Cavs Corner: Season Preview, Part II

Durham Academy Sports Information 
Twitter: @daathletics
Instagram: @dacavsathletics 

This week’s issue of Cavs Corner features season previews for the field hockey and girls golf teams, a look back at this week’s action on DA fields and courts and an athletics leadership team announcement.

We have had an exciting week of sports at home this week, including tonight’s big matchups on the courts vs. Greensboro Day and on the fields vs. Ravenscroft School and Providence Day. We have enjoyed seeing your support of our teams and hope you all can continue to bring school spirit on game day to energize our teams!

Athletics Leadership Team

By Director of Athletics Andy Pogach

It has been exciting to begin my role as director of athletics, and I am pleased to announce several new appointments to the DA athletics leadership team. DA head athletic trainer Meghan Fulton, pre-kindergarten teacher and varsity girls basketball coach Nikki Graves and Enrollment Management administrative assistant Bria Irizarry have joined Assistant Director of Athletics Jon Lantzy as assistant athletic directors for the 2019–2020 school year. Our leadership team represents a combined 33 years of service at Durham Academy, while Irizarry joins DA from Duke University, where she served as an assistant coach for the Duke women’s lacrosse program.

Fulton joined the Durham Academy community in 2017 and now serves as head athletic trainer. In addition, she is an Upper School advisor for the Class of 2022 and a member of the Upper School Wellness Committee. Fulton serves as the Region 4 representative on the N.C. Independent School Athletic Association’s Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, working closely with the NCISAA on student-athletes’ health and safety priorities for member schools. Prior to joining DA, Fulton worked at the University of Richmond and UNC-Chapel Hill as an athletic trainer. She holds a B.S. in athletic training from Northeastern University and an M.A. with a specialization in athletic training from UNC-Chapel Hill. Fulton is a proud DA parent to Oliver, a DA kindergartner,  and three-year-old Everly. Fulton, her husband, Grant, and their family reside in Chapel Hill.

Graves will also serve in a new role this winter as DA’s varsity girls basketball coach after nine years coaching JV girls basketball. She teaches pre-kindergarten at DA and serves as an assistant varsity softball coach. Graves is also the current program director and coach for the Team Felton AAU girls basketball program and mom to DA students McKenzie (grade 7) and Nikolas (grade 10). Prior to joining the DA faculty in 2010, she worked as a unit director for an after-school program at the Raleigh Girls Club and as a youth development director for the Wake Forest Boys & Girls Club. Graves was an award-winning college basketball player at UNC-Charlotte, where she scored 1,183 points in her 1996–1999 career and remains in the school’s top 10 in 3-point shooting, free-throw shooting and assists. She graduated from UNC-Charlotte with a Bachelor of Applied Science with a focus in Health Promotions and Kinesiology. Graves, her husband, Michael, and their children live in Durham.

This fall marks Lantzy’s 12th year at DA, and he has served for 11 years as assistant director of athletics. He is also the DA varsity boys lacrosse coach, a Middle School PE teacher and Middle School boys basketball coach. Lantzy led the boys lacrosse team to state championship appearances in 2011 and 2014 and has earned TISAC championships in each of the last two seasons. Prior to joining DA, he spent five years as an assistant coach at Duke University and was a part of the Blue Devils’ run to the 2005 national championship game. Lantzy also served as the head lacrosse coach at St. Andrews College in Laurinburg  from 1998–2001 and as an assistant lacrosse coach at Canisius College for five seasons. He is a 1991 graduate of Michigan State University, where he was honored as one of 25 players to be named to the all-time Spartan lacrosse team. Lantzy and his wife, Suzanne, live in Durham with their daughter, Katherine, a junior at DA.

Irizarry joined DA this year as an administrative assistant in the Office of Enrollment Management, while also directing sports information efforts for the Cavs. She comes to DA from Duke University, where she served as an assistant women’s lacrosse coach for two years. Before becoming an assistant women’s lacrosse coach at Duke, Irizarry served in women’s lacrosse coaching roles at Army West Point, George Washington University and her alma mater, the University of Richmond. She was a two-time All-Atlantic 10 selection for the Spiders and also earned All-Rookie team honors in 2008. Irizarry graduated from Richmond in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She was also a member of the United States U19 national lacrosse team that captured the gold medal at the 2007 World Championships in Canada. Irizarry lives in Durham with her husband, Danny, and 14-month-old son, Leo.

Season Previews

By Assistant Director of Athletics for Sports Information Bria Irizarry

Field Hockey

Durham Academy field hockey is ready for the 2019 season with strong senior leadership paired with promising young talent. Seniors Hannah Grant, Caroline Sapir and Elizabeth Owens will captain the team, while veteran senior goalkeeper Victoria Lawton will provide critical on-field support from the cage. The Cavaliers hope to avenge their 2018 loss in the state semifinals (in three overtime periods) to eventual state champion Charlotte Latin. Last year, DA went 8–5–1.

Some of the younger players on the team have already made a big impression on the program, including junior Katherine Lantzy, sophomore Emmie Savarino and ninth-grader Emilie Kirschner. Already this season, Lantzy was named to the Cary Academy All-Tournament team, and Savarino scored two goals vs. Providence Day School in the team’s most competitive game yet. Kirschner had three goals in four games at the Cary Academy tournament and notched another earlier this week vs. Cary Christian.

“I would like for the team to like to be together,” said Judy Chandler, who is entering her 27th season as head coach of the team. “I hope that I can find the best combination of athletes to work together on the field, and I also hope that I can bring out the best in each athlete.”

The Cavaliers are now 2–3 on the season and will continue to play a tough schedule with a rematch contest vs. Providence Day on Moylan Field at 4:30 p.m. today, as well as both a home and an away game vs. East Chapel Hill High. Chandler says East will likely be the Cavs’ biggest rival. After today’s game, DA faces Cardinal Gibbons at home on Sept. 4 at 4:15 p.m.

Girls Golf

The girls golf team is heading into the 2019 season with four returners from the team’s 2018 top six, including the two captains, senior Boyce Huckabee and junior Lydia Norman, who have both been on the team since the seventh grade.

“They are tremendous and truly nurturing team leaders,” said head coach Greg Murray, who is in his eighth season at the helm of the program.

The Cavaliers had a solid 2018 campaign, finishing second in the regular season and third in the conference tournament, and placing three members on the All-Conference team.

Two ninth-graders, Ona Lukes and Kayley Kim, will contribute for the Cavaliers. Both come from families steeped in golf heritage. Lukes, who was All-Conference as both a seventh- and eighth-grader, has two older brothers, Dylan ’15 and Quade ’17, who were named All-Conference during their time at DA and a third brother, Ethan, who is now a senior on the DA boys golf team. He was the No. 1 player in the state last year as a junior. Kim has an older sister, Ashley ’17, who competed with DA’s golf program for five years and still holds the school record for lowest score.

Seventh-grader Saia Rampersaud is a newcomer to the DA team but has competed in junior tournaments since elementary school.

“We have the perfect blend of solid, skilled upperclassmen with some extremely talented and gifted younger players,” Murray said. “This will bode well for the season and into the future.”

This fall, DA golf will look to defend its 2018 title at the North Carolina Junior Invitational at Buies Creek, which brings together the top public and private schools in the state. Murray believes competing on this stage will prepare the team for the competition they will see in the state tournament. 

The Cavs kicked off the season on Tuesday with a 127–136 win vs. Wesleyan Academy and will hit the links again on Sept. 4 when they face St. Mary’s School at 3 p.m.

Week in Review

Girls Tennis

The girls tennis team began its defense of the program’s two consecutive state titles on Tuesday night with an 8–1 win over Chapel Hill. The senior doubles teams of Madeline Towning and Alexis Galloway on court one and Taylor Hunter and Isabella Strauss on court three both won in 8–2 victories. Seniors Sarah Clark and Emma Whitehurst lost 8–6 on court two, but DA remained in the lead 2–1. In singles play, Towning, Galloway and senior Alex Bayer all came out on top. Clark, Hunter and sophomore Mukta Dharmapurikar won their matches to help DA sweep the singles with straight-set wins.

The Cavaliers will be back in action today at 4:15 p.m. vs. Greensboro Day.


The volleyball team is off to a strong start in 2019, moving to 3–1 after a resilient win vs. Wesleyan Christian Academy on Tuesday. The Cavs lost the first set 25–21 and went down early in the second set 11–7 before tying the game at 21–21. With the help of senior Adriana Kim on defense, junior Elizabeth Kohn and ninth-grader Olivia Kohn on offense, DA won the second set 25–22. The Cavaliers came out strong in the third set, going up 18–5 with sophomore Gabriella Marchese serving. DA was able to hang on to the lead and won the third set 25–22. During the fourth set, the momentum was with DA, and the Cavs ultimately won 25–13.

DA volleyball returns to Kirby Gym today to face Greensboro Day at 5:15 p.m.

Girls Golf

The girls golf team won its home opener with a 127–136 win over Wesleyan Christian Academy. Ninth-grader Ona Lukes scored a team-best 39, while seventh-grader Saia Rampersaud made her varsity debut with a round of 40. Junior Lydia Norman contributed to the win with a round of 48.

The Cavs will take on Saint Mary’s next Tuesday at 3 p.m.


The Cavaliers cross-country program opened the season in dominating fashion vs. Wake Christian, Cary Christian, Saint Mary’s and Trinity School on Tuesday. The girls team took first place by an overwhelming 40 points ahead of its competitors and placed five runners in the top six finishers. Junior Quinn Shanahan took first place overall, followed by senior Claire Middleton (3), eighth-grader Allison Hall (4), junior Anna Catherine Wilson (5) and sophomore Stella Stringer (6). 

The boys team also took first place overall by more than 40 points and placed all DA runners in the top six. Junior Jay Shanahan came in first overall, followed by senior Mac Hays, sophomore George Linney, ninth-grader Aaron Caveney, senior Shan Wang and junior Kabir Khwaja.

The Cavaliers will host the Durham Academy Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 7.

Field Hockey

The field hockey squad lost a tough game vs. Cary Christian 2–1 on Tuesday. The Cavs trailed much of the game after going down two goals in the first half. Ninth-grader Emilie Kirschner put one on goal with 1:38 left, but the game ended with a loss.

The team returns home today to face Charlotte’s Providence Day at 4:30 p.m.

Boys Soccer

The Cavaliers soccer team lost a back-and-forth match Tuesday vs. Durham School of the Arts. The Cavs went down 1 just four minutes into the game and couldn’t get on the scoreboard until after another DSA goal. Junior Charlie Robb scored a header off a DA corner, and then scored another, only to have DSA answer back just before the half. Coming out of halftime 3–2 in favor of DSA, the Bulldogs scored another 2 goals before junior Henry Leasure put one in the net, assisted by senior Crosby Williams. The Cavaliers lost 6–3 and will be back at home tonight vs. Raleigh rival Ravenscroft at 6 p.m.

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.