Davidson’s baseball team, coming off its second straight winning season, was picked to finish sixth in the 2016 Atlantic 10 preseason poll, conference officials announced Feb. 11.
The Wildcats earned 92 total points in voting among the league’s head coaches, 24 points behind No. 5 pick George Washington (116 points) and just one point ahead of No. 7 St. Joseph’s (91 points).
Davidson, which opened its 2016 season on Feb. 19 against Marist, finished 28-22 overall and 14-10 in A-10 games last season, tying with Virginia Commonwealth for fourth in the conference.
Wildcats coach Dick Cooke, who is six wins shy of his 500th career victory at Davidson, returns five position players and 11 pitchers from last year’s team.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Saint Louis was the preseason favorite to win the A-10 title, getting seven first-place votes and 161 total points. Virginia Commonwealth, the defending league champion, was second with four first-place votes and 148 total points.
Rhode Island, which tied for second in the league standings last season with Richmond, was third in the preseason poll with two first-place votes and 138 total points. The Spiders were a close fourth in the poll, with 132 total points.
Rounding out the A-10 preseason poll was Fordham and George Mason, tying for eighth in 79 points each; La Salle (45), Dayton and Massachusetts (tied at 39 points), and St. Bonaventure (24).
Women’s lacrosse team picked 7th
The women’s lacrosse team is picked to finish seventh out of 10 teams in the Atlantic 10 during the 2016 season, league officials announced Feb. 4.
The Wildcats earned 38 points in voting among the conference’s head coaches, just ahead of St. Joseph’s (36 points), St. Bonaventure (23) and Virginia Commonwealth (11).
Massachusetts, which has won the past seven A-10 championships, was the unanimous favorite to earn No. 8, getting all 10 first-place votes and a perfect 100 total points.
Richmond, which has lost to the Minutemen in the past two A-10 tournament finals, was second in voting with 88 points, followed by Duquesne (72), George Mason (70), La Salle (58) and George Washington (54).
Davidson returns 20 players, including nine starters, from last year’s team, which finished 6-10 overall and 3-5 in league play, good for seventh in the conference standings.
The Wildcats just missed out on advancing to the A-10 tournament, which takes the top six teams. This year’s tournament will be played May 5-8 at Duquesne.
Eight new soccer players
Davidson’s men’s soccer team has signed eight players to National Letters of Intent during the winter signing period, team officials announced Feb. 8.
The signees, who will join the Wildcats beginning with the fall 2016 season, are midfielder Charlie Caswell of Lakewood, Colo.; forward Jon Creel of Knoxville, Tenn.; midfielder/defender John Dale of Seattle, Wash.; defender Louis Evans of New Zealand; goalkeeper Sawyer Gaffney of Richmond, Va.; defender Malcolm McCabe of Spring, Texas; midfielder/forward Ned Morrissett of Charlotte; and winger Jaylen Thompson of Virginia Beach, Va.
“We’re excited about adding these eight young men to the team’s brotherhood,” Davidson coach Matt Spear said in a prepared release. “The class has breadth with all positions represented. These guys are hungry to grow, compete and impact.”
The Wildcats return 19 players, including just three seniors, from their 2015 squad, which finished 5-10-3 overall and 2-6 in the Atlantic 10, good for 12th in the 13-team conference.
Bill Kiser is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.