Miles Ruder


Charlotte wins first C-USA series of season against ODU

Charlotte played their first conference series of the season and won two of the three games on the road against Old Dominion.

Game 1: Charlotte 11, Old Dominion 8

Drew Ober started off the first game with a lead-off home run to give the Niners an early lead. His teammates followed him up with two more runs scored in the first inning. With Charlotte leading 4-2, Bryce Windham and Andy Garriola each had two RBI hits for the Monarchs which gave them a 6-4 lead after the second inning. Rafi Vazquez responded for Charlotte by hitting a home run in the third inning to cut the lead down to one run.

With Charlotte trailing 7-5 in the fifth inning, Vazquez hit a single into right field, which brought in two more runs to tie the game. However, the Monarchs responded in the seventh inning when Will Morgan hit a double to bring in another run.

Charlotte’s best inning of the night came in the eighth when the Niners started the inning off with bases loaded and no outs. Harris Yett hit a two RBI single, which was followed up by a sacrifice bunt from Tommy Bullock which brought in another run. Carson Johnson hit an RBI single to bring in the fourth run of the inning, which gave the Niners an 11-8 lead. Colby Bruce entered the game to pitch for the Niners and did not allow a run, which helped Charlotte secure the victory.

Will Palinkas earned his first win as a Niner after pitching 2.2 innings and only allowing one run. Bruce earned a save for closing the game with two scoreless innings.

Game 2: Charlotte 8, Old Dominion 7

The Monarchs took an early 3-0 lead in game two, when two Monarchs hit solo home runs. Old Dominion started off the game pitching well, as the Monarchs didn’t allow a Charlotte run in the first four innings. However, Charlotte scored their first run of the game in the fifth when Yett hit a sacrifice fly.

Charlotte started batting well in the sixth inning when the Niners scored three runs that started with an RBI single from Bullock. The final two runs of the inning were scored off of a single from Todd Elwood and a sacrifice fly from Ober. However, Old Dominion responded by scoring three runs of their own in the sixth to take a 6-4 lead.

With Charlotte trailing 6-5 in the top of the ninth inning, Charlotte had bases loaded and Josh Haney earned an RBI walk to tie the game at 7 a piece, which sent the game into extra innings.

Three innings went by and the game was still tied until Charlotte broke the tie in the 13th inning when Jacob Whitley hit a single to bring in the go-ahead run. Bullock followed Whitley by bringing in another run to give the Niners an 8-6 lead. Old Dominion scored one run in the bottom half of the inning but could not get another run, as Charlotte earned another win on the road.

Game 3: Charlotte 0, Old Dominion 10

The third game of the series was not pretty for the Niners, as they were shutout for the first time this season. Charlotte committed three errors in the game, which ultimately led to runs scored for the Monarchs.

Charlotte kept the game tied through the first two innings, but Old Dominion scored three runs in the third inning, with the RBIs comping from Matt Burch, Windham and Vinnie Pasquantino. In the fourth inning, Tommy Bell hit a two-run home run to extend the Monarch lead. The Monarchs recorded two more runs in the fifth inning off of a single from Garriola and a sacrifice fly Will Morgan.

The Monarchs took a double-digit lead in the seventh inning, when two runs scored off of an error from the Niners. Ryan Teschko hit an RBI single into right field which gave the Monarchs their 10th run of the game. The game was called after seven innings due to the 10-run rule.

Charlotte only managed to record four hits in the game and no base runners reached third base. The hits came from Ober, Elwood, Yett and Dominick Cammarata.

Charlotte returns to action when the Niners take on Wake Forest on the road on Tuesday, Mar. 19 at 6 p.m.

Cavaliers shutout 49ers at home

Charlotte allowed three runs in the first inning and could not bounce back as the Niners were shutout by the Virginia Cavaliers 6-0 at home. The 49ers softball team (8-12, 1-2 C-USA) has now lost three games in a row.

Charlotte failed to record a hit through the first four innings but managed to get on base through walks and errors. The 49ers’ lone hit came in the bottom of the fifth inning with two outs when Spenser Gray hit a triple that bounced off the back wall. With a chance to score the first run of the game for the Niners, the next batter struck out swinging, which ended the inning.

Virginia got off to a hot start in the first inning when Donna Friedman hit a three-run homerun. The Cavaliers continued to hit the ball well when Erika Osherow hit a double to lead off the fourth inning. The next batter, Kate Covington, hit a two-run homerun to extend the lead to 5-0. Virginia scored their sixth run of the game when Hayley Busby hit an RBI single in the sixth inning.

The Virginia pitchers combined to record 14 strikeouts on the game.

Even thought Charlotte only recorded one hit, the Niners managed to get on base often as they ended the night with seven runners left on base throughout the game.

Charlotte will return to action when the 49ers host the Marshall Thundering Herd for a three-game series that begins on Saturday, Mar. 16 at 1 p.m.

49ers earn second road win of season with win at ODU

With senior guard Laia Raventós out, the Niners needed the young players to step up in her absence. Freshman Jada McMillian recorded a game-high 20 points and led the Niners to a 60-53 road win against Old Dominion. This win marks Charlotte’s second road win on the season.

Octavia Jett-Wilson finished the game with 16 points for the Niners. Old Dominion finished the game with two players in double figures and was led by Aziah Hudson and Mariah Adams who scored 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Freshman Guard Jada McMillian

McMillian started the game strong for the Niners, as she scored the first five points of the game. Old Dominion would respond with a 7-0 run. With Charlotte leading 9-7, Old Dominion would score the final nine points of the first quarter to take a 16-9 lead. Jett-Wilson opened the second quarter with a three-pointer for the Niners, but the Monarchs would respond with four straight points. With the Monarchs leading 20-13, Charlotte responded with an 11-2 run to take a two-point lead. The Monarchs would make a free throw late in the second quarter but the Niners still led 24-23 at halftime.

Hudson would open the second half with a three-pointer for the Monarchs. Charlotte would respond with a 7-0 run led by Jett-Wilson and take a 31-26 lead. With the game tied at 35, McMillian would score six straight points for the Niners as Charlotte would take a two-possession lead in the fourth quarter. Charlotte started the fourth quarter strong as the Niners would open the quarter with back-to-back three-pointers from Mariah Linney and Christian Hithe. Old Dominion cut the lead down to three with 1:58 remaining after a three-pointer from Hudson. However, Charlotte would maintain the lead by scoring six straight points to help secure a Charlotte road victory.

Charlotte finished the game shooting 42.6 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from the three-point line. Charlotte played great defense, holding the Monarchs to 32.8 percent shooting on the night. The 49ers out-rebounded Old Dominion 44-32.

Charlotte returns to action when they travel to Florida to take on FIU on Saturday, Mar. 2 at 2 p.m.

Charlotte falls at home to Rice; losing streak reaches 4

Charlotte trailed by double-digits in the second half and made a valiant comeback to cut the deficit to one possession late, but the Niners could not come away with the win as Rice would win 65-61 in Halton Arena. Charlotte finished the month of January with a 2-8 record.

“We dug ourselves a hole in the first half,” Charlotte Head Coach Ron Sanchez said. “I’m really proud of the way we bounced back in the second half. I think we did a really good job defensively in the second half. I think they fought hard in the second half and gave us a chance to win. I could not ask them to do more.”

Charlotte (5-16, 2-8 C-USA) was led by Jon Davis, who had a game-high 28 points off of a 12-for-21 shooting night. Davis also finished with five rebounds and a season-high four blocks. Milos Supica recorded 14 points and nine rebounds while Malik Martin finished with 11 points off the bench. Davis, Supica and Martin combined to score 53 of the team’s 61 points on the night.

Rice (9-13, 4-5 C-USA) finished with three players in double figures, led by Ako Adams with 16 points. The Owls recorded 36 bench points on the night while Charlotte finished with 13.

Both teams went back and forth the first five minutes of the game with Charlotte taking a 10-9 lead after Davis made a jump shot. However, Rice would respond with a 12-3 run led by Trey Murphy III who scored nine points during that stretch. Charlotte would cut the lead down to four after a fast-break layup by Davis with five minutes remaining in the first half. Rice would outscore Charlotte 9-2 in the final minutes of the half as the Owls would take a 37-26 lead heading into the second half.

With Charlotte trailing 41-31 in the second half, Charlotte would go on a 12-0 scoring run to give the Niners a two-point lead. Both teams would trade buckets the next few possessions, but Charlotte would take a five-point lead, their largest of the night, after a Supica layup. With the 49ers leading 52-47, Rice would make back-to-back three-pointers to give themselves a one-point lead. Cooper Robb and Supica would combine to score the next six points to give the Niners a five-point lead with 3:41 remaining. Rice would respond with an 8-0 run which gave the Owls the lead. Charlotte would fight hard the rest of the game but could never regain the lead as Rice would go on to win the game.

Charlotte finished the game shooting 46 percent from the field and only 24 percent from the three-point line. The 49ers dominated in the paint as the Niners outscored Rice 32-18 in the paint.

Charlotte’s next game will be a tough one as the Niners will host the North Texas Mean Green who have an 18-4 record on the year. The game is slated to start on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 4 p.m.

49ers falter in second half; lose 76-70

Charlotte played well both offensively and defensively in the first half but it was a tale of two halves for the Niners as they got out of rhythm and lost momentum in the second half, leading to a 76-70 loss at home against Old Dominion. With this loss, Charlotte falls to a 5-13 record and are now 2-5 in conference play.

“For us as a team, we played an inspiring first half. We played great defense, shared the ball well, did a lot of good things. I was really happy at halftime,” said Coach Ron Sanchez. “The second half was not. We lost our way. I think we reverted back to the way we were a few weeks ago when we were still trying to get to the point where we could compete.”

It was a slow start to the game for both teams, as both Charlotte and Old Dominion combined to shoot 2-for-16 to start the game and combined to commit five turnovers in the first seven minutes. The Monarchs didn’t make their first shot until the 12:48 mark in the first half. After the scoring slump to start the game, both teams started to find a rhythm on offense.

With the score tied at 14, the Niners would score the next seven points to take a 21-14 lead after a three-pointer from Malik Martin. The Monarchs scored the next four straight points but Charlotte would then go on a 13-4 run to give themselves a 34-22 lead. Ahmad Caver made a jumper for the Monarchs to close the half with Charlotte leading by double digits heading into the second half. Charlotte finished the first half with four players scoring at least eight points.

With Charlotte leading by 10 in the second half, the Monarchs would then go on a 14-2 run to take a two-point lead over the Niners. Milos Supica would make a pair of free throws to tie the game at 41. Old Dominion would continue their hot stretch, scoring the next 12 points to take a 53-41 lead with 10:17 remaining. Through the first 10 minutes of the second half, Charlotte was outscored 29-7 and committed six turnovers.

With Charlotte trailing by 14, Jon Davis and Cooper Robb would combine to score the next 12 points for the Niners but the Monarchs maintained their double digit lead with under two minutes to play. Davis would then score back-to-back three-pointers to cut the lead into single digits. Davis scored 13 of the last 16 points for Charlotte as they started to cut into Old Dominion’s lead late in the game but there was not enough time left in the game for Charlotte to pull off a comeback.

Sanchez was not pleased with the team’s effort in the second half, after playing so well in the first half.

“We have to play for more than 20 minutes,” Sanchez said. “The second half, that effort that was played on the floor today was not good enough to beat a team as talented as ODU.”

Davis finished the game with 30 points and scored 21 of his 30 in the second half. Supica finished the game with 11 points and eight rebounds. Martin scored 12 points off the bench and went 4-for-5 from three-point land for the Niners.

Old Dominion finished the game with four players in double figures and were led by B.J. Stith, who recorded 22 points and seven rebounds for the Monarchs. Caver finished the game with 20 points. Stith and Caver played a big role in the second half, as they combined to score 33 of the 52 points in the second half for Old Dominion.

Charlotte will head to Texas to take on the UTSA Roadrunners on Thursday, Jan. 24 at 8 p.m.

Niners lose heartbreaker on last second shot

Charlotte played hard for 40 minutes but the Niners suffered a heartbreaking loss at home, falling to Southern Miss 63-60 on a last second shot.

“I think today was a perfect example of what beating yourself looks like,” head coach Ron Sanchez said. “When you’re a team like ours, the margin of error is very small. When the game is on the line, you can’t give up possessions. One lesson that we will learn is to eliminate losing by the things that we can control.”

The 49ers (4-12, 1-4 C-USA) finished the game with three players in double figures, led by Jon Davis with 20 points and seven rebounds. Jaylan McGill tied his season-high with 13 points, while Cooper Robb recorded 12 points on the night.

Southern Miss (11-7, 3-3 C-USA) had four players in double figures and were led by Kevin Holland, who finished the game with 14 points.

The first half was very close the entire way as neither team led by more than seven points in the half. Southern Miss took an early 9-5 lead in the game after a made layup from Tim Rowe. Charlotte would fight back and then take a one point lead off of a Brandon Younger layup. With Charlotte leading 18-17, Southern Miss would then go on a 10-2 scoring run, which would give the Golden Eagles a seven point lead. Davis would make a pair of free throws for the Niners, which takes the game to halftime with Charlotte trailing 27-22.

Holland opened the second half with a three-pointer for the Golden Eagles, which pushed their lead to eight. Charlotte would then go on a 14-0 run led by Davis and Younger which gave the Niners a 36-30 lead. After a Southern Miss layup, the Niners took a nine point lead, their largest of the night, after a layup from Robb and a three-pointer from Davis. With Charlotte leading 47-40, the 49ers got sloppy with the ball, committing four turnovers in less than two minutes which gave Southern Miss easy buckets on the other end. The Golden Eagles would go on a 13-2 run during that stretch which gave them a 53-49 lead.

Leonard Harper-Baker made a fastbreak layup which gave the Golden Eagles a six point lead. Davis would then score the next six points for the Niners, which tied the game at 60 with just over a minute to play. Charlotte had a chance to take the lead late in the game but Davis missed a contested jump shot which gave Southern Miss the last shot in regulation. Tyree Griffin would then make a stepback three-point jumper for the Golden Eagles, which gave them a 63-60 victory.

Charlotte finished the game shooting 40.4 percent from the field while making seven three-pointers on the night. The 49ers out-rebounded Southern Miss 34-28 in the game.

Charlotte returns to action when the 49ers take on Louisiana Tech in Halton Arena on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 4 p.m.

49ers’ rally in second half falls short against FIU

The Charlotte 49ers trailed by as much as 17 points in the second half on Thursday night. The 49ers fought hard and cut the lead down to a one possession late in the game but could not seal the deal as the Niners fell to the FIU Panthers 69-66. With this loss, Charlotte remains winless in conference play (0-3) and on the road (0-4) this season.

Charlotte finished the game with three players in double figures, led by Jon Davis who finished the game with 24 points and made four three pointers on the night. Freshman Brandon Younger finished the game with a season-high 16 points and Milos Supica finished with 12 points.

FIU also had three players in double figures, led by Trejon Jacob who finished the game with 19 points. Brian Beard Jr. came into tonight’s game as the leadings scorer, averaging 19.5 points per game for the Panthers but was held to eight points off of 2-for-16 shooting.

Charlotte had a slow start to the game as the Niners committed 14 turnovers and only recorded seven points with 5:32 remaining in the first half. Younger scored the first points of the game for the Niners but then the Panthers scored 18 of the next 22 points to take a 18-6 lead. With Charlotte trailing 30-13, the 49ers closed the first half with a 12-4 run, cutting the lead down to single digits going into the second half.

FIU started off the second half strong scoring 17 points in the first five minutes of the half capped off by Willy Nunez Jr. who made a three pointer. With the score at 51-34, Charlotte would score six straight points led by Jaylan McGill to cut the lead to 11. FIU, however, would push the lead back up to 15. The Niners and the Panthers would trade buckets the next few minutes and the Panthers would lead 60-46. Charlotte would then go on a 14-2 run led by Davis which cut the lead down to two points with 2:40 remaining in the game.

Beard Jr. scored four points for the Panthers which helped push the lead to five for FIU with 38 seconds left. After a made free-throw for the Panthers, Davis would score a layup and a three pointer for the Niners to cut the lead down to one with 13 seconds left in the game. Charlotte would then foul Beard Jr. who only made one of his two free throws, giving the Niners a chance to win. With under five seconds remaining, Davis committed a turnover for the Niners which sealed the deal for a Panthers victory.

Charlotte finished the game shooting 41.5 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from the three-point line. FIU only shot 37.3 percent overall and 33.3 percent from behind the arc. The 49ers also out-rebounded the Panthers 41-38 in the game.

The Charlotte 49ers will continue their Florida road trip when they take on the FAU Owls on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 4 p.m.

Davis drops 21; still lose to Deacons

Jon Davis finished the game with 21 points, four assists and four rebounds for the Niners but could not get the win as Charlotte fell to Wake Forest, 80-56. Charlotte (2-5) has played their last three games on the road and have lost all three.

Other than Davis, Charlotte had one player finish in double figures on the night. Brandon Younger came off the bench and scored 11 points and five rebounds for the Niners.

Wake Forest had five players finish in double figures. The Demon Deacons were led by Isaiah Mucius, who finished the game with 16 points and four rebounds off the bench.

The first half was very sloppy for both teams, as both Charlotte and Wake Forest combined to commit 18 turnovers and shot 2-for-21 from the three-point line. Charlotte would take an early lead when the Niners scored 5 of the first 6 points of the game led by Milos Supica and Malik Martin who made shots inside the paint. With Charlotte trailing 12-11 in the first half, Wake Forest went on an 11-0 run to push the lead to double digits. Charlotte would cut into the lead when both Supica and Davis scored off of a layup. Both teams would split making shots the rest of the first half as Charlotte trailed Wake Forest 32-22 going into the second half.

Wake Forest was in complete control during the second half. Leading 37-26, the Demon Deacons would then go on a 13-3 scoring run capped off by a dunk by Oliver Sarr, forcing Charlotte to call a timeout. The Niners would end the run with a three-pointer from Dravon Mangum, which cut the lead down to 18 with 12:17 to play. After both teams traded buckets, Davis would make a layup in transition which cut the deficit to 17. That is as close as Charlotte would get in the second half as the Demon Deacons would continue to go on scoring runs to push the lead even higher.

Charlotte finished the game shooting 40 percent from the field and 16.7 percent from the three. Wake Forest ended the game shooting 44.3 percent and 28.6 percent from the three. The Deacons shot 16-29 in the second half.

Wake Forest out-rebounded Charlotte 43-31 as the Demon Deacons had four players that recorded at least five rebounds in the game. Martin led the Niners with eight rebounds on the night.

Charlotte returns to Halton Arena to play their next game when the Niners take on the USF Bulls on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 2 p.m.

Charlotte falls to Davidson on the road

The Charlotte 49ers played their first road game of the season on Tuesday, Nov. 27 when they traveled 20 miles north to play their cross-county rival, Davidson. Charlotte kept the game close in the first half but could not match the intensity of the Wildcats in the second half as the Niners fell on the road 76-56. Charlotte has now lost to Davidson for the sixth consecutive year.

Charlotte finished the game with three players in double figures and were led by Jon Davis, who finished the game with 16 points, five rebounds and four assists. Freshman Cooper Robb finished the game with 12 points, and Milos Supica came off the bench and scored 14 points and recorded seven rebounds.

Davidson also had three players in double figures and were led by Kellan Grady and Jon Ax. Gudmundsson who finished the game with 25 and 20 points, respectively. Luka Brajkovic scored 12 points off of 4-for-5 shooting for the Wildcats.

Charlotte took an early 5-4 lead when Cooper Robb scored the first five points of the game for the Niners. Davidson would then go on to score seven of the next nine points to take a four point lead. Davidson would then lead for the rest of the game, but Charlotte still fought hard to keep the game close.

With Davidson leading 11-9, the Wildcats would go on a 12-4 scoring run capped off by an easy layup for the Wildcats, which would give them the first double-digit lead of the game. Dravon Mangum would score the next five points for the Niners to cut the deficit down to five. With 7:10 to play in the first half, both teams would then go back and forth for the next four minutes as both teams were getting good looks for scoring opportunities. With just over a minute left in the first half, Supica scored the final points of the first half as the Niners trailed Davidson 35-27.

Davidson opened the second half by scoring the first five points of the half, but Charlotte would respond as Davis scored the next four points for the Niners. With a 43-34 Davidson lead, the Wildcats would score eight of the next 11 points, which pushed the lead to 14. Davis would then score six of the next nine points for the Niners, but the Wildcats had enough momentum to maintain a comfortable lead. With Davidson leading 61-46 with 8:35 to play, the Wildcats would score the next six points, lead by Gudmundsson, and maintained a lead of at least 17 points for the rest of the game.

Davis played hard for the Niners in the second half as he went 9-for-10 from the free throw line and scored 14 of the team’s 29 points in the second half.

Charlotte finished the game shooting 36.2 percent from the field, while Davidson shot 51.9 percent. The 49ers struggled from the three-point line on both offense and defense as the Niners only shot 4-for-22 from behind the arc, while the Wildcats made 10 three pointers on the night.

Charlotte looks to improve during the month of December when they take on the College of Charleston on the road on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 4 p.m.

Charlotte dominates in season opener

The Charlotte 49ers women’s basketball team opened up the new season with a convincing 70-53 victory against the visiting UNC Asheville Bulldogs. The Niners finished the game with four players in double figures and six players with at least eight points. Jade Phillips led the way for the Niners with 16 points and eight rebounds in only 23 minutes of action. Laia Raventós, Christian Hithe and Jazmin Harris totaled 10 points each while Octavia Jett-Wilson and Mariah Linney finished with eight points apiece as well.

On the other side, Charlotte held the Bulldogs to only one player in double figures. Sonora Dengokl finished the game with 18 points off of 7-for-12 shooting, three rebounds and two steals.

Charlotte opened up the game strong, as the Niners took a quick 11-0 lead in the first quarter, forcing the Bulldogs to call an early timeout. Raventós, who was named apart of the Preseason All Conference-USA Team, got involved early as she scored the first five points of the game. Raventós also scored or assisted on the first 14 points of the game for the Niners. Linney closed out the first quarter with a three-pointer, as the Niners ended the opening quarter with a 17-6 lead. Harris stood strong inside the paint for the Niners as she recorded three blocks in the first quarter.

The Niners took a 26-8 lead when they opened the quarter on an 8-0 run by playing great defense by trapping the Bulldogs in the half court and forcing turnovers, which allowed easy buckets on the other end. With the score at 31-11, the Niners would score their next eight points in the paint by scoring off of offensive rebounds and easy layups. Charlotte committed a turnover late in the quarter which allowed an easy layup for the Bulldogs. Jett-Wilson made a free throw to close out the quarter and the Niners went into halftime up 40-21. Charlotte shot 16-for-30 and went 6-for-11 from behind the arc in the first half.

Jessica Wall and Dengokl scored the first four points of the second half for the Bulldogs, cutting the deficit down to 15. However, Charlotte wound respond by scoring the next 11 points and taking a 51-25 lead. The Bulldogs would go on to score nine points in the final minutes of the third quarter, but the Niners still held a 59-36 lead heading into the final quarter.

The fourth quarter was all UNC Asheville, as the Bulldogs outscored Charlotte 17-11 in the fourth quarter. Charlotte committed seven turnovers in the fourth quarter, which allowed the Bulldogs to score 10 points off those turnovers in the final quarter but it wasn’t enough as the lead was too large to mount a comeback. With Charlotte leading 65-44 with 4:07 remaining, Charlotte’s head coach, Cara Consuegra, took all of her starters off the court and let the young freshman close out the game. Maddie Moore scored the final point of the game at the free throw line for the Niners as the game ended with a Charlotte 70-53 victory.

Coach Consuegra emphasized how she wanted to be a better rebounding team and it showed tonight, as the Niners totaled 17 offensive rebounds and out-rebounded UNC Asheville 41-32. The offensive rebounds in the game were huge for the Niners, as they finished the game with 17 second-chance points compared to the Bulldogs six points.

That (rebounding) was something we struggled with last season, so we set some higher goals for us as a team and we achieved both of them tonight being able to out-rebound Asheville by nine and have 17 offensive boards is what this team is capable of,” Coach Consuegra said.

Consuegra was also pleased with the depth of her team tonight, as six players finished with eight or more points and the team totaled 31 bench points in the game.

“It’s a luxury for us. I think what it has helped us to do is play at the pace we want to play,” Coach Consuegra said. “We got into a little foul trouble tonight but it wasn’t that concerning because you have someone else that you can just bring in right behind those folks.”

Charlotte held the Bulldogs to 41.5 percent shooting, 0-for-10 from the three-point line and forced 19 turnovers on the night.

“We’ve always been strong on the offensive end, but defensively we’ve been kind of middle of the pack, and we feel like for us to take the next step as a team, we have to be a better defensive team,” Coach Consuegra said. “To me, defense is about wanting to. There’s a lot of players who score, but maybe don’t want to defend. I feel like as a group they want to defend.”

Charlotte returns to the court on Sunday, Nov. 11 when they take on Wofford in Halton Arena at 2 p.m.

49ers swept in loss at UTEP

The Charlotte 49ers women’s volleyball team were swept 3-0 on the road against a struggling UTEP Miners squad. This loss marks Charlotte’s second straight shutout loss and now fall to 15-14 overall and 5-8 in conference play. On the other side, UTEP improves to a record of 5-19 and are now 2-10 against C-USA opponents.

The first set was full of back and forth action between both teams, as the set was tied 16 all at one point. Charlotte would then lose seven of the next nine points and eventually lose the first set 25-21.

Charlotte dug themselves into a hole in the second set, as the Niners were down 18-11 at one point. However, the Niners put together a valiant comeback and took the lead 24-23 and were one point away from winning the second set. Charlotte would then go on to lose the next three points, and fall in the second straight set 26-24.

UTEP carried their momentum into the third set, as the Miners took the lead early and never lost it. Charlotte was only down 9-7 at one point, but could not get points consistently, as the Niners lost the set and the match.

Charlotte finished the match with 33 kills and three total aces. Sydney Rowan had the most kills for the Niners with nine. Jocelyn Stoner and Molly Shaw totaled seven kills each for Charlotte.

Yumi Garcia finished with a match-high 20 digs for the Niners and now has a total of 644 digs this season, which is now eighth best in Conference USA history.

Charlotte will honor seniors, Jannelle Curtiss and Reeana Richardson, on Friday, Nov. 9 when Charlotte hosts Marshall on senior night. This match is even more special as Charlotte has a chance to clinch a C-USA tournament berth with a win against Marshall. The start time for the match is 6 p.m.

Photo by Matthew Hoffman

One last go for the seniors

The Charlotte 49ers women’s basketball team will be led by seniors Laia Raventós and Ka’Neeshia Brown, who will be playing their final season in a 49ers uniform this year.

Raventós, a 5-foot-7 guard from Spain, entered the program in 2015 and has been nothing but sensational since joining the team. For the 2017-18 season, Raventós was named as a part of the All-Conference USA First Team and All-Conference USA Defensive Team. It is no surprise that she was listed on the Preseason All-Conference USA Team for this upcoming year, but Raventós cares more about the team than individual honors.

“I think it is important, but at the same time, what matters is how the season goes,” Raventós said. “I care more about winning and about the team. Not really individual awards, but more team awards.”

Raventós and her teammates have been putting in a lot of work this offseason to improve from last season.

“I feel that we have been working harder than last season. Especially because we started so early together,” Raventós said. “In previous years, we started right before school. This year we had more time to prepare together and focus on our fundamentals.”

Raventós enters the season as the most experienced player on the roster as she has started the majority of her games played since her freshman year. With this experience, she shows a lot of confidence and leadership for this team.

“I definitely feel more comfortable communicating with my teammates and taking this leadership role,” Raventós said. “I feel that our freshmen are going to be great. I think we have good team chemistry with our team.”

Brown enters the season as a senior on the team as well. Brown joined the program last year after she transferred from Daytona State College. Brown hopes to improve off of last season where, in one game, she grabbed a career-high four rebounds against Western Kentucky late in the season.

“A lot of us, including myself, got into the gym a little bit more,” Brown said. “Coach Consuegra really emphasized putting in the extra work to make us better as a team. Last season, we were a really great team, but we really didn’t put the effort in by getting in the gym and getting in the extra work.”

The Charlotte women’s basketball team enters the season projected to finish fifth in the conference standings. However, Brown believes this team has the potential to go for the conference championship.

“We have a goal this year and that’s to win a conference championship. In order to achieve that, we have to come together and work hard, push each other and get one percent better every day,” Brown said. “It all starts in practice. Practice makes perfect. You always want to play like it’s your last game. You can’t slack off, so you want to go as hard as you can every day because we have the potential this year and we’re going for that conference championship this year.”

It’s been a long offseason for the women’s basketball team after being knocked out of the Conference USA tournament in the first round last season and these lady seniors are ready to get back on the court.

“I’m very excited,” Raventós said. “It’s been a really long offseason. We’ve been practicing since early July and I think we’re all excited to start playing basketball again and putting our hard work into the game. I think we’re all excited.”

Coach Consuegra and the team are confident they can make it to the top this season, Raventós and Brown included. Being that there is a lot of hard work that goes into that, these Niners are ready to do it and to enjoy their final season in Halton Arena.

“It’s my senior year and I just want to go out with a bang.” Brown said.

49ers defeat the Herd with late goal

Joe Brito was the hero on Saturday, Oct. 5. scoring a goal late in the game for the Niners, leading to a 1-0 victory over the Marshall Thundering Herd. With this win, Charlotte improves to an 8-3-1 record and are now 4-2 in conference play.

Offensive opportunities were hard to come by as both teams played very well on the defensive end in the first half. Both Charlotte and Marshall were held to zero shots on target in the first half. The teams combined to shoot six shots in the first half, and all of the attempts were either blocked or went wide of the net.

The defenses stayed strong in the second half, as the first shot on goal didn’t happen until the 64th minute by Noah Seach for the Niners. Marshall did not record a shot on goal until the 82nd minute when Pedro Dolabella fired a hard shot on goal, forcing Elliot Panicco to make a save for Charlotte.

Joe Brito was substituted into the game at the 84:20 mark in the game and less than five minutes later, he made a huge impact for the 49er offense. In the 89th minute, Teddy Chaouche sent a ball into the box off of a free kick. Callum Montgomery controlled the ball and quickly passed it to Brito, who shot the ball into the back of the net for the game-winning goal. This marks Brito’s first goal of the season. Chaouche recorded his sixth assist on the season and is now tied for the most assists in the conference.

Charlotte finished the game with seven shots, led by Maclean Holbrook with two shots. Brito, Tommy Madden, Dean Rutherford, Daniel Bruce and Noah Seach totaled one shot each.

Marshall finished the game with 12 shots, but only managed to record one shot on goal. Panicco has now recorded his eighth shutout of the season for the Niners.

This match concludes Charlotte’s road games for the 2018 regular season as the rest of the season will be played at Transamerica Field for the Niners. Charlotte finished the season with a 3-3-1 record on the road. Charlotte returns home to take on USC Upstate on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m.

Niners fall to Miners 1-0

Charlotte (8-7, 4-4 C-USA) traveled to El Paso, Texas to take on the UTEP Miners (7-8-2, 2-5-1 C-USA). The Niners allowed a goal early and could not get a score on the board, leading to a 1-0 loss. Charlotte is now on a four-game losing streak, in which they have been outscored 5-1 in those matches and have been shutout in three of the four games.

In the 17th minute, UTEP scored the only goal of the game when Cayla Payne sent a long ball into the box for Jojo Ngongo, who controlled the pass and scored. After allowing the goal, Charlotte played well on defense, only allowing three shots the rest of the match.

In the 26th minute, Sophie Sipprell had a chance to tie the game for the Niners when she hit a shot off the crossbar.

Charlotte had plenty of opportunities to score in the second half as the 49er offense totaled 14 shots in the second half. Only four of the 14 shots were on target and all the shots were saved by the UTEP goalkeeper. Charlotte attempted six shots and two corner kicks in a 13-minute span during the second half, but all the shots were either saved or went wide of the net.

Charlotte was very dominant on the offensive end, finishing the game with a 20-5 shot advantage, including a 6-3 advantage in shots on target. Megan Greene finished the game with seven shots and one shot on goal. Sandra Geiselhart had three shots while Riley Orr and Sophie Sipprell had two shots each.

Charlotte, looking to end their four-game losing streak, will stay in Texas this weekend as they take on the UTSA Roadrunners on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 1 p.m.