Wednesday, January 25, 2012

After the Whistle - Jan. 23-24

By Amanda Ottaway

January 23
Chatt day! After a bitter home loss (our first this year in Belk Arena) to Samford on Saturday afternoon, we did the one-day-turnaround thing again to face then-first-place Chattanooga, tops in the SoCon standings, Monday night. The day we lost to Samford, Chatt lost to App (Appalachian State) – so on Monday, both the Wildcats and the Mocs were tired and itchy for a win. The game was anything but pretty. They’d scouted the heck out of us – they really keyed in on our two top scorers, Laura (Murray, sophomore guard) and Soph(ia Aleksandravicius, junior forward), and played some great defense on them. Being the steady, complete players that they are, though, both Laura and Soph contributed in ways that don’t always show up on the stat sheet – Laura flew through passing lanes like a butterfly dodging semi-trucks on I-77, and got her hands on plenty of passes. With her height and wingspan, Soph was a huge presence underneath, blocking and altering Chatt shot after Chatt shot. Kat (Chiemeka) crashed the offensive glass like the ball was a slice of vegetarian pizza, and eventually hit the foul shot that sealed the win with thirteen seconds left. (Excuse the excessive metaphor use.) Peaches (Sarah Davis, junior forward) added a lot to our on-court dynamic too. It was the first game in awhile in which she’s seen significant minutes – she’s rehabbing a foot injury, and hasn’t been able to practice much lately – but it was great to have her back! She’s such a reliable player. Oh, and in case you were wondering, we call her Peaches because 1) in her words, she “just really likes peaches”, and 2) she bruises super easily. Jazz (Jasmine Calin, junior guard/forward/one of those identity-confused swing player positions) bestowed the nickname upon her initially, but we all picked it up and have become quite fond of it. (But you’ll have to ask Peaches how SHE feels about her new name!)

Anyways, back to the game. Yeah, that important one. The first half was not our best work, offensively speaking – we only shot 29% from the floor. But we played good defense and were only down two at halftime, 27-25. Then our home court advantage kicked in. Laura, Barb, and Kat all hit some big buckets and, with some good hustle and some crowd and bench encouragement, we pulled out a 56-52 win! We especially loved the support of the practice team. It’s made up of a group of super-great guys who pretty much come to every practice, dutifully play with a girls’ ball, and provide us with bigger, stronger, and faster competition than we can physically give each other. They are so good-natured, especially on scout days, where they work with the scout coach to learn the other team’s plays and run them against our defensive sets. (The best part is when they wear the other team’s jersey numbers and pretend to be specific girls on opposing teams, and they don’t complain when we call them by the opponents’ first names!) They come to all our games too, and yesterday they all sat together at halfcourt and brought umbrellas, which they whipped out and popped up every time one of us made a long shot. It was the cutest thing EVER!!!! (Hint: keep up the good work, guys!)

January 24
Today is a crucial day for the Davidson women’s basketball team. Today is an off day.

We generally get off days once a week – no practice, no lifting, no mandatory gym time – and as much as we love our sport, they’re SUPER important. These are days when we sleep in, occasionally don clothes other than sweatpants (also known as: “real clothes”), get minor medical treatment on various body parts (explanation coming soon in: “A Day In The Training Room,” a future post), get our homework done (or at least pretend to make a somewhat concerted effort to do so), and hang out with friends. Our bodies and minds need the break. We return from off day refreshed and already missing basketball, and ready to go back at it. Let’s find out what DCWBB does on their off days…

Here’s what Mason (Jeffries, freshman guard) did on her off day: Woke up at 7:35 to get ready for 8:15 class: “because,” Mason says, “despite stereotypes – (presumably those that imply that female student-athletes never wear ‘real clothes’) – “I love to look good in class.” Did some homework. Went to lunch with Laura. 12:15 class. Drove home to Charlotte to watch The Bachelor with her mother.

Here’s what Shneeka (Center, sophomore guard) did today: Got up at 11. Took an hour to get ready. Went to the Union. Played Scramble with friends (including Seth, one of our practice players). Lost “against everyone.” Sat in dorm lounge and “read.” Dinner. Friend time. Roommate time (she lives with Laura). Bedtime.

Jazz’s day: Woke up at 8am. Ate breakfast. Showered. Got dressed in real clothes. 9:40 class. 11:00 meeting with a Campus Outreach advisor about summer plans. Worked in Career Services office 11:30-2:30. Worked out with Coach Rowan (our strength and conditioning coach) at 3 (good for you, Jazz, getting in a workout on an off day!). Ice bath with Lil(lian McCabe, freshman guard). Lil’s first experience in the cold tub. (49.6 degrees F, submerged to the waist, 10-15 minutes. More details in the Training Room episode.) Dinner. Dessert at Red Mango with a friend.

The Tuesday of Hannah (Early, freshman guard): Class. Watched Gilmore Girls. Did homework. Went to watch a high school basketball game at Hopewell, where she graduated last year.

Peaches’ Busy Day: Class. Clorox-cleaned her dorm room. Did laundry. Opened birthday presents from her family (she turns 21 tomorrow!). Homework. Target. Dinner. Homework. Shower. Bedtime.

Okay, I’ve gotta run – (not literally, of course, not on off day). We’ve got a busy week of practice getting ready for the Furman game, so there’s lots to do. Stay tuned for more fun with the ‘Cats!!

Peace, big wins, and off days,


Tuesday, January 24, 2012


DCFH Team members "Side-Planking" during one of our team lifting sessions.
By Sarah Fisher

Hello Readers!

Whether you are stumbling across this blog entry because of a mishap with technology or you are one of Davidson field hockey's dedicated fans, I hope you are able to enjoy some part of what I will be sharing with you. My name is Sarah Fisher (Fish) and I am a junior goalkeeper here at Davidson. My goal for the next several months will be to keep you all updated on the happenings of DCFH. While we are not currently in our “game season,” we are hard at work preparing for fall 2012.

As the title of this entry might suggest, DCFH is currently in the offseason, except as any Division I athlete (or Nike t-shirt) would tell you, there is no offseason. Once our 2011 season came to an end in California last fall, a week later we were back to business, this time without the company of our eight wonderful seniors. We spent roughly a month off the turf, sticking to weight training and individual workouts. Once we departed Davidson for winter break, our spring season began. We were each given our favorite annual Christmas gift of a conditioning packet to ensure that we would maintain our rockin’ athletic physiques and be prepared for spring season.

Monday, January 23, 2012, 37 days prior to the first day of spring, DCFH officially began its spring season. As any present or past player will tell you, the first day of spring practice might be the most mentally tough practice of the year. It has become somewhat of a DCFH tradition to begin spring with a four mile outdoor run beginning and ending at Baker Sports Complex. A chilly 50 degrees and a nice misting (it can’t be described as rain) met the mighty 12 DCFHers. Yes, that is correct; there are only 12 of us. Our eight seniors are enjoying all the benefits of second semester senior year and three of our juniors are enjoying foreign lands. Annie Evans is headed to Mendoza, Argentina, Maddie Parrish is in Geneva, Switzerland and Brit Donaldson is in Costa Rica. With 12 total players, 10 field players and two goalkeepers, this spring will render the most individual attention a Division I athlete could ask for.

The eight DCFH seniors who left a wonderful legacy and continue to be with us in spirit during every run, practice and meeting.
We won’t be hitting the turf as a team until mid-February but for now we are staying busy with daily conditioning practices that include long runs, agilities, spinning, sprints, and boot camp runs. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we are in the weight room increasing our strength and explosiveness. Next week, individual practice sessions begin (I’ll spend a future entry highlighting the happenings of individuals).

Spring is a time of growth and renewal and for DCFH it is a vital part of our success during the regular season. This spring, each member of our team set three goals for the season. We each had to come up with a personal, field hockey related goal (low tackles, deceptive sweeps, and receptions to name a few), a team field hockey related goal (executing corners, finishing, and communication), and a personal, non-field hockey related goal (deciding on major, creating a sleep schedule, joining a new club). Throughout the spring, we will each have these goals in mind to motivate us to improve. Spring is not about winning, it is about improving both individually and as a team. We have the opportunity to make mistakes, ask questions, and enjoy our time together.

I think that’s all for now, there is much more to come. I hope you are able to join me for the fantastic adventure that is DCFH.

Until next time (goodbyes are the worst),

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Davidson Women's Basketball Diary

By Amanda Ottaway

Hey Wildcat fans and family, fellow Davidson people, & all you random folk piddling around online and stumbling across our website! I’m pleased to make your virtual acquaintance. My name is Amanda Ottaway, and I’m a senior forward on the women’s basketball team at Davidson. My teammates and coaches call me Otto. (Check the last name.) I’m an English major with a phobia of ketchup and a love of the Beatles. I possess the uncanny abilities to trip over anything and get sunburned in two minutes through a car window. I’ll be blogging about our experiences in 2012 through the end of the season!

Like most other teams at Davidson, we compete in the Southern Conference. In the men’s game, the SoCon is split up into a North and a South division. But ours is just one big group – eleven teams from the Carolinas to Georgia to Tennessee to Alabama – and we play every team twice, giving us twenty conference games. (Hint: that’s a LOT of basketball. Just the way we like it.)

Friday, January 13
Today we hosted Western Carolina in Belk Arena. We’d beaten them 64-46 at their gym in Cullowhee in December, but they’d improved a lot since the last time we played, and Friday’s game was a catfight, excuse the bad pun. We pulled out the win, 58-45, but it was a (literally) bloody battle – one of those intense, heady games where everybody’s diving on the floor and out of bounds, hard-fouling each other and shoving a little extra. Things got pretty heated. It was a blast! We had more fans than I can remember ever having in our gym because it was Education Day. A thousand students from local elementary and middle schools took the time out of their school days and came to Baker Sports Complex for a morning of basketball-themed lessons. Before the game, they did math with our season statistics and geography with our hometowns. Kat (Chiemeka, junior guard) won the furthest-away-from-home award – she’s from France! Hannah (Early, freshman guard) is the closest (she lives in Huntersville).

Saturday, January 14
Tomorrow we play at Appalachian State, the top team in the conference. It’s a quick turnaround for what will definitely be a tough game, so last night our coaches split us into three groups and had us watch film of each time we played App last year. This morning, we came in for another film session at 11 AM before practice, this time with the whole team and all our coaches. Coach J (Jamie Thomatis) was the scout coach for this game, and she put together clips of their half-court offensive sets and of each of their key players. App is the best defensive team in the conference, so we also watched a lot of their defensive schemes. They run every kind of defense you can think of – most dangerous is their 1-2-1-1 full-court trap. They’re super athletic and they’re all workhorses, and they love to press and run the floor, so that’s mostly what we’ll have to watch out for – we need to limit our turnovers and move the ball quickly.

So right now we’re on the bus to Boone. It’s about a two-hour drive, and it’s a beautiful one – over and around the Appalachian mountains. The movie Just Go With It (Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, so far unoriginal but mildly amusing) is playing on the TVs. A couple people are sleeping, some are listening to music, others are talking on the phone. The coaches, Brian Wheeler (our athletic trainer) and Gavin McFarlin (Assistant Sports Information Director) and the coaches all sit way in front. The rest of us have “unofficially official” assigned seating – and yes, the upperclassmen do get first choice! Taylor, Coach J’s nine-year-old daughter, is sitting back here with Sarah (Davis) and me, cuddling a stuffed husky named Digo who apparently loves graham crackers, a quality for which she has re-christened him “Grammy.” Last time we all had a bus trip together, on the way to Furman, Taylor came back here and we played all the hand games we could remember from our elementary-school days: “Down by the Banks of the Hanky-Panky,” “Miss Mary Mack,” etc., and even stumbled through some new ones when Tay caught us up on what the kids are playing these days.

Well – I’m more intrigued by this movie than I expected to be. So I must go; Adam Sandler and his nose are calling. We’ll spend the night in a hotel down the street from the arena, get a 7:40 AM wake-up call for shoot-around, and then come back and eat pregame meal here in the hotel restaurant. Then it’s GAME TIME!!

Wednesday, January 18
I’m writing post-App-game to proudly report that we won by 3, 55-52! The first half was pretty ugly, from an offensive standpoint. We shot 19% from the floor, and ten minutes into the game, we only had four points! Fortunately, our defense has been improving every game. We knew we had to stop Anna and Courtney Freeman (not sisters!), who are each averaging about 20 points per game against SoCon competition. We got Anna Freeman in foul trouble early, which was a huge plus because she had to sit most of the first half. We managed to contain Courtney as well thanks to some great perimeter D by our guards. The second half was one of the most intense we’ve had this season, as both teams started shooting a little better and the score seesawed back and forth for awhile. Finally, we took a five-point lead with four minutes to go. They eventually cut it to one, but KJ (Kristen Johnsen, senior forward) sealed the win with both ends of a one-and-one with 17 seconds left, and B (Barbara Sitton, junior point guard) played some fantastic deny-the-inbounds-pass defense, so App couldn’t get a decent shot off.

This week we’re working solely on preparations for Saturday’s 2 pm home game against Samford. Then we’ll have Sunday to get ready for Chattanooga – one thing about this conference is that you’ve gotta get used to quick turnarounds! But I have to get to bed now. Little-known fact: sleeping regularly is highly recommended for student-athletes. More updates coming soon! Keep following this blog and your favorite Davidson Wildcat women’s basketball team! Go ‘Cats!!

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