffer Woody draws the main attention from opponents, and his six-goal effort against Charlotte Christian stands as the top scoring game by a Cav so far this season. Senior Houston Holland had four goals in Tuesday’s 11-4 win at Greensboro Day. In the midfield, the Cavs feature junior Tyler Carpenter who Lantzy raves about as a once-in-a-generation type of player. Carpenter’s skill can be summed up in one of the many key plays he made in the Ravenscroft win last week. While playing a man down, Carpenter jumped a pass, snagged it with his long pole and ran the length of the field, finding junior Drew Hantzmon for a short-handed goal in the first half. One of the big surprises this season has been the play of senior goaltender Neil Sudan. Sudan, who just took up the position this season, made 14 saves in the Ravenscroft win and came up big with three saves in the final minute. The Latin defense will test the Cavaliers on Friday, and Lantzy hopes the bus ride home from Charlotte will be a happy one.

 

VARSITY UPDATES

Here are results and updates from the other six varsity sports this week.

Boys Tennis
The tennis team is now 8-1 after matching 9-0 conference sweeps of Ravenscroft and North Raleigh Christian. The top of the Cavalier lineup remains dominant as juniors James Shaheen (8-1) and Priyan de Silva (9-0) have been close to automatic. With juniors Kenan Ulku-Steiner (5-0) and Alexander Brandt (6-3) holding steady in the middle of the lineup and strong doubles play (18-2 overall as a team), this team is coming together at the right time. Seeding for the state tournament will be greatly impacted by the results of the next three matches, as the Cavs host Greensboro Day, Charlotte Country Day and Providence Day each of the next three days. The Bengals are much improved with a young lineup, while the Bucs are one of the favorites for the state crown. Providence Day returns the entire lineup from last year, a team the Cavs battled with to a 6-3 win.

Softball
The softball team went 0-2 in the previous week as they lost a tight 12-9 match-up at Ravenscroft and fell 15-2 in a six-inning loss to North Raleigh Christian. Against the Knights on Tuesday, Maya Watson drove in both Cavalier runs in the second inning, and DA was 2-2 with a strong NRCA club. However, the wheels fell off late in the game as NRCA scored seven runs in the sixth inning. Coach Kearnan’s team is in Raleigh this afternoon to battle St. David’s before hosting Cary Academy on Tuesday afternoon. 

Boys Golf
The boys golf team saw a multi-year home win streak come to an end on Tuesday with an eight-stroke loss to Ravenscroft. In an 18-hole match, DA played well but fell to an unbeaten Ravens team that is currently ranked second in the state. The Cavs, who have moved up to third in the latest 3A poll, were led by senior Allen Smith’s 69. Eighth-grader Jackson Brimfield carded a 70 while junior Gus Lascola shot a 75 and freshman Ethan Lukes shot a 79. The golfers are back in action on Tuesday at Cary Academy.

Girls Soccer
Coach Susan Ellis’ soccer team is off to a 4-0 start, winning games by an average margin of more than four goals per game. In the past week, the Cavs took two conference wins, a 4-0 victory at Ravenscroft and Tuesday’s 5-1 home win over NRCA. In last Thursday’s win over the Ravens, junior Kendall Bushick scored twice while junior Gwen Caudle and freshman Peyton Goldthwaite each scored once. Goldthwaite had two more goals on Tuesday and was joined by Bushick and junior Erin Dilweg as the goal scorers in the win over the Knights. The soccer team hosts 1-5-1 Greensboro Day this afternoon on Moylan Field.

Baseball
The DA baseball team is 5-4 heading into today’s 4 p.m. matchup at Greensboro Day. The Cavs took a 9-7 win over Asheville School last Friday before falling 11-1 on Tuesday to the 2016 3A state champs Wesleyan Christian. In the Asheville School win, the Cavs jumped out to a 4-0 lead through two innings thanks to two singles by sophomore Michael Jaffe and RBIs by junior Ted Middleton and senior Aidan Therien. After two runs by the Blues in the third, the Cavs answered with RBIs by Middleton, senior Brooks Walker and junior David Klein. A seemingly comfortable 9-2 lead became 9-7 late before the Cavs closed things out. The 11-1 final score in Tuesday’s loss to Wesleyan does not do justice to the team’s effort against the unbeaten top ranked Trojans. After Wesleyan scored two runs before any outs were recorded in the first, junior Cam Brown held the Trojans scoreless until the fifth inning. DA had a huge opportunity to take the lead in the third as the first four Cavs reached base but Wesleyan worked out of the jam limiting DA to just one run. The Trojans broke things open with three in the fifth and five in the sixth to end the game after six innings. 

Girls Lacrosse
The girls lacrosse team continues to roll, winning their fourth straight game 21-7 at Forsyth Country Day on Tuesday. This comes on the heels of an 18-11 win last Friday over Virginia Episcopal School from Lynchburg. In the win over VES, the Cavs broke open a 7-7 game at the half with five straight goals to start the second half. Sophomore Anna West had a strong performance with eight goals, while senior Madi Dunk added five goals and four assists. In Tuesday’s high-scoring win over the Furies, West improved her team-leading goal count to 27 with seven goals. Freshman Charlotte Easley added six goals while Dunk had four goals and three assists. Dunk, Easley and senior Hannah Pope all have double-digit goals on the year while Dunk’s 21 assists are tops on the team. Senior Isabel Gutierrez has a .340 save percentage in goal for DA. The team travels to Greensboro today to play the GDS Bengals.

 

Please be on the lookout in an upcoming Cavs Corner for the return of the highly popular “Middle School Munchkins and Varsity Stars” video series.  As always, thank you for your support of DA Athletics!

  

KEEPING UP WITH THE CAVS 

As always, you can keep up with the Cavs on Durham Academy’s website and the DA App: 

www.da.org/athletics: Schedules and Results

The DA App: Schedules and Results

  • The DA App allows you to keep up with athletics wherever you are. You can download the app from iTunes at http://bit.ly/DACavaliers. The DA App pulls athletics content directly from the DA website and delivers it to iOS-based devices including iPhone and iPad.
  • The Athletics portion of the DA App (after launching, click Menu, then click Athletics to open) features results of recent games, a list of upcoming contests and team records.
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