Charlotte lost their first of their two home matches this weekend to UAB. The Blaze (8-10) made quick work of the 49ers (6-10), beating them 3-0.
Janell Sparks lit the fire for the 49ers against UAB, totaling 14 assists and two blocks. The transfer from Montana has stood out consistently on the court for Charlotte.
“She is grown into her game. She brings a lot of experience to the floor and she brings that fire. She is always steady for us and always does a good job,” head coach Karen Weatherington said.
Pregame libero Shelby Green was awarded a commemorative volleyball after she reached 1,000 career digs after having 19 against William and Mary. Green is the 18th player in program history to accomplish such a feat and did it after being with the program for only three years.
Sparks led the charge for the 49ers in the first set, registering six kills, but it wasn’t enough as UAB snagged the first set.
The Blazers tallied 17 kills during the first set compared to Charlotte’s 10 and won the first set 25-19.
Sparks kept up her momentum in the second set snagging five more kills and three digs. Molly Shaw also added three kills for Charlotte.
The 49ers kept it competitive in the second set totaling 12 kills and six blocks in the second set. The two teams went tit for tat the entire time, with the 49ers showing impressive determination, but the Blaze took the 2-0 advantage aftering winning the nail bitter set 29-27.
The Blaze recorded 20 digs, but the 49ers kept up with 16 digs of their own. There were only ten kills for Charlotte with three coming from Anna Henderson and Sparks. UAB swept the 49ers winning the third set 25-18.
“We still have pieces of the puzzle missing and it’s tough when you’re not at full strength to come out and produce. I was really happy with the fight we showed in the second set. We’ve got players learning on the job, but it is always disappointing to lose,” Weatherington said.
Charlotte is back in action Sunday with a 1 p.m. start time when they take on conference foe Florida Atlantic in Halton Areana.