Davidson’s men’s basketball team officially kicked off preparations for the 2014-2015 season Oct. 18 with its annual Red-Black scrimmage at Belk Arena.
Senior guard Tyler Kalinoski, who led the Wildcats in assists (3.4 per game) and steals (1.3 per game) and was third in scoring (11 points per game) last season, scored 16 points to lead the Black squad to a 50-39 victory in the 20-minute scrimmage.
Junior guard Brian Sullivan, the team’s leading returning scorer at 12.9 points per game, added 11 points for the Black squad.
Junior forward Jake Belford and freshman forward Nathan Ekwu led the Red squad with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
After the scrimmage, the two squads ran through several end-of-game drills and situations. The players, along with 26-year head coach Bob McKillop, then took part in a question-and-answer session with fans in the lobby of Belk Arena.
Sullivan and Kalinoski are among nine players returning from last year’s Davidson squad, which finished 20-13 and won the Southern Conference regular-season title. The Wildcats eventually earned a berth in the postseason NIT, their fourth consecutive postseason tournament appearance.
Davidson was picked to finish 12th in the 14-team league in its inaugural season in the Atlantic 10.
The Wildcats host NCAA Division II program Lenoir-Rhyne in an exhibition game on Nov. 11 at Belk Arena. Davidson then kicks off its season Nov. 15 with a home game against Catholic.
Player of the week
Sophomore hitter Emily Franklin was named the Atlantic 10 co-defensive player of the week after leading Davidson’s volleyball team to a 1-1 record for the week of Sept. 29-Oct. 5.
Franklin recorded 12 blocks in the two games for the Wildcats and shared the A-10 honors with Virginia Commonwealth’s Janelle Sykes.
Franklin had five blocks and four kills in a straight-sets A-10 road loss to Dayton on Oct. 3, then had seven blocks and nine kills as the Wildcats rallied from a 2-0 deficit to beat Saint Louis 3-2 on Oct. 5 for their first conference win.
Franklin, who played at Charlotte’s Providence High, is sixth in the Atlantic 10 in blocks, averaging 1.12 per set.
Sexton, McCray win
Davidson women’s tennis players Ally Sexton and Courtney McCray teamed up to win a division title in doubles at the Wake Forest Invitational, held Oct. 3-5 in Winston-Salem.
Sexton, a freshman, and junior McCray won the D-flight doubles bracket at the three-day tournament, winning three pro-set matches to take the title.
Sexton also finished third in her singles bracket, as did freshman Anna Catharine Feaster. Feaster was third in the B-flight singles, while Sexton competed in the G-flight singles draw.
“I was really proud of the ladies this weekend,” first-year Wildcats coach Sara Anundsen said in a prepared release. “The team has been working hard and making some changes to their games to get better. The tournament was an opportunity for the ladies to put those changes into action, and it was great to see that happen and trust the work they have put in.”
Wildcats 25th at Paul Short Invitational
Davidson’s men’s cross country team finished 25th out of 42 teams in a strong field at the 41st-annual Paul Short Invitational, held Oct. 4 in Bethlehem, Pa.
The Wildcats placed two runners among the top 100 individuals: junior Ryan Phillips was 75th overall in the men’s 8-kilometer race in 24 minutes, 59 seconds and junior Whitner Chase was 77th at 25:01.
Other Davidson finishers were sophomore Walker Mogen (119th, 25:26), senior Sal Del Giudice (117th, 25:48), junior Daniel Samet (230th, 26:08), senior Wesley Laytham (257th, 26:30), and freshman Ramsay Ritchie (284th, 27:33).
The U.S. Naval Academy won the team title, beating Guelph by 28 points (95-123), while Mike Biwott of American International won the individual title in 23:28, beating Aaron Dinzeo of California (Pa.) by 7 seconds.
Fighting Irish Classic
Behind top-20 finishes from Todd Eckstein and Ralph Blasey, Davidson’s men’s golf team finished fifth in the Fighting Irish Classic, held Sept. 28-30 in South Bend, Ind.
The Wildcats finished the three-day, 54-hole tournament at 30-over-par 882, just two shots behind fourth-place Loyola, four strokes back of Long Beach State in third, and only five shots behind runner-up Ball State.
Michigan State won the eight-team tournament with an 11-over 863, becoming the first team to win the Fighting Irish Classic three consecutive years.
Eckstein and Blasey, both seniors, finished among four players tied for 17th after posting identical 9-over-par 222s. Teammates David Sargent (Hough), a junior, and freshman Spencer Papciak tied for 25th at 12-over 225.
Sophomore Andy Simmons (Myers Park) finished in a tie for 41st after posting a 19-over 232, while junior Alex Nianouris tied for 48th at 26-over 239.