Meredith College became the first-ever single gender institution to capture the USA South Athletic Conference Women’s President’s Cup. The prestigious conference honor symbolizes the league’s top women’s athletic program each year. Four conference championships moved the Avenging Angels into the lead for the 2014-15 season.
“This is quite an accomplishment for our program, and we especially celebrate being the first single gender institution to receive the award,” said Athletic Director Jackie Myers. “It is truly reflective of the hard work of our athletics staff and the incredible student-athletes we are privileged to lead.”
The Avenging Angels collected the Women’s Cross Country Championship, a share of the regular season title for women’s soccer, and the North division championship in volleyball in order to give Meredith a head start last fall.
With just three points to spare, the cross country Angels edged out Covenant to earn a second consecutive league title. Seven runners placed in the top-20, including Rookie of the Year honoree Mary Kate Morgan, and then-Head Coach Amy Olsen earned her second Conference Coach of the Year award.
In her eighth year at the helm of Meredith volleyball, Head Coach Fiona Barkley led her team to 24 wins, the second-best finish in program history, and a conference regular season championship. Standout sophomore Karlie Long went on to earn American Volleyball Coaches Association All-America honorable mention honors for her efforts on the court.
Basketball finished third in the North with the program’s winningest USA South season to keep the Angels in the hunt for the President’s Cup last winter, and a young Meredith tennis squad claimed a fourth-place regular season finish in April to add to the point total.
The lacrosse Avenging Angels finished second in the regular season to help secure the final women’s cup standings and went on to collect the three-year program’s second conference tournament crown.
Meredith will work toward a second Cup victory this year to maintain the new standard. The volleyball and cross country teams placed atop the 2015 USA South Preseason Coaches’ Polls, and soccer was picked to finish second. The 2015 conference women’s soccer Rookie of the Year Jaisa Loch returns to the goal this fall, along with the team’s top offensive and defensive players, Meredith McCarty and Megan Luke.
While in a rebuilding year, last spring’s softball team set four new all-time Meredith records and returns 15 players to the roster this season. Head Tennis Coach Meredith Vincent returns her top-two players Catherine Bryant and USA South Rookie of the Year Ran Zhang and will look to return the Angels to the top of the league as well.
Junior lacrosse midfielder Katie Burnet returns to the lineup after a season-ending injury sidelined the offensive threat last spring. She will be joined by the 2015 Rookie of the Year Carlee Joseph and Coach of the Year Lauren Scott at the helm.
The President’s Cup is awarded by a regular-season points system where the first place team in each sport will be awarded the number of points that corresponds to the number of schools that sponsor teams in that sport.
Conference Commissioner Rita Wiggs presented Myers with the award Wednesday, Oct. 14, just prior to Meredith’s soccer match.
Follow the Avenging Angels at goavengingangels.com