Women’s History Month: Women’s Athletics at Elon in the 2000s

Julia Mueller
March 29, 2013

2010 SoCon Softball Champions

2010 SoCon Softball Champions

On May 14, 2010, the Elon women’s softball team, coached by Patti Raduenz and seeded number two, defeated the number four seed UNC-Greensboro Spartans in the Southern Conference Championship.  Prior to playing UNC-G, the Phoenix defeated UT–Chattanooga Mocs, which was the number one seed in the SoCon tournament.  This was the first time in the season that the Mocs lost.  The championship was a first for Elon as well–it was the first time an Elon women’s sports team won a conference tournament title since joining the Southern Conference in 2003.  This was also the first tournament title for Elon women’s athletics since the soccer team brought home the Big South tournament title in 1999.   Continue reading

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Women’s History Month: Women’s Athletics at Elon in the 1980s-1990s

Julia Mueller
March 22, 2013

The 1999-2000 women's soccer team.

The 1999-2000 women’s soccer team.

The 1980s and 1990s at Elon was a time of great transition as the college sought to gain public recognition.  The student body profile, in addition to the alumni and faculty, was changing in that Elon became more engaged in academics, networking, and athletics.  This in part was due to the “Plan of the 90’s” that worked to increase the quality of Elon and develop programs.  In 1991, the South Atlantic Conference moved to NCAA Division II from the NAIA.  However, the Division II was considered “No Man’s Land,” and on June 17, 1996, Elon officials decided it was time to go to Division I in the NCAA.  Elon participated without conference affiliation for the first two years before joining the Big South Conference in 1999.

Most of the Elon sports teams struggled in Division I due to the increased competition, but in 1999, women’s soccer prevailed.  Coached by Paul Webster, the women were the third seed in the championship and defeated Liberty University in overtime.  The team won the Big South Tournament Championship, becoming the first program at Elon to go to a Division I NCAA postseason tournament.  According to the Magazine of Elon Winter 2000 issue, “junior midfielder Erin Morse earned first-team All Big South Conference honors and was named to the league’s All Academic Team.  Four Elon players were named to the All Conference second team, including junior sweeper Patricia Clark, sophomore midfielder MacKenzie Sisson, sophomore defender Erin Lautermilch and junior goalkeeper Sommer Cork.” Continue reading

Women’s History Month: Women’s Athletics at Elon in the 1960s-1970s

Julia Mueller
March 15, 2013

Women's Volleyball Team in 1975

Women’s Volleyball Team in 1975

The 1960s and 1970s were a time of different turning points in both American and Elon history.  The Vietnam War, the Civil Rights and women’s movements were just a few of the milestones that occurred.  This impacted women’s sports in various ways.  The Commission of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women was soon recognized, and America faced a time of subsiding societal restrictions.  This in part was due to increased coverage of the Olympics, where women had been at least to some extent competing since the 1900 Paris Games.  Continue reading

Women’s History Month: Women’s Athletics at Elon in the 1940s-1950s

Julia Mueller
March 8, 2013

Women's Tennis Team in 1949

Women’s Tennis Team in 1949

“Archery for skill, volleyball for coordination, and riding for the figure is Elon’s way of turning out healthy, ‘well-rounded’ girls.” – Phi Psi Cli, 1953

World War II caused lasting impacts at Elon College, especially the changed role of sports for both men and women.  In 1942, men’s intercollegiate activities were temporarily abolished, and the soldiers stationed on campus used the gymnasium for training.  It was not until 1944 that sports became a part of Elon activities once again.  Due to the effects of the war, fitness became a more crucial factor in individuals’ lifestyles on local and national levels.  It was soon acceptable for women too to physically train to improve overall health and strength.  Continue reading

Women’s History Month: Women’s Athletics at Elon in the 1920s-1930s

Julia Mueller
March 1, 2013

Women's Archery in 1939

Women’s Archery in 1939

During the beginning decades of Elon as an institution, society held a very different impression about women than the contemporary opinion.  Lady-like behavior was strongly encouraged, and women were often protected against potential masculinity that was incorporated in notions about sports and physical training.  At the turn of the twentieth century, women were confined to calisthenics and recreational tennis.  Over the next twenty years, the Young Women’s Christian Association at Elon College was formed and requests for more athletic opportunities were expressed.  As views of women changed in America from delicate to more durable, the trend in sports was reflected accordingly. Continue reading