Middleburg, Va. (October 29, 2014) – It’s been a strong fall season for Foxcroft School’s athletic teams and all are in solid position to battle for Delaney Athletic Conference titles beginning Tuesday.
Field hockey, volleyball and tennis will play in the DAC semifinals on Tuesday, November 4, while the cross country team competes in the DAC Championships on Thursday at Randolph-Macon Academy in Front Royal.
The field hockey team, which has an 8-4-1 overall record and a solid fifth place ranking in the VISAA Division II rankings, was relegated to a third place finish in the four-team DAC regular season standings because of early season losses to Fredericksburg Academy and Highland. Foxcroft beat Highland later in the season but only the first game counted for the DAC standings, so Foxcroft must travel to Warrenton on Tuesday and that poses a bit of a problem.
Highland, ranked eighth in the latest VISAA Division II poll, has an artificial surface field which makes the game much faster and stick-handling an even more important element of the game than when it is played on natural grass. Highland beat Foxcroft, 1-0, on the artificial turf but lost, 2-0, on Foxcroft’s natural grass last week.
“Surface is a very big deal when it comes to field hockey,” Coach Michelle Woodruff said. “It’s almost like playing a different game as speed is a huge factor. Different skills are involved for this type of surface.”
Foxcroft’s volleyball team finished its DAC season with a 4-1 record to place second, behind Quantico (5-0), and earn a first-round bye. Foxcroft will host Randolph-Macon Academy, which defeated St. Michael Monday afternoon. The game starts at 4pm in Engelhard Gymnasium. Foxcroft beat RMA twice during the regular season but both were very hard-fought matches.
“Any one of four teams – Foxcroft, Quantico, R-MA or Wakefield Country Day School – is capable of winning the title,” Foxcroft Coach Fred McMane said. “There’s very little to difference between the four. We lost twice to Quantico but both matches were very tight and could have gone either way.”
Foxcroft’s strength is in its serving (an 87 percent success rate for the season) and its power up front (248 kills). Junior Kat F. leads the team with 129 kills, the most in a single season by a Foxcroft player since Foxcroft joined the DAC in the fall of 2008.
Tennis finished second in the DAC behind Seton and will host a match at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday against the winner of Monday’s match between Highland and Wakefield.
The team will be bolstered by the return of Marina Shallcross, who missed last week’s matches. Marina was a first-team all-state player last year and gives the team a solid No. 2 singles player behind No. 1 Annie Mickum, the DAC Player of the Year in 2013.
“Seton won the DAC during the regular season but we did not have Marina in either of our matches against them,” Coach Susan Erba said. “With Marina we can win the tournament.”
Cross country coach Matt Mohler also is optimistic about his team’s chances in the DAC Championships.
“If everyone runs at their very best we could sneak in there and win it,” Mohler said. “Trinity School, which won the championship last year, is the team to beat again. We have been training very hard and trying to simulate the course at R-MA and if everyone has her best time I could see us placing three or four girls in the top 10.”
“Of course, with cross country you never know. You can come out that day feeling great and after 10 steps realize that it’s not going to be your day. Or you can be not feeling so great that day and take 10 steps and realize that you’re going to have a great race.”
Junior Alex Grace, junior Lexie Williams, junior Patia Fann and sophomore Brittany Hector are all potential top 10 finishers, according to Mohler.