Athletics News

Cavs Corner: Varsity teams poised for conference crown runs
Posted 04/06/2017 11:53AM

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

Conference play has started, and our varsity teams are positioning themselves for runs at conference crowns. A number of our teams are ranked in The News & Observer’s area top 25 polls (girls soccer is ranked sixth, boys lacrosse is 11th and girls lacrosse is eighth). All three of those teams, as well as boys track, baseball and tennis are currently in first place in the Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference (TISAC), while golf stands third in the latest N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association (NCISAA). The next few weeks should be exciting on campus, as our teams hope to continue their strong play.

In this week’s Cavs Corner, we recap our varsity teams’ events from the previous week and revisit our popular video series “Middle School Munchkins and Varsity Stars” with interviews of varsity softball senior Maya Watson and boys lacrosse sophomore Shaffer Woody by members of the Middle School’s Durham Academy Sports Network club.



Boys Golf
The DA golf team is currently ranked third in the NCISAA 3A state rankings, behind just Cannon School and TISAC leader Ravenscroft. Senior Allen Smith is ranked eighth individually, while Gus Lascola (27th), Jackson Brimfield (28th) and Ethan Lukes (33rd) are all highly ranked. The squad bounced back from its eight-stroke home loss to Ravenscroft last week with a dominating 143-193 win over Cary Academy at Prestonwood Country Club. In the 50-stroke victory, it was once again Smith leading the way as the medalist with a score of 34. Lukes (36), Brimfield (36) and senior Seth Pruitt (37) were right behind Smith as the individual scorers in the match. Next up for the golf team is Tuesday’s home match vs. North Raleigh Christian Academy.

Track & Field
The boys track team remains unbeaten after putting together a dominating 105-34 win over North Raleigh Christian on Thursday. The Cavs won 13 events in the meet, led by victories in the long jump and 4x100 relay by senior Ben Womble and wins in the 100m and 4x100 relay by senior Bailey Horgan. Other double winners were junior Wilson Hansen (200m and 4x100 relay), senior Hunter Knoll (4x200 and 4x400 relays), senior Sonio Kum (triple jump and 4x400 relay) and sophomore Neil Mosca (1600m, 3200m). Single event winners in the meet were junior Josh Klein (400m), junior Ethan Goldman (800m), senior Victor Harpe (110m hurdles), senior Cameron Eck (shot put) and senior Erik O’Luanaigh (discus). 

In the girls meet, NRCA took a 95.5-40.5 win over the Cavs. Event winners for DA were junior Virginia Capehart (400m), junior Serafina Turner (800m), senior Katie Concannon (1600m) and sophomore Anneke Dekker (3200m), as well as a 4x400 relay team comprising Capehart, Turner, junior Cami Simpson and junior Callie Pierce.

A few Cavaliers have set top-five state marks this season. Freshman Mark Alkins, senior Nijel Hunt, senior Matt Tucker and junior Josh Klein have the fastest 4x400 time in the state this year. O’Luanaigh has the longest discus throw in the state this year and the third-longest shot put throw. Womble has the third-best long jump distance and third-highest pole vault result in the state this year. Goldman has the third-fastest 1600m time this season. On the girls side, Capehart has the eighth-fastest 200m time in the state, while junior Leah Granger has the third-highest pole vault result. Both boys and girls track teams will be back in action this afternoon at home vs. Ravenscroft and Wake Christian.

The varsity softball team is 1-5 following an 11-0 defeat at the hands of Cary Academy on Tuesday afternoon at home. The Cavaliers were in the game until a sixth-inning grand slam by the Chargers. Freshman Emily Donaldson is leading the team in batting average (.571), on base percentage (.786) and slugging (.571), while junior Nicole Riepl is the team’s leader in runs batted in with seven. Donaldson and senior Nikki Innocencio are second on the team in that category with five each. Riepl has a team-high six hits and two doubles. On the defensive side of the ball, freshman catcher Cristina Pastor-Valverde leads the Cavs with 27 putouts, while senior first baseman Maya Watson is second with 24. Watson has a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage on 24 chances and has helped to turn two double plays. The girls are back in action with two games at the end of this week. The Cavs host St. David’s at 4:30 p.m. today and will host Wake Christian Academy on Friday.

The baseball team improved to 6-5 and 1-0 in TISAC play with Tuesday’s 6-5 come-from-behind win over Ravenscroft. Five of the last six games have come down to the final player at bat, and the Cavs are getting used to playing in tight ballgames. In the two games over the previous week, DA both won and lost a game on a suicide squeeze play in the bottom of the final inning.  In Thursday’s loss at Greensboro Day, the Cavs rallied with two two-out runs in the top of the seventh to tie the Bengals. DA took the lead on the top of the eighth only to see the Bengals score twice in the bottom of the eighth, including a walk-off squeeze. In Tuesday’s win over the Ravens, the Cavs once again rallied as they scored three sixth-inning runs to take a 5-4 lead.  Ravenscroft tied the game on a sacrifice fly in the seventh, setting the stage for a big DA finish.  Junior catcher Ian Layzer walked to lead off the seventh and advanced to third on a steal and an error. One out later, Layzer scored the winning run on a Ted Middleton squeeze bunt giving the Cavs the conference victory.  (Thank you to John Middleton and Greg Brown for their videos of the final play)

Cameron Brown once again pitched a strong game; he is now 2-1 with a 4.24 ERA and 20 strikeouts to lead the team. A win today at Ravenscroft would give DA two wins over the previously unbeaten Ravens in league play and put the Cavs in first place heading into next week’s showdown with Cary Academy. The Cavaliers’ pitching continues to get the job done as junior Matt Willis (3-0, 4.15 ERA, 16Ks) joins Brown at the top of the DA pitching leaders. Layzer has not allowed an earned run in his 11 innings of work on the mound. On the offensive end, sophomore Michael Jaffe leads the team with a .474 average and has also hit the team’s only home run, a towering left-centerfield blast in Tuesday’s win. Senior Aidan Therien (.375) and junior Benson Easley (.344) are the other two Cavs hitting over .300 with more than 10 at bats. Middleton is the team’s RBI leader with eight, none bigger than his walk-off bunt on Tuesday.

Boys Lacrosse
The boys lacrosse team bounced back on Tuesday with an 18-4 win over Forsyth Country Day School. The Cavaliers were led by sophomore Shaffer Woody’s five goals, while senior Houston Holland and juniors Tyler Carpenter and Drew Hantzmon each scored three goals. Other goal scorers were sophomore Dan Clifford (two), junior Finn Moylan (one) and senior Parker Lewis (one). Senior netminder Neil Sudan had seven saves. Forsyth Country Day was the fourth DA opponent this year that won a state championship last season, as the Furies were the NCISAA division II champion. They join Ravenscroft (NCISAA D1), Cardinal Gibbons (NCHSAA 4A) and McDonogh (Maryland Independent) as state champs on the Cavs’ schedule.  The win comes on the heels of a tough 12-9 loss Friday at Charlotte Latin. The Cavs trailed from the start, and every time they cut the Hawks deficit to under three goals, Latin answered. Holland led the Cavs with three goals, while Hantzmon, Carpenter and Woody each scored twice. On Friday, DA heads back to Charlotte for a 4:30 p.m. battle vs. Charlotte Country Day. 

Girls Lacrosse
The DA girls return to action tomorrow when they travel to Raleigh to battle Ravenscroft at 4:30 p.m. Coach Debbie Rebosa’s team is 6-2 and is the winner of five straight games. In last week’s 22-5 win over Greensboro Day, the Cavs jumped out to a 10-goal halftime lead and cruised to the 17-goal win. Having played the last few games without injured senior Hannah Pope, sophomore Anna West has really stepped up in her absence. West scored eight times vs. the Bengals to add to her team-leading 35 goals on the year. Freshman Charlotte Easley matched her eight goals, while senior Madi Dunk had one goal and six assists. Sophomore Haley Leversedge also tallied three goals on the day while freshman Caroline Sapir had two goals and an assist. Senior Isabel Gutierrez had seven saves on 12 shots — her second straight game with a save percentage over .500. West’s 35 goals currently place her 23rd in the state, according to the website, while Dunk’s 27 assists are fourth in the state. After today’s game at Ravenscroft, the Cavs step out of TISAC play for Friday’s 5:30 p.m. matchup with 5-2 Charlotte Latin.

Girls Soccer
The DA soccer team passed a huge test on Tuesday, battling back from a 1-0 halftime deficit to defeat Cary Academy 4-1. The Chargers — last year’s TISAC champs and NCISAA 3A state finalists — outscored the Cavs 15-4 in three wins last season, including defeating DA 3-0 in the state semifinals. The win cements the Cavs at the top of the league standings at 4-0 and 6-0 overall. After the Chargers took a 1-0 lead to the half, DA exploded for three goals early in the second half. Junior Kendall Bushick scored the first of her two goals to tie the game and then DA took the lead on freshman Peyton Goldthwaite’s tally. Bushick scored again before a late goal by junior Erin Dilweg (assisted by senior Jaya Perentis) gave DA the three-goal win. The Cavaliers’ offense was in high gear last Thursday as they took down Greensboro Day 7-0.  Bushick recorded the hat trick, while Goldthwaite tallied twice. Dilweg and Austen Dellinger each scored a goal, while Perentis added two assists. The Cavs have now outscored their opponents 31-4 during their six-game win streak to start the season. The girls are back on the field Friday with a 4:30 p.m. matchup vs. Wake Christian on Moylan Field.

Boys Tennis
The tennis team is now 10-2 after completing a gauntlet of four matches over a six-day stretch.  The Cavs went 2-1 with one match not being completed due to weather, all against state tournament level teams. Last week, DA battled a much-improved Greensboro Day team to a 7-2 win. The DA doubles continue to be very strong with a sweep of the Bengals. The Cavs also received singles wins from junior James Shaheen on court 1, junior Priyan de Silva on court 2, junior Alexander Brandt on court 4 and sophomore Pierce Jenkins on court 6. Jenkins rallied for a 3-6, 7-5, 10-8 victory, which put the Cavs up 4-2 heading to doubles play. On Friday, the Cavs competed against state championship contender Charlotte Country Day. DA could only manage a first doubles win by Shaheen and de Silva and a second singles win by de Silva and trailed 4-2 with three singles matches left on court. With the Bucs closing in on wins on court 1 and 3, rain came in and halted the match.

The Cavs returned to the court just 18 hours later to tangle with Providence Day, another team poised to make a run at a state title. DA was shorthanded without three regular starters and dropped a 6-3 decision to the Chargers. The highlight of the match was a 9-7 win at third doubles by Jenkins and sophomore Dylan Jones. The third doubles duo trailed 5-7 and love-40 before saving three match points and roaring back for the final four games. Despite a 2-1 lead after doubles, DA could only manage a Shaheen win at first singles as most Cavs were playing two positions higher in the lineup than their normal spot. On Tuesday, DA got the best of three-time defending state champs Cary Academy 9-0.  The Chargers, featuring a revamped lineup with most of their state championship roster departed due to graduation, could not keep up with the Cavs. Shaheen improved to 11-1 at first singles as he won a tight 7-6, 2-6, 11-9 match. The top three players — Shaheen (21-1 combined singles and doubles), de Silva (21-0) and junior Kenan Ulku-Steiner (11-1) — are on pace for record seasons in the hope to lead the Cavs deep into the playoffs. DA will finish the week with a home match today against Wake Christian Academy and a Friday road matchup at Cardinal Gibbons.



We hope you enjoy this week’s edition of “Middle School Munchkins and Varsity Stars,” in which members of the Middle School’s Durham Academy Sports Network club interview varsity athletes.  Special thanks to Maya Watson and Shaffer Woody for their participation!



We hope you can join us for Durham Academy’s annual Spring Fling, set for Friday, April 28, on the Upper School fields. Please support our boys tennis, girls soccer, softball and girls lacrosse teams, which will all have home games. There will be burgers, hot dogs and other food for sale, and Kona Ice will be on hand to sell cool treats. Fans are encouraged to wear DA gear to show their Cavalier spirit.


As always, thank you for your support of Durham Academy Athletics!



As always, you can keep up with the Cavs on Durham Academy’s website and the DA App: 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 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.
An independent, coeducational day school, pre-kindergarten through grade 12.
email page print page small type large type
powered by finalsite