The Charlotte 49ers fell in three sets to the UNCG Spartans on “Dig Pink” night in Halton Arena on Wednesday night (23-25, 19-15, 22-25). The 49ers (7-16, 1-6 C-USA)) played in front 1,336 members of Niner Nation, marking the 10th largest single-game attendance.
The Spartans (11-10) came out swinging immediately in the first set, gaining three immediate kills to put them up 3-0 within the first minutes of the competition. Charlotte gained possession off of an out-of-bounds play by the Spartans and the 49ers quickly put three points on the board, including two aces. Charlotte struggled to return the ball mid-way through the first set, but gained momentum, led by a kill from Jocelyn Stoner.
Charlotte’s second wind is solidified with a kill from Janell Sparks, by the third timeout, the score is 15-18, with an apparent comeback in the works. With a pair of blocks from Tatyana Thomas and an ace from Molly Shaw, the game became tied at 22. UNCG capitalized on the opportunity and finished out the set at 23-25.
At the beginning second set, the Spartans immediately set the tempo with a kill right off the bat. The Niners were able to put points on the board off a net violation committed by the Spartans. UNCG added another kill and began to go on what looks like a run. The Spartan’s momentum was stopped immediately by Janell Sparks, putting the score at 2-6.
Charlotte dug deep and were able to match and tie UNCG at 8-8 off of an out-of-bounds play made by the Spartans. Much of the second set went back and forth between the Spartans and 49ers. In the end, UNCG once again was able to capitalize, finishing the set at 19-25.
Charlotte took the lead early in the third set. After a plethora of lead changes and few long streaks of returns, Charlotte was able to tie the game at 21 with their backs against a wall. The Spartans were able to complete the sweep at 22-25.
The 49ers hit the road now, traveling to North Texas to play the conference foe Sunday with a 2 p.m. tip.