Charlotte 2, USC Upstate 3
After winning the first two sets (23-25, 16-25) in a best-of-five match against USC Upstate Tuesday night, the 49ers failed to pick up another victory over the next three sets (26-24, 25-17, 15-12), losing an absolute heartbreaker on the road to fall to .500 (5-5) on the season.
The 49ers got off to a slow start, trailing 9-1 after the first 10 points, leading to a timeout by Charlotte head coach Karen Weatherington. After the timeout, the ladies rallied around three straight kills from Jocelyn Stoner, now leading 12-9.
Falling behind Upstate 21-16, the 49ers used back-to-back kills from Shaw and an ace from Stoner to fight their way back within two, 22-20. Senior Anna Henderson and Kaylyn Torain joined in on the tight game, pounding down to kills to give Charlotte a 25-23 victory in set one.
In set two, the 49ers traded point for point with Upstate before pulling ahead 20-15 late in the set. Janell Sparks, Stoner and Stewart combined on three kills to end the set and give Charlotte a 2-set advantage in the match.
The Spartans (5-7) began their epic comeback in set three, even after trailing 19-16 to Charlotte late in the set. After leading 23-21, the 49ers recorded back-to-back errors and allowed two Upstate kills to end the set, losing 25-23.
In the fourth set, the Spartans used their momentum from their third set victory to breeze by Charlotte 25-17 to force a decisive fifth set.
The battle to 15 points in the fifth set began withe a 9-7 lead for Charlotte, looking to end the comeback from USC Upstate. The Spartans, though, had something to say about that, going on a four-point tear, clawing their way back to defeat the 49ers 15-12.
Molly Shaw led the Niners with 13 kills, while Stoner and Stewart had double-digit kills as well with 12 a piece. Henderson blocked six balls to lead the team. Senior Shelby Green led Charlotte with 25 digs and Shaw added in 17.
Charlotte 3, High Point 2
Charlotte (6-5) used a comeback of their own Friday night against High Point to win their sixth game of the season (25-22, 18-25, 19-25, 25-1, 15-11), behind 14 kills from Shaw, 10 from Sparks and 11 blocks from Stoner.
High Point jumped out to a 20-15 advantage in the first set, but Charlotte mustered up enough strength to get the game closer behind a Stewart kill and block, now trailing 22-19.
As soon as Stoner put down the kill to give the 49ers 20 points, they never looked back. Sofie Perrens went on to get back-to-back aces, while getting help from two attack errors to complete the comeback for the 49ers, winning 25-22 in the first set.
High Point (7-4) showed how dominant they can be in the second set, opening up on a 8-0 run. The Panthers did not look back, taking down the 49ers by seven in the second set.
In the third set, the 49ers and Panthers traded point for point until High Point used four-straight errors from Charlotte and couple kills to jump out to a 15-7 lead.
Again, the Panthers cruised by the 49ers for a 6-point victory in the third set, only needing one more set to win the match.
Charlotte learned from their game against USC Upstate earlier in the week, starting their comeback in the fourth set.
The 49ers got off to a hot start, leading 14-8 behind a kill party hosted by Shaw, Stoner, Sparks and Henderson. 10 of the first 14 points were won via kill for Charlotte. Although the Panthers stayed in arms reach from the 49ers, Charlotte kept their distance and cruised to a 7-point victory to force a fifth set.
Trading point for point to open up the decisive fifth set, tied 10-10, the 49ers used pinpoint serving from Morgan Barker to win the set 15-11 and complete the two-set comeback to win the match.
Charlotte 1, Wofford 3
The 49ers (6-6) lost in a very tight battle to the Wofford Terriers 3-1 (23-25, 23-25, 25-21, 21-25) Saturday morning at the Black & Gold Invitational, getting outmatched at the net with 17 Terrier blocks and 54 kills.
Charlotte trailed for most of the first set, but fought their way back from a 22-15 deficit, now just down by two points, 22-20. Green led the charge for the 49ers behind the service line but their comeback fell just short, losing the last set by two points.
The Terriers (7-5) carried the momentum from their first set victory to the second set, winning the first five points. After scoring a few points to get closer to Wofford, Perrens served 6-straight to give the 49ers a 10-7 lead. Wofford went on a four-point stretch late in the set to pull away from the Niners, winning the first set behind a kill from Catie Cronister.
After falling into a deep deficit 18-11 in the third set, the 49ers went on to score 14 of the next 17 points to force a game four behind 7-straight service points from senior Greene.
Knotted up a 21 in the fourth set, the Terriers used a couple Charlotte errors and two kills to pull away for a 25-21 victory, sending Charlotte into their last game against Wake Forest later that night with a .500 record.
Charlotte 1, Wake Forest 3
Wake Forest got the best of Charlotte (6-7) Saturday night to cap off the Black & Gold Invitational 3-1 (26-28, 25-22, 16-25, 19-25), despite the 49ers almost winning the first two sets behind 15 kills from Sparks.
At a dead-tie at 25 in the first set, the Demon Deacons pulled away for a two-point victory behind two kills and one 49er attack error.
Late in the second set, the two evenly matched teams found themselves in another tie at 20. Charlotte used two kills from Sparks to gain a two-point advantage over Wake, while also getting a rare kill from Perrens to defeat the Deacons by three in the second set.
In the third, Wake Forest (4-7) eased by Charlotte, going on four stretches of earning three-straight points or more, including one stretch where they scored six-straight against the 49ers. Wake went on to win by nine, needing only one more set to capture the match victory.
The 49ers showed grit in the fourth set, scoring five-straight at one point early in the set to jump out to a 6-4 lead. Wake, wanting to impress their home crowd, went on a couple short runs to pull away from the Niners, 18-14.
Although Charlotte scored three-straight points to pull themselves within one, 20-19, the Demon Deacons scored six-straight points to defeat the 49ers and send them back to the Queen City with a 2-2 record over their 4-game weeklong slate.