News Post

Cavs Corner: Spring Sports Preview, Part III
Cavs Corner: Spring Sports Preview, Part III

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

Big efforts this week from girls lacrosse and baseball have them on winning streaks, while both track and field teams have taken victories in their two meets. This week’s Cavs Corner features our final spring sports season preview, while also recapping the contests of all nine of our varsity teams.

Spring Preview: Softball

While the results on the scoreboard have not gone the way of new coach Jody Robinson and his softball team, with a group of six returners and five inexperienced players, the results Robinson is looking for will happen each day at practice. The 0–3 Cavs are back at it this afternoon at Falls Lake Academy in Creedmoor, looking to improve upon a 19–0 loss to the Firebirds just a few weeks ago. In Friday’s 12–1 loss to Wesleyan Christian, senior Ellie McGhee accounted for the Cavs’ first run of the season and gave DA a better result against the Trojans than their opening-day shutout loss.

McGhee, along with juniors Emily Donaldson and Cristina Pastor-Valverde, will be the trio that leads this year’s group that Robinson says has “bought in 100 percent to my coaching.” Robinson hopes that his team will not only “compete against our opponents at each and every game but compete against ourselves to be better than what we were at our last practice and game.” With teams like Wesleyan, Falls Lake and Wake Christian Academy, the girls will face a gauntlet of strong softball powers. Robinson points to the two Ravenscroft games as contest that should be more even on the scoreboard.

Spring Preview: Track and Field

Seventy-Nine. That is the number of student-athletes participating on the varsity track team this spring. Under the guidance of head coach Costen Irons, the boys and girls will look to “get better every day as athletes and people,” Irons said. “We are trying to build a culture where everyone’s effort positively impacts each other.”

We will start with the girls team, one that Irons feels will compete for a conference title. Captains Bella Kim and Anneke Dekker will lead the way for a team that has six members of the state championship cross-country team combined with a good mix of sprinters, hurdlers and field event participants. Dekker, one of those cross-country team members, was fifth in both the 1600m and 3200m races in last week’s meet at Cary Academy. In that meet, the Cavs edged out the host Chargers while also defeating Raleigh Charter and Saint Mary’s. Junior Claire Middleton, another long-distance runner, took first in the 3200m race. Junior Camille Capehart won the 400m race and came in second in the 200, while sophomore Lucy Steiner placed second in the 400m and third in the 200m races. Irons is excited about the performances of these two girls in the sprint races, as well as with newcomer ninth-grader Lee Jeffries, who won the 100m in the team’s first meet. Senior Mongina Omundi won the discus last week and placed second in the shot put. She will provide points in the throwing events for the Cavs, while sophomore Helen Hulka, winner of the 100m hurdles last week, and senior Katie Cunneen will lead what Irons calls an “army of hurdlers.”

Much like the girls team, Irons says the boys team has “a great group and great senior leadership.” Senior captains Donovan Herndon and Neil Mosca will lead the way for the boys. Herndon will help the team in the sprint and sprint relay events, while Mosca, who will run at Emory next year, will compete in the distance events. Mosca and Herndon both agree that Cary Academy will be one of the biggest tests for their team. In last week’s tri-meet, the Cavs, with 98 points, defeated both the host Chargers (67) and Raleigh Charter (6). Herndon won the 100m and was part of the winning 4x100 relay, while Mosca took first in the 800m and was part of the winning 4x400 relay team. Junior Mark Alkins will be one to watch this spring as his 1:54 in the 800m this winter was the 10th-fastest time in the country this year. Alkins took first in the 400m race last week in Cary. Senior Nick Epstein, who will run at Furman next year, is another Cav who will help in the distance events. Epstein won the 1600m event while teaming with senior Jack Anderson, junior Sebastian Lascola and sophomore Taffy Fernando to win the 4x400 relay. Irons also mentions seniors Bryant Randleman and Jack Knoll (long jump winner last week), who will earn points in the jumps; sophomore Justin Florence who will lead the way in the throwing events; and senior Jack Petrucci (110m hurdles winner last week) and sophomore Ryan Norris (300m hurdles winner last week) as the top hurdlers on the team. Irons believe this team will be very competitive this year. Judging from the winning results of the first two meets, they’re off to a great start.


The golf team dropped its first match of the year as they went down in a tight 322–312 contest to Ravenscroft at the Wildwood Green Golf Club in Raleigh. Junior Ethan Lukes shot a 18-hole score of 71 to earn co-medalist honors. Next up will be Wednesday’s matchup with Trinity School of Durham at Hope Valley Country Club.


The baseball team has won three straight games following Tuesday’s 14–4 five-inning win over North Raleigh Christian in their Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference opener. Eighth-grader Sam Schaeffer continues to be red-hot at the plate; he went 2–3 with two doubles, three runs and 5 RBIs. Schaeffer’s two-run double put the Cavs on the board in the third, and then his two-out bases-clearing double in the fourth gave DA the lead. The Cavs scored seven times in the fourth, all with two outs, and then tacked on four runs in the fifth to end the game due to a 10-run mercy rule. Ninth-graders Ethan Goldstein and Zeph Hollenbeck, along with sophomore Scott West, each had 2 RBIs. Goldstein had a huge game-tying single with two outs in the fourth right before Schaeffer’s heroics. The win comes off a thrilling 7–6 walk-off victory over the Raleigh Hawks last Friday. Ninth-grader Jackson Niedel was 3–3 with 3 RBIs including a two-run double that tied the game in the seventh. Goldstein then walked to bring in the winning run. Senior Michael Jaffe pitched five innings, giving up three earned runs and striking out three. Coach Tyrone Gould’s squad will be at North Raleigh Christian today and at Greensboro Day on Friday before next week’s two-game series with Ravenscroft.

Boys Tennis

Boys tennis finally was back in action yesterday after over two weeks off. The Cavs battled state championship contender Greensboro Day for the second time this year, and much like their meeting on March 2, the Bengals proved to be the stronger team. The DA doubles battled the Bengals as the second doubles team of senior Dylan Jones and sophomore Jackson Zobrist took an 8–4 win. On court 1, senior Sheridan Kum and sophomore Joey Shaheen were neck-and-neck with the Bengals’ top pair, including having 3 points for 5–5. However, the Bengals’ duo saved those 3 points and surged ahead, winning 8–4. Sophomore Frank Borden and eighth-grader Pete Crowley played well on court three before losing 8–3. Crowley remained unbeaten in singles play with his 6–1, 6–3 win on court four, and Jones took a thrilling 7–6, 3–6, 11–9 win on court six. Next up will be weekend home matches vs. Charlotte foes Latin and Providence Day.

Girls Lacrosse

Girls lacrosse won a pair of games in the past week to improve to 4–1 on the season. In Wednesday’s 19–5 road win over Greensboro Day, the Cavs were led by junior Caroline Sapir’s five goals and four assists, as well as senior Anna West’s four goals and three assists. Junior Charlotte Easley (three goals and two assists) and sophomore Kathleen Donovan (two goals and two assists) also contributed on the offensive end, while junior Ella Virkler and ninth-grader Mirella Kades combined for the win in goal. The Cavs held Saint Mary’s scoreless in the first half in last Thursday’s 14–5 home win over the Saints. Ninth-grader Brooke Epstein led the Cavs with three goals and four assists, while West added three goals and three assists. Virkler and Kades combined for nine saves in goal. The girls are off until their April 4 matchup at Charlotte Country Day.

Girls Soccer

Girls soccer fell for the first time this season as Greensboro Day came to Moylan Field and left with a 2–1 win over the Cavs. Junior Lauren Grosshandler scored the Cavs’ only goal as she gave DA a 1–0 lead with a score in the 30th minute. The Bengals scored their two goals right after halftime and held on for the win. The Cavs will be at Charlotte Latin on Friday before hosting Cary Academy on Tuesday afternoon.

Boys Lacrosse

The boys lacrosse team is still looking for its first win after a pair of defeats in the past week. Last Friday, the Cavs fell 17–8 to defending state champs Christ School in a game played at Guilford College. On Wednesday, DA could not rally in a tight 16–15 loss at Greensboro Day. In the loss to the Greenies, ninth-grader Austin Corbett had three goals, while seniors Shaffer Woody and Spencer Sapir had two goals apiece. Sophomore John Donovan registered eight saves in goal for the Cavs. In Wednesday’s loss to the Bengals, the Cavs trailed 7–5 after one and 12–8 at the half. DA was able to tie the game in the fourth, but could not surge ahead. Woody had five goals and four assists, while fellow seniors Dan Clifford (four goals) and Spencer Sapir (two goals and three assists) led the way. Donovan once again had eight saves in net. It will not get any easier for the Cavs as they head to Charlotte Latin on Friday before traveling to Ravenscroft on Wednesday.

Thank you for your continued support of DA athletics. Please make sure to follow
@DAathletics on Twitter for live updates of all of our varsity events.

Keeping up with the Cavs

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

  • 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.
  • For a recap of athletics results and scores, visit
  • 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.