Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Great Day to Be a Wildcat

By Amanda Ottaway

February 27

Well, in case you haven’t heard, today was a great day to be a Wildcat.

It was an incredible weekend for Wildcat basketball, actually – the men clinched the regular-season title with their win at Georgia Southern on Saturday. Congratulations, boys – here’s carrying the momentum to the weekend in Asheville! Go ‘Cats!!

The women lost a tough one at Chattanooga Saturday, but we recuperated and drove to Birmingham Sunday morning to prepare for tonight’s game at Samford, who beat us in Belk Arena in January. It was a low-scoring first half tonight – the score was 19-19 at the break. I’m frankly surprised all the fans didn’t leave for the lack of offensive displays! But, Samford is an insanely well-disciplined team with solid sets and fundamental defensive skills. Fittingly, then, the game eventually came down to a grinding battle of the defenses, which is good because that’s what we’d been focusing on in practice and shoot-around. We hit some huge buckets and managed to keep them at 22% shooting in the second half.

Chattanooga and Appalachian State, the other two teams in the top four, played each other tonight. Because we were on Alabama Central Time, the Chatt-App game (Eastern Time) ended before ours did. We knew all of the following going in: that if we beat Samford tonight, AND Chatt beat App, we’d win the regular season title because we beat App twice. But if App won, they’d be regular-season champs, regardless of whether or not we beat Samford. And if we let Samford beat us, we definitely wouldn’t get the title. (Hopefully you could follow that.) So both matchups were crucial games. We didn’t know the score of Chatt-App while our game was going on. At least, us players didn’t know. But with about ten seconds to go in our game, we had things in hand and Coach Kira (Mowen) turned to the bench and said, “We won!” We knew right away what that meant, and just went absolutely nuts. Turned out Chatt had beaten App. St., which put us in first place! (Some say we’re co-champions with App. Just to be diplomatic, I’ll put that in here, but as far as we’re concerned, we beat them head-to-head.)

This is the first time in school history that the Davidson women’s basketball team has won a regular-season championship. So naturally, we are some happy campers right now. We’re gonna hang a banner!!!!! Now I’m writing from the bus (what else is new?). We’ve got a long drive home and should arrive back on campus somewhere in the area of 6 A.M. – any of you readers own a private jet, for future trips, by any chance? But boy, is this the sweetest bus ride we’ve ever taken! In true social-media-generation fashion, we promptly held a postgame Facebook battle. After launching confetti all over the locker room (and spending half an hour cleaning it up), we loaded up the bus and proceeded to update all our Facebook and Twitter statuses. (Is there such a thing as a Twitter status?) We were competing to see who could get the most “likes.” You’ll have to check out the winner for yourself. :)

Tomorrow is an off day. We’re leaving for Asheville for the Southern Conference Tournament on Thursday evening after practice. We have a bye during the Friday tournament games, but we’ll be there to watch (we play the winner of Wofford vs. College of Charleston), plus it’ll be good to get a quick practice in on the court. This regular-season championship is only our first. We have a tough road ahead this weekend, but we’re confident and so excited! For now, it’s bedtime – we’ve got class tomorrow. Yikes. Gotta get some sleep. I’m about to put my computer away and squeeze onto the floor with my pillow. But you know what, we can’t even complain. Life’s pretty good right now.

Peace, love, and championship #1,

Friday, February 24, 2012

Senior Night and Hitting the Road

By Amanda Ottawa

February 20, 2012

Just wanted to thank everyone who came out on Saturday for our game against Appalachian State. It was the most fun I’ve had playing in Belk Arena probably in my whole career. The men had a great atmosphere for their game vs. #24 Wichita State, and more fans than we expected stuck around for our half of the doubleheader. It was a competitive game in front of an awesome crowd, and with the win, we moved into first place in the Southern Conference!

Tonight was Senior Night. We played Wofford, which beat us in January, so we were eager for revenge. The fire worked in our favor as we pulled out the win, 63-39. Before the game, our freshmen decorated the locker room for KJ (Kristen Johnsen) and me, and I’m convinced that they should all go into careers in interior design. It looked SO good! They got tons of red balloons, black and white streamers, and made us posters. After all that, how could we not play well? Postgame, we had a little reception in the Hall of Fame room for our families, friends, and loyal fans from The Pines retirement community. President Quillen, Jim Murphy, and Katy McNay were there, and so was almost everyone who has taken care of us these four years. There was also cake. Lots and lots of cake – my roommates and I have been eating it all week…

Neither KJ nor I did very much crying that night. Okay, okay – KJ didn’t cry at all. (I may or may not have burst into tears when my teammates gave me their present, pictures in a frame with the “I Will Always Love You” lyrics printed on top.) Both of us feel the same way – mostly, it simply hasn’t hit us yet that this was our last game in Belk Arena. We’ve been playing there for so long; why should we expect it to end now? “It’s very surreal,” says KJ. “I can’t believe I’m a senior!” Also, we both figure that our season is far from over at this point. We want to go deep into postseason play; KJ says she thinks we’ll be playing for a long time. “I’m excited to see where that takes us.”

All in all, it was a very special night. Thank you to everyone who made it so wonderful! We’re traveling this weekend, so we’ll spend the week preparing for Chattanooga and Samford, our last two regular-season games. More later!

February 24, 2012

It’s 1:21 PM Friday. We’re on the bus to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Just drove through Asheville, where we stopped for lunch at a Texas Roadhouse – and where we’ll be in a week for the SoCon tournament!!!!! We can’t wait – but we’ve got a couple things to take care of before we go: UT-Chattanooga, at 5 pm ET Saturday, and Samford (Birmingham, Ala.), at 8 pm ET Monday. Both games are on the road. Both are huge in terms of seeding for the tournament. If we win both, we’ll get the #1 seed. If we don’t win both – and depending on how a couple other top teams do this weekend – we could get a #2, behind Appalachian State. Obviously we want the top seed, because that would make us regular-season conference champions. Also, if we get a 2 seed, we’ll play at the same time as the men in our first game of the tournament – no fun for anyone if we have to split the fans!

Because it’s a long drive to Tennessee (5 hours and 33 minutes, according to our itinerary), and because we wanted to practice on Chatt’s court today, we missed classes and left at 10 am. We’ll miss class on Monday, too. Most of our professors are really accommodating when this happens. Our administrative assistant, Terry Gilliland, gives us letters to hand them at the beginning of the semester, specifying which class days we’ll be out of town. As long as we hand in our assignments ahead of time or e-mail them from the road, we can usually stay on top of things. Plus, my teammates are all such good students that everyone plans ahead and gets all their work done. J Lots of people are working on the bus. Some are playing games on their phones – everyone’s really into “Scramble with Friends” right now. Others are napping or watching Moneyball, which someone must have brought. I’ve never seen it, and I’ve got headphones in, but it’s been enjoyable just watching Brad Pitt move around the screen.

Speaking of staying on top of homework, I’d better do that. Wish us luck this weekend! I’ll update again next week.

Peace, Whitney Houston, and the beginning of a good road trip –


Monday, February 20, 2012

The Individual

By Sarah Fisher

DCFH with some all-star swimmers and divers, who are by far the best ball boys any field hockey program could have. Thanks again guys!
Before diving into my blog entry, I’d first like to congratulate both the women’s and men’s basketball teams for their enormously successful seasons thus far and I can’t wait to see they do next. For those that can attend, the women have their senior night tonight (2/20) and the men play at home on Thursday (2/23), I’ll be there if you want a watching companion. Congratulations to our men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams as well for their success at CCSA’s last week.

Now about individuals…

One of my favorite things about spring is the opportunity to have one-on-one time with our coaches. Ginny and Catherine, for those of you who don’t know, are not only knowledgeable, caring, and intense coaches; they are also incredibly talented field hockey players. Catherine was voted both a captain and team MVP her senior season at Villanova and Ginny was a captain her senior season at William and Mary and selected to the NFHCA Division I North/South Senior All-Star Team. To no one’s surprise, they haven’t lost their athletic abilities. Ginny is currently training for a marathon, so she heads up our long distance runs and Catherine loves to coordinate sprint drills (ever heard of a football 200s? We hadn’t until Catherine came along). In addition to their excellent physical strength, agility, and speed, they haven’t lost their touch on the ball. There is some satisfaction that coincides with the understanding that when Ginny or Catherine sets up a stick work drill or shooting pattern, they can first demonstrate it or when they tell me or Carolyn (my fellow goalie partner in crime) that they are going to aim for the upper 90s of the cage, they can in fact hit the top corners with power and accuracy.

This photo is from our Halloween practice this past fall. We have a tradition of dressing up for practice every Halloween and we really take it seriously. From left to right, we have Catherine, Pam (our fabulous athletic trainer), and Ginny. They were cast members of the Jersey Shore.

Individuals have been running for three weeks now and I think each DCFH member has been benefiting from them. Carolyn and I have been conquering footwork drills, mastering the angles of the cage, and saving lots and lots of shots (which is why I personally love individuals). The field players have been perfecting passing and receiving, improving their hitting form, and tweaking their defensive stances. Individuals might be most beneficial for the DCFH freshmen. Since we are a fall sport, our freshmen are taken for a wild ride and thrown into the mix of the team. In the spring, they have the time to improve as individual players and truly get used to the stylistic differences between Division I field hockey and their previous high school experience. Every player gets better as an individual player in the spring which contributes to the team as a whole getting better.

This past Wednesday was our first team practice out on the turf together. While it wasn’t the prettiest hockey we’ve ever played, we can only go up from here. With every mistake made we have the time to stop, reflect on it, and correct it. With every excellent pull, shot, or save, we have the time to stop, praise it, and explain why it was so good. We each get the opportunity to demonstrate to the rest of the team what we’ve been working on individually with Ginny and Catherine and then see how it fits in with the rest of the team.

I’m not too sure what’s up next, but I’ll make it a good one.

Until then, I hope to see you at a basketball game.


The current DCFH juniors dressed up as the starting 5 basketball players for Halloween two years ago. My dad was a stand in Coach McKillop (though no one could ever stand in for him) and this photo was a part of our skit where coach was giving us a motivational pep talk. A big thank you to the basketball team for lending us their shoes, shorts and jerseys for the day!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Big Games Ahead

By Amanda Ottaway

February 15, 2012

Hey people!

So sorry I’ve been slacking on the blog posts lately – things are crazy around here! We just finished a stretch where we had five games in ten days, and we’ve been busy scouting and playing, traveling, rehabbing, eating, scouting, and playing. Oh, and going to class and doing our homework, of course. ;)

I wanted to shoot y’all a quick update before our busy weekend. Last night, I went on a wonderful Valentine’s date. My thirteen Valentines made it a very special evening! We worked out together, got the endorphins going, had some fun, and then ate pizza and watched TV. (Translation: We played at UNCG, won, then ate postgame meal on the bus ride home.) Special report: we got to see Alex Thompson ’10 (A.T.), who is in grad school at Greensboro and managed to make it to our game. It was such a treat to catch up a little with her and hear about her life beyond basketball – she’s doing wonderfully, and we miss her very much!

So today was a relaxing off day before tough games on Saturday and Monday. In other news, we only have FOUR GAMES left in the regular season! Where did February go?!...

These four are big games, though. All of them will be tough – we’ve got App State and Wofford (conference loss #1) at home, then Chatt and Samford (conference loss #2) on the road. I just got back from a film session in the Union with a couple of teammates. We watched the film of the first time we played the Mountaineers, in Boone. At 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, we’ll battle App. here in Davidson for first place in the SoCon. We’re their only conference loss this season – they’re first in the league and we’re second – so it’s definitely going to be an EXCELLENT game. Saturday’s shaping up to be a pretty fun day in Belk Arena, actually – at noon, the men play #24 Wichita State on ESPN2 in their BracketBuster game, and then we follow with our one-two matchup! We’d better see you at both; it doesn’t get any better than that, folks!!

Monday, Wofford, is (gosh) Senior Night. I’m not going to comment on that right now, because I’m still in denial that it’s actually gonna happen. In my head, KJ and I are still freshmen. More to come on the aging crisis later.

OK, well, I have to go now. My roommates keep piling Valentine candy on my lap and I’m finding it difficult to type. Also, there’s that whole chocolate-fingerprints-on-the-keyboard thing going on. Also, we have weights at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday morning with Coach Rowan, so it’s almost bedtime. I promise I shall write again soon, my friends!

To doubleheaders, pizza, and free iPads (come to our game Saturday and you can win one!) –


Monday, February 6, 2012

Music is My Teammate

By Sarah Fisher

Some of DCFH dancing the night away at our coach’s summer wedding.

Something DCFH is never without is good music. We are big fans of locker room dance parties, weekend night dance parties, victory dances, and workout dances. I’m pretty sure our team could out dance any group on campus; we have had break dancers, Irish jig-ers, ballerinas, and just your average I-like-to-think-I-dancers. Since we are currently persevering through the many miles that are our Monday long runs, Tuesday spin sessions, and Friday boot camps, we each have created a custom playlist of running music to get us to the finish line as fast as we can get there.

DCFH’s Tuesday spin session in Baker Sports Complex.

Personally, I enjoy showering, humming, and yes, even running to show tunes. I am madly in love with musical theatre. I’m slowly convincing the rest of DCFH that there is nothing better than the tunes of Anything Goes, Oklahoma!, or Les Miserables. When show tunes aren’t giving me the push I need, I turn to the modern, real-life prima donna that is the phenomenon of Adele. I love her. DCFH loves her. The world loves her.

However, I do understand, that my particular musical preferences are rather odd and aren’t what the vast majority of my team would choose to listen to. One of my goals for the DCFH blog is to make it less of an individualized perspective and get the team involved. So, for this blog post, I asked the team to submit some of their favorite pump up running songs and here’s what I got:

Better Than Her - (Matisse ft Akon)
Good Feelin - Avicii remix
Without You - David Guetta
Stronger - Kanye West
My Body - Young the Giant
Super Bass - Nicki Minaj
Fade Into Darkness - Avicii
I Like How it Feels - Enrique Iglesias
White Panda
Anything - Rihanna
She Ain't You - Chris Brown
Not Over You - Gavin Degraw
Black or White - Michael Jackson
I'll Be Waiting - Adele
Chris Mann - L.O.V.E.
Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites - Skrillex
Avicii - Levels
For You - Time Flies
Hair - Lady Gaga

Along with her song submission, our head coach, Ginny Turner, sent in a blurb about her running playlist:

I had a hard time choosing two songs. I would say about 90% of my running play list (everything on my shuffle right now) has at one time or another been on a DCFH warm-up mix, been on repeat in a van, used in a end of the year video or blared out of the locker room for months at a time. Every song reminds me of a certain season, a crazy away trip or really just the excitement that builds before every game. It is awesome to be running and all of a sudden reminded of something that happened 5 years ago on the team and then with the next song remember the spin we had last week where people were trying to sing and spin at the same time (never a good idea). I always pick up the pace and get a little rush of energy when I think about this team and the awesome things we have and we will accomplish. So with that said it’s hard to pick two songs, but they are:

1. Marchin On (feat. OneRepublic) by Timbaland
2. Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap

As Ginny highlighted, our field hockey careers have been surrounded by music and underscores some major team events. It gets us through workouts, multi-hour bus rides, and is an ingredient of a great time.

That’s all for now. Next up, “The Individual.”

Until then enjoy listening to your own playlist,

Friday, February 3, 2012

As Promised: Training Room Day!

Brian Wheeler keeps the 'Cats on the court.
By Amanda Ottaway

Wednesday, February 1

It’s 3 p.m., and the training room is PACKED. Division of the day starts at 4:30, so athletes from all sports are in getting their pre-practice treatment and rehabbing every injury from torn ACLs to ingrown toenails to dislocated fingers. Our practice time is scheduled for 4 today, and about half of us arrive an hour ahead of time to get ready. P.S. – Are you a Davidson outsider and perhaps unfamiliar with this “Division of the Day” lingo? Luckily for you, Davidson people like to explain things: In order to maximize both student and athlete potential, official class hours run from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This is when we (student-athletes) belong to our professors. Before (eek!) and after those hours, we belong to our coaches. When everybody respects division of the day, you don’t get as many student-athletes missing class for practice and vice versa, and coaches and professors don’t get into any fistfights. Time conflicts still happen on occasion, but overall it’s an effective policy. (And I was just kidding about the fistfights. But the professors would totally win.)

Anyways, so everybody who doesn’t have class at 3 p.m. is in the training room. Like, everybody. Football, lacrosse, field hockey, cross-country, basketball, soccer. Every table has an athlete on top of it. The big great new hot and cold tubs are splashing with chattering lacrosse players and runners. Davidson athletic trainers Gerry, Beth, and Brian (our guy), and several UNC-Charlotte students (athletic trainers in training) are bustling around stretching people, teaching them exercises, and applying ultrasound and ice-compression and electric stim treatments.

Hannah is doing some rehab exercises in the backroom to strengthen the leg muscles around her knee. Soph comes in to fill up her water bottle. I begin my own rehab exercises. By 3:30, things have calmed down a bit. Shannon (Eriksson, freshman guard) crutches in. She had surgery right before Christmas. She says she’s “feelin’ good” today, because she might get to put 50% of her weight on her injured leg for the first time! Barb, who took a knee to the thigh in the Furman game, gimps to a table. She said she’s feeling a lot better, too, and she seems to be thoroughly enjoying her “limp swag.” Jess, Brian’s student-assistant, applies stim and heat to what she calls the “contusion” on B’s leg (some medical jargon for you). Kat is sprawled on another table with a heating pad. Laura naps on a table with heat. Peaches (who’s actually Sarah, in case you forgot) comes strolling in, and B calls her out – “Peaches looks like she just woke up!” Sarah scowls and shoots back, “I’m coming from class!” (Peaches is a great student. We promise.) She heads for the warm bath to heat her foot.

“Aw man, why can’t I go in the hot tub?” whines Barb.

Jess laughs. “Uh, because you have electricity on you.”

“If you went into the hot tub right now you’d light up like a Christmas tree!” Soph adds, helpfully.

Lillian, who’s in here filling up her water bottle, goes up to Brian. “I just wanted to apologize for saying I hated you while I was in the ice tub last week,” she tells him earnestly, because Lil is a very earnest sort of person. “I don’t actually hate you.”

Brian knows this. He’s well aware of the ice-bath phenomenon that makes the cheerfulness of his athletes drop accordingly with their body temperatures. He laughs.

Mel (Giegerich, freshman forward) brings her water bottle to the sink. “Kat, let’s chat,” she says. “How was your day?” Kat launches into a story about her bike. The chain had broken that morning, and Kat left the bike outside Chambers while she was in class, planning to walk it to the bike shop on Main Street afterwards. But when she came out, the chain was magically fixed! One of the more beautiful parts of Davidson – the mysterious bike-fixing fairies. (She’d like to say thank you, if you’re reading this, bike fairy.) Mel braids her hair. She calls this process “taming the mane.” Why? Ask Brian. “’Cause she’s got the hair of a lion,” he informs us.

On that ferocious note, we’re all about to head up to the court. This is as healthy as we’re gonna get (knock on wood), and the practice players are coming at 4 p.m.. We’ve got a big road trip coming up this weekend – College of Charleston Saturday, and Georgia Southern on Monday. Bus pulls out Friday evening at 5:30 – I’ll be sure to keep you updated! Go ‘Cats!!

Love, ice baths, road trips, and Super Bowls,

Blog on Davidson Athletics

Welcome to the official blog of the Davidson Wildcats! Take an inside look at the world of college athletics from Davidson players, coaches and staff.

Search This Blog