The Charlotte 49ers (7-5) defeated the Davidson Wildcats (5-5) 3-2 (22-25, 25-22, 21-25, 26-24, 15-13) in a back-and-forth five-set battle. The win keeps the 49ers undefeated at Halton Arena this season.
After Davidson took the close first set 25-22, Charlotte took the second set 25-22.
Charlotte and Davidson went back-and-forth to start the third set. Charlotte was leading 9-8 before Davidson went on a 4-0 run to take a 12-9 lead. The 49ers went on a run but fell in the third set 25-21.
The 49ers and the Wildcats were aggressive in the fourth set. The set was tied at eight, then tied again at 14. Charlotte won their challenge to tie the score at 16. Davidson carried several late leads including 23-22 just two points away from winning the match. Sydney Rowan had seven kills in the set to keep the 49ers close with help from Jocelyn Stoner and Molly Shaw. After a Charlotte timeout, the 49ers registered a combo block by Nalani Lyde and Lana Strejcek then a Davidson attack error put Charlotte up 25-24. Stoner and Shaw came up with a big block to extend the match to a fifth set. Charlotte took the competitive fourth set 26-24.
Charlotte took advantage in the fifth set as they began the set leading 9-2. As Davidson went on a run, three more kills from Shaw gave the 49ers a 12-8 lead. The Wildcats went on a run to cut the deficit to 13-12, then Rowan delivered the final two kills including the match-winner in the exciting 15-13 set and 3-2 match victory.
Rowan led all hitters with 26 kills to set a new career high. Stoner registered 15 kills while Shaw had 10.
During the match, there were 35 tie scores and 18 lead changes.
“I am so excited about the way we stepped up and fought back,” said head coach Karen Weatherington. “We love rivalries. Davidson’s always a great team; they work hard and pick us apart because we know each other very well. We knew it would be a grudge match. Mentally, we’re just about as tough of a team as I’ve ever seen. When we went down, the conversation from the bench and players was we’re going to fight and we’re in this, let’s battle it back, and when you hear your team start talking like that, they have the mental stability to push through.”
Charlotte will head to Blacksburg, Va. for the Hokie Invitational to face Arkansas State on Friday, Sept. 20 at 10 a.m.