The 2016-2017 school year was one for the books for Charlotte athletics. Take a look back at some of the highlights for the various teams.
Entering into the 2016 season, the Charlotte 49ers’ football team had a 10-game losing streak on their backs. This was extended to 11 games after falling 70-14 against a No. 19 ranked Louisville team.
Charlotte remembered how it felt to win against Elon, posting a season-high 47 points against the Phoenix. The 49ers also collected their first conference wins since joining Conference USA in the 2015 season. The Niners went on to finish 4-8 overall, 3-3 in conference and were two wins away from being bowl bound in their first season eligible.
For the fifth time in program history, the Charlotte women’s soccer team made an appearance in the NCAA tournament after winning the C-USA championship. The 49ers were the underdogs of the conference tournament, coming in a six seed. They then went on to be defeated by a No. 14 Duke team in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
The team had an impressive performance in the conference awards. Martha Thomas made first team all-conference, the rising senior was also named Offensive Player of the Year. Freshmen Megan Greene and Riley Orr made the conference freshmen team. Greene was also named the Freshman of the Year.
The men’s soccer team entered the national rankings after the third week of the season, and they never left. The 49ers could be seen within the top 10 teams of the nation for multiple weeks throughout their season.
The regular-season C-USA champs made the first round of the NCAA tournament, however their run was cut short by Virginia Tech.
The squad graduated an impressive class who has gone on to continue their soccer careers. Brandt Bronico, Matej Dekovic and Maxi Rodriguez can all be seen playing soccer at the MLS level across the country.
There were two sides of the ball for the men’s basketball team. On the offensive side, the 49ers placed fourth in the conference for scoring offense, averaging 76.5 points per game. The Niners were second in 3-point field goal percentage and in free throw percentage. Jon Davis had another great season, recording two buzzer beaters for the 49ers: one at home against ODU and another one at UTSA He finished second in conference for scoring, averaging 19.6 points per game.
As for the defense goes, the 49ers struggled all season to fill the void of rebound machine Joseph Uchebo. Charlotte finished dead last in offensive rebounds and second to last in defensive rebounds. The Niners were out-rebounded by, on average, 7.5 rebounds a game.
The 2016-17 season was a record-breaking one for the women’s basketball program. Head Coach Cara Consuegra recorded her 100th career win for the Niners. The senior duo of Lefty Webster and Ciara Gregory both entered the 1,000 point club in their final season with the Niners.
Webster also finished with the most career minutes played. Webster and Raventos combined to tie for the most assists in program history with 298.
Gregory broke almost every record regarding 3-pointers this past season including the C-USA single-season record for 3-pointers made and the program record for career, single-season and single-game 3-pointers made.
Coming into the 2017 season, the Charlotte baseball program touted the most difficult schedule in program history. So far this season the 49ers have posted three wins against nationally-ranked opponents. Senior T.J. Nichting has flourished into one of the top hitters in the country.
Currently the squad sits at first place in conference for fielding and second place for batting and pitching – behind Southern Miss in both categories. The team is looking to make their first regional appearance since 2011.
The dynamic duo of Haley Pace and Haley Wiseman have dominated on the diamond for the Charlotte softball squad.
Wiseman threw the first perfect game for the program since the 1998 season in the Feb. 24 contest against Robert Morris.
Pace sits within the top five in the conference standings for hitting, posting a .430 average that includes 10 doubles, 14 home runs and 41 RBI.