RALEIGH, N.C. -- Meredith College Athletic Director Jackie Myers and her staff recognized the outstanding achievements of the Avenging Angels during Tuesday evening's Annual Athletic Awards Ceremony. This year's new event format included a ceremony held in the college's Jones Auditorium with a dessert reception following in the newly renovated Johnson Hall Rotunda.
The athletics department presented two new program-wide awards. Junior lacrosse attack Carlee Joseph earned the Athlete of the Year honor for significant contribution to her team's success with conference and/or region recognition, while preserving the four core values of discipline, integrity, respect, and responsibility. Junior softball outfielder Sarah Watson garnered the Dean Burris Student-Athlete Award for her leadership, sportsmanship, and service, while embodying the department's core values.
Joseph was named this year's USA South Women's Lacrosse Player of the Year for the second consecutive year and led her team to a fourth tournament championship and back-to-back regular season title. She leads the conference in goals, points, and shots, and ranks in the top-25 nationally in goals and points. As part of Joseph's nomination, Head Lacrosse Coach Lauren Scott said, "she understands that nothing should be given and everything earned and works hard to achieve her goals. Shortcuts have never crossed her mind because she is wired to work hard."
Also a major contributor to her team, Watson's award primarily recognizes the intangibles. "She can be trusted, leads by example, is an incredible motivator, and treats all of her teammates and opponents with respect, said Head Coach Kim Scavone.
"She leads our defense through communication and consistent performances. She leads our offense with clutch hits and aggressive base running. She leads our team both on and off the field with her personality, integrity, work ethic, and team spirit," said Scavone.
The celebration began with welcoming remarks from student-athlete emcee and softball player Julia Allsbrook. Myers rolled out the highlights of the program's yearlong success, noting Meredith's runner-up standing for the prestigious USA South Women's Presidents Cup, just one and one half points off the leader.
Both volleyball and lacrosse captured their respective USA South Tournament Championships to earn the NCAA automatic qualifier. Lacrosse collected back-to-back regular season titles, and softball and soccer earned East Division Championships.
Meredith athletics also collected a series of notable end-of-season awards from the conference. Head coaches Scavone and Paul Smith were named Coach of the Year for women's softball and soccer, respectively. Outside hitter Caroline Corey earned volleyball's Rookie of the Year, and Joseph was recently named the lacrosse Player of the Year.
Volleyball setter Hannah Blaylock and lacrosse midfielder Holly Hite were named MVP in their respective conference tournaments, while 11 student-athletes were named to an All-Tournament team. Thirty-three Avenging Angels earned All-Conference honors with 18 weekly selections throughout the year.
Meredith's newest sport of track & field, not yet sponsored by the USA South, performed well during the program's second season. Rookie sprinter Essence Thomas ranks in the top-25 regionally in the 100m dash, and Megan Evans won the 10,000m run in April's Atlantic Independent Championships, a new event designed to give league athletes a championship experience.
MC Lax remains the only team still competing, as the team awaits Sunday's NCAA Selection Show announcement of first round tournament action.
Impact Player - Gillian Emerson
Most Improved Player - Sandra Taranhike
Most Valuable Player - Hannah Blaylock
Best Offensive Player - Caroline Corey
Best Defensive Player - Keegan Lynch
Most Valuable Runner - Abigail Thiele
Most Determined Runner - Macy Brinson
Most Improved Runner - Caroline Diorio
Track & Field
Most Valuable Athlete, Running Events - Essence Thomas
Most Valuable Athlete, Field Events - Demonica Stanley
Most Determined Athlete - Megan Evans
Offensive MVP - Jessica Wallace
Defensive MVP - Kirstie King
Avenging Angel MVP - Meghan Ingram
MVP - Carlee Joseph
Heart & Hustle - Holly Hite
Teammate of the Year - Madison Watkins
Defensive MVP - Rachel Peel
Offensive MVP - Brittany Bucklin
Jack Huber Softball Award - Sarah Watson
Impact Player - Jessi Hayes
Most Improved - Madison Gladwell
Coach's Award - Janah Hassell