Cavs Corner: Fall Sports Postseason is in Full Swing

Contributors: Bria Irizarry, Colleen Gunning, Ryan Killen and Andy Pogach
Twitter: @daathletics
Instagram: @dacavsathletics

Durham Academy fall sports have hit the postseason with much to be proud of! DA cross-country is competing in the Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference championship today at WakeMed Soccer Park. The boys team, led by senior Jay Shanahan (who has the fifth-fastest time among N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 4A schools this year), is the top-ranked team in the state! The girls team is ranked fifth in 4A, with both ninth-grader Allison Hall (No. 2) and senior Anna Catherine Wilson (No. 8) among the top 10 runners across the state this season.  

Girls golf is ranked second in the state, and sophomore Ona Lukes and eighth-grader Saia Rampersaud have both set new school records this year. Girls tennis is currently ranked second in the state by HighSchoolOT and will host the state quarterfinal match on Friday afternoon as the No. 2 seed in the east region. 

The DA field hockey team also holds the No. 2 seed in the east region and rides a four-game winning streak entering Friday’s state tournament quarterfinal vs. Cary Christian on Moylan Field. DA volleyball remains undefeated at 6–0 and is ranked No. 4 in the state by HighSchoolOT. The team will face two TISAC opponents in the next two days: Cary Academy today and top-ranked North Raleigh Christian Academy on Friday. Boys soccer is now 3–2 on the season and currently ranked No. 8 in the state by HighSchoolOT. The Cavs face Cary Academy on Thursday and NRCA for their final home contest on Friday before the state tournament next week.


Durham Academy boys cross-country took second place in the team’s home contest vs. North Raleigh Christian Academy last Thursday. The Cavs scored six runners in the top 10 to earn 29 points, but the Knights brought in three runners in the top five to give them the 1-point edge with 28.

Sophomore Sanju Patel finished in third place overall and first for DA with a time of 20:01. Senior Tharindu Fernando, sophomore Brian Zhou, junior Michael Yancy and sophomore Roger Brooks were next to cross the finish line for the Cavs, placing fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth. Sophomore Charith Fernando was not far behind and finished in 10th place overall.

On the girls side, DA defeated North Raleigh Christian 34–23, scoring the top three overall runners in the 3,200-meter race. Ninth-grader Allison Hall took first place overall with a time of 21:01, and seniors Anna Catherine Wilson and Lucy Steiner were just behind her at 21:20 and 22:03. Crossing the finish line next for the Cavs were seniors Sara Lipsitch in eighth, Abby Goldman in ninth and Maggie Chambliss in 10th place.

The Cavs compete in the TISAC Championship meet this afternoon at WakeMed Soccer Park. The girls begin at 4 p.m., and the boys start at 5:30 p.m.

Field Hockey

DA field hockey finished out the regular season on a high note with an exciting 2–1 win over Cary Academy and moved to 4–2 on the season. Junior Mirella Kades proved strong in goal once again, not letting up vs. a quick Cary Academy team. On offense, junior Abby Grosshandler and sophomore London Burnham were key in setting up scoring opportunities by earning back-to-back corners in the box. Senior Katherine Lantzy was able to capitalize on one corner to put the Cavs on the board with a 1–0 lead going into halftime. 

The Cavs were able to strengthen their lead to 2–0 after a goal by junior Emmie Savarino from Grosshandler halfway through the third period. The Chargers responded just two minutes later, sailing in a goal high over Kades’ head. The Chargers continued their momentum into the final minutes with a few chances to tie up the game, but the Cavs’ defense was able to hold them off for a 2–1 win. DA field hockey concludes the regular season as the No. 2 seed heading into the state playoffs and will host No. 3 Cary Christian on Friday in the quarterfinals at 4 p.m.

Girls Golf

It has been a busy week on the links, as the varsity girls golf team closed out the regular season in preparation for state tournament play. Although the Cavs fell to No. 1 NRCA last Thursday, sophomore Ona Lukes and eighth-grader Saia Rampersaud tied the school record for nine holes with a one under par. Rampersaud continued the pace to set a new school record for 18 holes with an even par 72. The Cavs bounced back with another win over Ravenscroft on Monday and celebrated their three seniors — Kathleen Donovan, Lydia Norman and Abigail Smith — for Senior Night. 

Lukes and Rampersaud shot a pair of 77s, and sophomore Kayley Kim rounded out the scoring. The team finished 4–2 in the regular season, losing only to NRCA in two matches. The following day, DA went on to take second place in the TISAC Championship match at Heritage Country Club. Lukes shot a 75, Rampersaud followed with 77, and Kayley Kim shot a 93 to score for the Cavs. Rampersaud and Lukes were named All-TISAC players — their second and fourth time, respectively. The Cavs will continue postseason play on Monday at the NCISAA state tournament as the No. 2 seed at Bryan Park Players Course near Greensboro.

Girls Golf

Boys Soccer

This has been the busiest week of the season for boys soccer. DA suffered its second loss to Ravenscroft last Thursday, making the TISAC leaders the Cavs’ only two losses of the season. The Cavs created a few opportunities in the defeat, but the Ravens held firm. On Friday, the Cavs responded with a 4–3 win over NRCA in a thrilling match. Senior Charlie Robb was the standout performer with two goals and an assist. It was the best offensive output from a Cavalier this season. DA came out flying with a goal in the first minute by senior Walker Benjamin. The Knights eventually tied the game, and three minutes into the second half, they added a penalty kick goal to take the lead at 2–1. From there, the floodgates opened as goals poured in from everywhere. Robb tied it up with a great finish from the top of the box, but the Knights responded almost immediately to restore their two-goal advantage. Senior Henry Leasure came up with another Cavs equalizer in a scramble in the box. He was excellent all night for the Cavs back line, in addition to scoring the game-tying goal. Then with just three minutes remaining, Robb scored a winner off a corner kick to ensure a Cavs victory.

On Tuesday, the Cavs followed up that thriller at NRCA with a 3–2 victory over Wake Christian. Senior Gavin Schulz opened the scoring with the play of the night, intercepting the ball from the Wake defense and taking it all the way to goal to finish off beautifully. Junior Larkin Ng Cashin put the Cavs up 2–0 in the second half off a rebound, but Wake fired one back soon after. The Cavs were able to add an insurance goal by Walker Benjamin with just minutes remaining. Wake scored again with a few minutes on the clock, but it was too little, too late. The Cavs sit at 4–2 in the TISAC, just one game out of first place with two games remaining. 

Girls Tennis

DA girls tennis finished a 7–1 regular season with a 6–3 TISAC win over NRCA on Friday. The Cavs were led by the back end of the lineup, which took wins at two and three doubles, as well as singles on courts three, four, five and six. Junior Mukta Dharmapurikar teamed with sophomore Allison Preble for an 8–1 win on court two, while sophomore Aerin Borden and ninth-grader Kiersten Hackman took a matching 8–1 win on court three. On the top court, senior Ameya Bellamkonda and ninth-grader Godiya Mangai battled to an 8–6 loss. With only four courts playable due to wet conditions, the back end of the lineup went out first and immediately put the team match out of reach. Junior Fiona Jenkins took a 6–0, 6–3 win on six followed closely by a Preble 6–0, 6–2 win on five. Junior Chloe Bayer clinched it with a 6–3, 6–1 win at four. Mangai was the last DA point, a 6–0, 6–0 win on three. Bellamkonda and Dharmapurikar each played tough opponents in losses on the top courts.

The DA girls advanced to their 12th straight state quarterfinals with a comfortable 5–0 win over TISAC rival Saint Mary's School on Tuesday. DA swept the doubles matches but not before being pushed to 6–6 on court three. In singles play, it was the top two courts that clinched it: Dharmapurikar on one and Bellamkonda on two. 

The Cavs will host a quarterfinal match on Friday afternoon vs. the winner of NRCA and Ravenscroft. 


The DA volleyball squad kept its winning streak alive on Tuesday night by defeating Wake Christian Academy 3–1 in Kirby Gym. The Cavs dropped the first set 25–18, only the second set the team has given up all season, but bounced back by going up 5–0 at the start of the second set. Sophomore Hannah Kohn went on an 11-point service run that was eventually too much for the visiting Bulldogs. The Cavs won the second set handedly, 25–9.

DA continued solid game play on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball in the third set, with senior Gabby Marchese and junior Sarah Ridley taking turns earning points with hits from the outside. The Cavs came out on top 25–20 to gain the 2–1 advantage heading into the fourth set.

Again, the Cavs jumped out to a 6–0 start with the help of sophomore Alexis Gelber and ninth-grader Kate Norry on the net. The Cavs extended their lead to 10, going up 14–4 over the Bulldogs and continued to convert defense to offense. DA ended the set 25-8 off an ace from Kohn and moved to six wins on the season.

“I am extremely proud of these girls,” head coach Latacha De Oliviera said. “They have had their fair share of obstacles this season, yet they have rallied together to prove to themselves that they can achieve their goals when they play with their hearts.”

DA volleyball will return to action tonight vs. TISAC foe Cary Academy at 5:45 p.m. in Kirby Gym and on Friday night at top-ranked North Raleigh Christian for its last two regular-season matches.



Keeping up with the Cavs

As always, you can keep up with the Cavs on Durham Academy’s website and the Durham Academy App (available on the Apple App Store).

  • For a list of all teams, their schedules and directions to games, visit
  • Click on an individual team to subscribe to automatic alerts about athletics results, postponements and cancellations, calendar and athletic event reminders. You can also import team schedules into your electronic calendars.
  • All information about the daily athletics schedule is also available on DA’s Athletics Hotline: 919-489-2534 (ext. 5).

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 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.