Cavs Corner: Fall Sports Final Weekend!

By Assistant Director of Athletics for Sports Information Bria Irizarry
Twitter: @daathletics
Instagram: @dacavsathletics 

DA fall sports are wrapping up this weekend with four of our teams competing for state titles! Boys and girls cross-country teams will kick off the weekend competing in the state meet on Friday afternoon at McAlpine Park in Charlotte. The girls race begins at 1:15 p.m., and the boys will take off at 2 p.m. Girls tennis is making their third straight debut in the state championship against Charlotte Latin Saturday at 10 a.m. in Rocky Mount, which will be a rematch of last year’s state final! The weekend will culminate in Raleigh with DA volleyball taking on the Knights of North Raleigh Christian at 2 p.m.


The boys cross-country team was named TISAC champions last Thursday afternoon after running a close race against Cary Academy at WakeMed Park. The Cavs topped CA by 14 points by bringing in five runners in the top 10. Junior Jay Shanahan finished in second place overall with a time of 16:27, and senior captain Shan Wang finished in third place overall with a time of 17:07. Senior Mark Alkins was next across the line for the Cavs in fifth place, followed by senior Mac Hays in seventh place and junior Kabir Khwaja in eighth place. Sophomore George Linney placed 10th overall, and ninth-grader Aaron Caveney rounded out the scoring, coming in at 13th place for the Cavaliers.

The girls cross-country team was also awarded the TISAC crown last Thursday! The Cavs scored runners in all of the top five spots to come away with a 28 point win over Cary Academy. Eighth-grader Allison Hall finished in first place overall with a time of 18:37 and was named the Most Outstanding Runner for the 2019 TISAC season! Junior Quinn Shanahan placed second with a time of 18:50 and was followed by senior captain Claire Middleton who came in third place with a time of 18:51. Junior Anna Catherine Wilson placed fourth and sophomore Stella Stringer came in fifth place for the Cavaliers. Senior Fran Pacchiana came across the line next for DA, finishing 14th, followed by junior Maggie Chambliss finishing 26th. Before this race, DA only had three female runners who had run under 19:00 in a 5K. Last Thursday, DA had five runners achieve this benchmark! It was an outstanding afternoon for both teams and a great momentum boost heading into the state championships tomorrow afternoon at McAlpine Park in Charlotte.

Field Hockey

DA field hockey had a week of highs and lows during their run in the state playoffs. The Cavs had a tremendous 2–1 win against a strong Covenant Day team last week in the quarter-finals on Moyland Field. From the first whistle, DA was on the attack and nine minutes into the game, ninth-grader Emilie Kirschner found junior Katherine Lantzy in front of the net to put the Cavs up 1–0. DA held onto the momentum and just eight minutes later, a few connections between sophomore Emmie Savarino and Kirschner in the midfield led to a Cavs corner that converted to another goal by Lantzy. The Lions took over the momentum after going down by two, but the Cavs defensive line, led by senior goalkeeper Victoria Lawton and senior defender Hannah Grant never let down. DA held onto the 2–0 lead heading into halftime. The Cavs maintained their composure throughout the second half until there were only 11 seconds left in the match, and the Lions snuck one past Lawton to bring the score to 2–1 before the final whistle. 

DA, the No. 4 seed in the tournament, went on to play the No. 1 seed, Charlotte Country Day, in Charlotte on Tuesday night in the semi-final. The game was tied until 19 minutes were left to play in the first half when the Buccaneers got on the board. DA continued to fight back, but the Buccaneers notched their second goal of the game with just two minutes to play in the first half. At the half, the Cavs were down 2–0 and just eight minutes into the second half, when the Buccaneers scored their third goal of the game. The Cavs didn’t give up and with seven minutes left in regulation, Kirschner sent a ball to Savarino who scored the last goal of the 2019 season for the Cavaliers. The Cavs season ended with the 3–1 loss to CCDS but they rounded out the year with an 11–7 record, 6–0 in conference play and earned the TISAC championship.


The girls golf team ended their 2019 season with a second-place finish in the two day NCISAA state championship tournament at Whispering Pines earlier this week. The Cavs scored 254 behind Cannon who scored a 232 to win the title. Ninth-grader Ona Lukes finished in ninth place overall, seventh-grader Saia Rampersaud finished in 11th place and ninth-grader Kayley Kim finished in 15th place after shooting her personal best of an 84. Lukes was also named to the All-State golf team and the Cavs placed above TISAC rivals Ravenscroft, NRCA and Cary Academy!


DA soccer had a thrilling start to the state tournament with a 4–2 win in penalty kicks Friday night against Covenant Day School. The Cavs and Lions exchanged offensive advances early in the game, but at 28:50 senior Isaiah Caldwell found classmate Ryan Kirschner in front of the goal to put the Cavs on the board first. With just over 20 minutes left in the first half, the Cavs were called for a hand ball inches outside the 18. The Lions hit an incredible shot to the top right corner of the goal, above ninth-grade starting goalkeeper Collin Thornburg, to equalize the score 1–1. The score remained tied heading into the half. 

The second half began with the Cavs in control of the momentum. DA saw multiple shots on goal from junior Walker Benjamin, senior Will Nichols and junior Connor McNamara, but none of them fell in favor of the Cavs. At the end of regulation, the score was still tied 1–1. 

The first of two 10-minute overtime periods saw a few big saves from Thornburg, one from point blank range, but as both teams battled for possession, the whistle blew to flip sides. Thornburg came up big for the Cavs again in the second overtime period and with just under four minutes left, DA earned a penalty kick. Caldwell took the shot but it was saved by the Lions’ keeper. The period ended in a 1–1 draw that would send the game into two five-minute golden goal periods. Much of the action took place in the midfield during these two periods, and eventually the game would go into penalty kicks. 

Covenant Day shot first and missed their first penalty kick. Kirschner was up first for the Cavs and he buried the ball in the back of the net to put DA up 1–0. Covenant Day tied the score 1–1 with their next penalty and Nichols placed his shot in the top corner to secure a 2–1 lead. Thornburg came up with a momentous save to deny the Lions third shooter and Crosby Williams scored for the Cavs to go up 3–1. The Lions scored their fourth penalty to make it 3–2, but McNamara chipped the ball to the right side of the goal to give DA the 4–2 advantage and secure a spot in the state semifinals.

Yesterday, the No. 2 seeded Cavaliers faced a fierce No. 6 seeded Rabun Gap team. A minute-and-a-half into the game, Caldwell hit a free kick to find Kirschner in front of the cage, who headed the ball right over the goalkeeper to jump out to a 1–0 lead. But less than thirty seconds later, the Eagles brought the ball back down the other end and scored on the Cavs to even the score at one all. Both teams had opportunities on goal but the score remained 1–1 at the half. 

The second half began and another early goal was scored, this time from Rabun Gap, who dribbled through the Cavs’ defense and hit a low corner shot behind Thornburg. The Eagles went up 2–1 with 36 minutes left to play. Rabun Gap would score again off the second of two free kicks with just over 28 minutes left to play and the Cavaliers were not able to rally. The 3–1 loss in the semifinal ended the Cavs’ 2019 season. The team’s final record was 12–5–1, 7–1 in the conference and the squad earned the title of TISAC Champions — much to be proud of!

Upper School Soccer 2019


DA girls tennis have earned their third straight appearance in the NCISAA state final this Saturday, Oct. 26 at 10 a.m. in Rocky Mount, after defeating Cary Academy and Covenant Day School this past week! On Thursday afternoon, the Cavs used a doubles sweep and wins by senior Alexis Galloway and sophomore Mukta Dharmapurikar to take a 5–0 win over Cary Academy. The match of the day was at second doubles, where seniors Sarah Clark and Alex Bayer came back from being down 5–7 and 7–8 to take a 9–8 (5) victory!

Yesterday, the Cavs won their final home match 5–1 over Covenant Day to secure a spot in the state final. The highly distinguished class of 2020 went out in style at home. Seniors Madeline Towning and Galloway won at first doubles, seniors Isabella Strauss and Taylor Hunter won at third doubles, and in singles, Towning, Galloway and Bayer all came out on top to secure the victory! The Cavs have gone 19–0 this season, have won 38 straight matches and will face Charlotte Latin on Saturday in a rematch of last season’s state final. 


Cavs volleyball is heading to the NCISAA state final at NRCA on Saturday, Oct. 26 at 2 p.m. after an exciting week of victories over Rabun Gap and Cannon School! On Friday, the team hosted the Rabun Gap Eagles and took the first set 25–11, led by senior Lauren Grosshandler who took advantage of the Eagles’ soft balls over the net. The second set saw a dominating serving performance from ninth-grader Olivia Kohn, who got the Cavs back in the lead after being tied with the Eagles at 11. The Cavs would win the second set off an ace from ninth-grader Hannah Kohn, ending the set at 25–14. DA began the third set with offensive power going up 14–2. Senior Millie Loehr dominated on the front line and classmate Marlee McKenna slammed down the final spike of the game to secure the 25–9 win in the third set to send the Cavs to the state semifinals!

On Tuesday night, DA hosted the Cannon Cougars in the semifinal game. Kirby Gym was alive as the Cavs took down Cannon in five sets to advance to the state finals. The first set saw the Cavs down 8–3 early, but they came rallying back to go up 16–14. Out of a Cannon timeout, the Cougars went on the offensive and ultimately won the set 25–23. In the second set, the DA seniors stepped up with poise to come up with a win. Loehr had a few kills to gain momentum and senior Adriana Kim set up Grosshandler for hits just above the net to put the Cavs ahead 25–16.

In the third, DA played some tough defense, stretching out to keep the ball in play. Sophomore Sarah Ridley connected with Kim at the net and junior Elizabeth Kohn contributed with a kill to force a Cougar timeout, but the Cavs would prove to be too much for the Cougars. DA came out on top 25–22 to go up 2–1 heading into the fourth. The action was back and forth in the fourth set and the score was tied at 14 before the Cavs called a timeout. Out of the break, DA scored four consecutive points to lead 19–15, but Cannon did not let down. The Cougars would prove to have the momentum and pulled away with a 25–21 win to tie the game at 2–2.

Cavs fans were on the edge of their seats in the fifth set as the team came out strong to score the first four points on straight kills. Olivia Kohn tipped the ball just over the Cannon front line to extend the Cavs’ lead to 9–3 before Cannon called their second timeout of the set. A huge block by Grosshandler and Ridley would force the ball to stay on the Cougar side of the net to earn the 15th and final point of the set to send the Cavs to the state final for the first time since 1996!

Upper School Volleyball 2019



Varsity Fall Athletics Awards

A reminder that our Varsity Fall Athletics Awards event will be held Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. in Brumley Performing Arts Building on the Preschool/Lower School campus. We hope to see all of our varsity athletes and their families there to help us celebrate a successful fall season!

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.