We salute our fall sports teams on an outstanding 2013 season. Thanks to the members of the campus community for joining the Meredith athletics department last Friday morning in celebration of our success.
On the heels of the USA South Conference Championship, the Meredith cross country squad ran a competitive race at the NCAA Division III South/Southeast Regionals last Saturday in Newport News, Virginia. The first six Avenging Angels posted a personal record in the 6,000 meter race with the top-three under 25 minutes.
With a 1-0 overtime win at Methodist November 2, the Meredith soccer team advanced to the semifinal round of the USA South tournament for the sixth year since joining the league in 2007. The win paired Meredith with top-seeded Maryville College in the first semifinal match Friday, November 8, in Martinsville, Virginia.
Rookie midfielder Samantha Siomkos netted the first point of the semifinal game just 2:35 into the second period. League leader Jessie Davis assisted on the play to put Meredith on the scoreboard, and the Scots tied the match with just 15 minutes remaining in regulation.
After two scoreless overtime periods, the semifinal match would be decided on penalty kicks. The top five shooters for each team alternated for a free kick at the goal with only the opposing keeper standing in the way.
Davis and Megan Luke found the goal in Meredith’s first two attempts when Avenging Angel goalie Kelsey Hopper stopped Maryville’s second attempt. Meredith McCarty and Siomkos gave Meredith a 4-2 lead as Hopper deflected the Scots’ fourth attempt to secure the win. The Avenging Angels advanced to Saturday’s championship match for just the second appearance in program history.
Meredith faced second-seeded Piedmont College in the title game. The teams finished in a 1-1 double-overtime draw in the only meeting of the regular season. The Lions held a 2-0 advantage going into the half, but a determined Avenging Angel squad battled for possession. Once again Meredith scored in the opening minutes of the second half. Freshman Ellice Johnson netted a pass from Robin Moore to put the Angels on the board with plenty of time remaining in the game. In spite of the team’s tenacity and effort, Meredith would not reach the net again. Four Avenging Angels earned All-Tournament honors for their efforts on the field: Davis, Siomkos, Hopper and defender Ila Torfin.
The Meredith volleyball team compiled 21 wins this season, the most on record since 1999. The USA South split into two divisions this year, and Meredith spent much of the year ranked second in the North. On October 16 the Avenging Angels claimed a 3-2 victory over the top-ranked Averett University Cougars to slide into the number one spot for the week.
In recognition of her outstanding performance on the season, freshman Karlie Long earned the league’s Rookie of the Year award. Long finished the season in the top-five among her USA South peers with kills per set. She earned Player of the Week honors twice during the season and Rookie of the Week accolades on six occasions.
Long and senior Molly Markley earned All-Conference recognition as well. At the end of the regular season, Markley ranked second among USA South players and held a top-50 national ranking in hitting percentage. With 205 career block assists and 289 total blocks, Markley leads Meredith all-time and ranks third among all Avenging Angels with 973 kills.
In round one of the USA South tournament, Meredith ended their season early with a disappointing 3-1 loss to a top-notch Covenant College team.
With the fall season complete Meredith fans can look to the beginning of basketball season. The Avenging Angels host Guilford College Wednesday, November 20, in the home opener followed by Lynchburg Saturday afternoon.
--Submitted by Wendy Jones, sports information director