The Charlotte 49ers (14-12, C-USA 4-6) took on the FIU (0-17-1, C-USA 0-9-1) Panthers this Friday night for the annual “Dig Pink” event in hopes to bring about breast cancer awareness. The match ended in a sweep that was completed in three sets. The 49ers, who are coached by Karen Weatherington, were led by outside hitters, Reeana Richardson with 14 kills and Molly Shaw with 12 kills and two blocks. Charlotte hit 36 percent as a unit. They hit 47 percent and 45 percent respectively in the last two sets.
The Charlotte 49ers got off to a slow start against the Panthers, not moving with the same intensity that they’ve shown in the past. The ladies went down early on in the set to the Panthers. The 49ers, after a kill from Shaw, would wake up from their slumber and begin an onslaught that would lead them to a 10-10 tie against the Panthers.
The Panthers would not take this lying down though, responding with a kill and ace of their own. Richardson along with Jocelyn Stoner would continue to apply pressure on the net, but it would be a kill from Shaw that would break the second and final tie of the game. The rest of the set would show the 49ers pulling away from FIU, and sealing the deal with a block from Jannelle Curtiss.
Charlotte wasted no time at all in the second set, putting the Panthers down 9-3 early on. A combination of Richardson, Galloway and Shaw allowed the 49ers to keep their foot on the gas, keeping the Panthers from ever finding a groove. Richardson would continue to apply the same aggressiveness as she had in the first set, and would collect her 10th kill towards the end of the match. A kill from Tyra Galloway would close out the set in Charlotte’s favor, 25-17.
The third set would look much like the second, with the 49ers rolling out of the gate with high energy and aggression. A pair of aces from the 49ers and a block from Shaw would prove to be critical in the first few minutes of the set, putting the Panthers down by four early on. Midway through the match, the 49ers would find themselves going on a 10-0 run, putting the Panthers in an unhealthy position to be able to react. Jocelyn Stoner and Curtiss would both combine for two strong blocks, putting an end, once again, to any hope of an FIU panther come back. Now down 21-9, the 49ers finished the team off with aces from Shaw, and a block from the 49ers claiming the third set.
The 49ers will take on the LA Tech this Sunday, Oct. 28 at 1 p.m. at Dale F. Halton Arena.