The Charlotte 49ers took on Marshall Sunday afternoon at Dale F. Halton Arena in a five set battle, with Marshall coming out on top (25-20, 25-21, 27-29, 16-25, 15-9) despite the 49ers valiant comeback to force a fifth set.
Charlotte struggled in the first two sets to stop Marshall’s constant momentum. Trailing Marshall by no more than five to finish both sets, Charlotte entered the third set down 2-0.
The match initially looked as if it would go in Marshall’s favor, yet Charlotte’s Anna Henderson injected her team with life after a kill that proved crucial to Charlotte’s comeback. With a pair of kills from Charlotte’s Tatyana Thomas and one from Molly Shaw, the score reached a 19-19 tie.
The rest of the set was a constant battle between Marshall and the 49ers until Janelle Sparks delivered the Niners first set point of the night right after a Marshall timeout. Charlotte finished the set, winning 29-27, sending the match to the fourth set.
The momentum gained throughout the third set carried Charlotte deep throughout the fourth. A pair of aces from Shelby Green and a kill each from both Shaw and Katrina Stewart put Charlotte up early 12-5. A pair of back-to-back blocks and another kill from Stewart and Sparks solidified Charlotte’s victory, 25-16, allowing them to see a fifth set.
Marshall came out swinging early in the fifth, situating themselves with an early 8-5 lead. Charlotte fought hard to regain their former lead, but the Herd capitalized on their lead and finished the set, winning 15-9.
Team leaders included Sparks with 16 kills, Jocelyn Stoner with 12 kills and 4 blocks, Thomas with 11 kills and 6 blocks, and Shaw with 8 kills.