Yumi Garcia prepares for the next opposing serve. Photo by Pooja Pasupula

Over the course of Sept. 6 and Sept. 7, the 49ers Volleyball team competed in the Pirate Invitational at East Carolina University. After winning two out of three of their matches in the tournament, the team was named the Pirate Invitational champions. Reanna Richardson took home the tournament MVP honors and was named to the all-tournament team alongside Jocelyn Stoner and Yumi Garcia.

The 49ers took on Gardner-Webb University in their first match of the tournament. Charlotte was able to defeat GWU in three sets to take home their first win of the Pirate Invitational. Molly Shaw led the team with 10 kills in the match and the 49ers had a .307 overall hitting percentage in the match.

Although they were swept, the Bulldogs put up a strong fight in the third set before being put away. After finding themselves down 18-12 late in the set, GWU made a strong comeback and tied the match up at 23 all. Charlotte was able to seal the victory after an error by the Bulldogs and a block by Stoner and Nya Steele.

In their next match, the 49ers were not as fortunate as they were defeated by Eastern Washington. Charlotte quickly found themselves down two sets to none, but managed to win the third set to keep the match alive. Eastern Washington eventually took the fourth set and finished the match with the victory.

49ers Reanna Richardson set a career high in kills with 25 despite the loss. Although the Niners led nearly every statistical category in the match, they were unable to get the points when needed in sets to get themselves their second victory in the tournament.

The third and final match of the tournament was against the hosting ECU Pirates. Charlotte showed no mercy against the Pirates and took them down in a three-set sweep. Richardson again led the 49ers in kills with 13 and Stoner contributed with nine kills and two blocks.

This was the second straight Pirate Invitational title for the 49ers and they now sit at a 7-5 record on the season. Charlotte returns to action in a road contest against NC Central University on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 7 p.m.

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