Lake Norman & Mooresville

Wildcats insider: Athletic facility renovations benefit Davidson sports teams

A renovation project on one of Davidson’s athletic fields was completed in time for the start of the season, while work on a major addition to the college’s facilities will begin ahead of schedule.

The playing surface on the Carol Grotnes Belk Turf Field, where the Wildcats’ field hockey team holds its practices and home games, was recently upgraded, being replaced with an AstroTurf 12 surface.

The new playing surface, which replaced an older AstroTurf field that had been in place the past 12 seasons, was completed in time for Davidson’s season opener Aug. 30 against Georgetown.

“We are thrilled to finally have the turf completed,” head coach Ginny Turner said in a prepared release. “It is a beautiful field and it already plays so smoothly.

“It is a great statement of support from the college to give us this wonderful new turf especially as we enter a new conference. We are ready to make an impact in the Atlantic 10, and this new facility will help us achieve our goals.”

Meanwhile, the fundraising effort for the addition to the school’s Baker Sports Complex surpassed its $13.3 million goal three years ahead of schedule, allowing construction to begin pending approval from Davdson’s Board of Trustees.

The $13.3 million figure includes the $4 million Vance Challenge, a dollar-for-dollar match by Samuel and Ann Vance Ginn in honor of Ann’s father, 1926 Davidson graduate Harry L. Vance, whom the facility will be named after.

“The Vance Athletic Center was designed with our entire community in mind,” Davidson College president Carol Quillen said in a prepared release. “It will enable new opportunities for our Atlantic 10 Conference sports teams, enhance our dance programs and provide convening spaces for the campus and alumni community. We are so grateful to the Ginn family and all the alumni, parents and friends who pledged support to make this center possible.”

The new facility will include practice courts for the Wildcats’ men’s and women’s basketball teams and volleyball team; locker rooms, team rooms and film study rooms for the men’s and women’s basketball teams; offices for the men’s and women’s basketball teams’ staff, a new dance center with two dance studios, office space and storage areas; an athletic club for hospitality and team meetings; an enhanced athletic Hall of Fame area, a new ticket office, a new game-day entrance and an expanded training room.

Field hockey staff

Catherine Ostoich and Kristen O’Rourke joined the staff of Davidson’s field hockey team in time for the Wildcats’ season opener Aug. 30 against Georgetown.

According to head coach Ginny Turner, Ostoich will be an assistant coach and O’Rourke will be the team’s goalkeeper coach and technical coordinator.

Ostoich, who was formerly head coach at Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pa., was a four-year starter on defense at Richmond between 2009-2012. She graduated in 2013 with a degree in business administration.

While playing for the Spiders, Ostoich was named to the Atlantic 10 all-rookie team as a freshman and was part of a defensive unit that ranked 17th in the nation in goals against average (1.62 per game). She was a team captain her senior year.

O’Rourke joins Davidson’s staff after four years as an assistant coach and goalkeeper specialist at Richmond. Last year, the Spiders’ defense was ranked No. 1 in the nation in save percentage and No. 2 in goals against average, and goalkeeper Anna Zarkoski was named a first-team All-American.

As a player, O’Rourke was the goalkeeper on a James Madison team that won three consecutive Colonial Athletic titles and went to the NCAA tournament three straight years.

Wildcats put 2 on IWLCA academic honor roll

Recent Davidson graduates Paige Logan and Carlee Simon have been named to the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association’s academic honor roll for the 2014 season.

Logan and Simon earned the IWLCA honor for the second straight year, and were among more than 230 student-athletes from 80 schools named to the Division I honor roll.

Logan was an first-team All-Big South pick last season, as the Wildcats finished with a school-record 12 wins and advanced to the conference tournament’s championship game for the second straight year.

In her career, Logan started 73 games, and finished seventh all time in groundballs (131), draw controls (87) and caused turnovers (56). She also scored 31 goals and added 15 assists.

Simon played in 11 games over her Davidson career, which was cut short by injuries. She had three goals and two assists, and made four starts as a freshman.