Meredith College Athletics History
Meredith College students have participated in athletic events on campus for more than 100 years. Athletics at Meredith College began in 1904 with the advent of Meredith’s Athletic Association. In addition to sponsoring other student activities around campus, the athletic association began to sponsor sports in 1937. The original sports at Meredith included basketball and tennis. Meredith’s basketball program began with two teams, the Reds and the Blues. The first competitive games against other schools were held in 1904 with two games against St. Mary’s College. This match up with St. Mary's was the earliest known intercollegiate basketball match up in Wake County.
In the early years, Meredith athletic activities included swimming, soccer, horseback riding, tennis, baseball, basketball, golf, football and field hockey. The first events were primarily inter-class competitions. In November 1937, Meredith aligned with the Virginia Field Hockey Association and became a part of the United States Conference.
The 1940s and 1950s brought some big victories for the basketball team. In 1944, Meredith’s freshman-sophomore basketball team hosted the Peace Junior College (now Peace College) team. The outcome was a victory for Meredith, and the game marked the beginning of the heated cross-town rivalry between the two Raleigh women’s colleges. In 1952, the basketball team pulled out impressive victories against the University of North Carolina and Duke. The field hockey team continued this trend in 1952 by defeating both the Tar Heels and the Blue Devils.
Meredith athletics took on a new life with the completion of Weatherspoon Gymnasium in 1970. Weatherspoon is still the home of the basketball and volleyball teams, training facilities and athletics offices. The first full-semester golf team was launched in 1976. The volleyball and tennis teams saw their first winning seasons during the 1970s. Softball was added as a varsity sport in 1975.
Riding the wave of momentum built in the 1970s, Meredith athletics earned state and conference titles in the 1980s. In 1980, the golf team won the NCAIAW state championship while the tennis team took the conference title. Also in that Meredith College Athletics History year, the Student Government Association adopted the angel as the school’s official mascot. The golf team finished second in the AIAW Division III national tournament in 1981, making it the first bid for a Meredith athletics team to compete for a national championship. The most recent varsity sports to be added were soccer in 1993, cross country in 2005 and lacrosse for the 2012-13 season.
In recent years at Meredith, the competitiveness of the athletics programs has increased on a regional and national level in Division III. The program has had six NCAA tournament bids across three different sports since 2001 (basketball 2001, 2003; tennis 2003, 2007; and soccer 2006, 2008). During the summer of 2007 the name of the sports teams was changed to “Avenging Angels” to emphasize the prowess of Meredith athletes. The 2007-08 season marked the first year of competition in the USA South Athletic Conference. Since joining the coneference, Meredith is the only single gender institution to win USA South championships with soccer gaining a tournament championship (2008) and a regular season crown (2009). Tennis won the 2009 tournament championship.
Meredith is committed to blending intercollegiate athletics with a strong academic program. Student-athletes follow the same academic requirements and standards as other students; they must maintain a good academic standing with the College, be full-time students, and follow the rules of the NCAA. The athletic program maintains the same high standards set for other departments and the same commitment to the education and personal development of student-athletes.
Meredith is committed to blending intercollegiate athletics with a strong academic program. Student-athletes follow the same academic requirements and standards as other students; they must retain a good academic standing with the College, be full-time students, and follow the rules of the NCAA. The athletic program maintains the same high standards set for other departments and the same commitment to the education and personal development of student-athletes.