Charlotte/UTEP C-USA tounrey

The Charlotte volleyball team in the huddle during a volleyball match against Middle Tennessee on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022.

Charlotte volleyball’s season ended on Friday, Nov. 18, after the team lost to the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) in three straight sets (25-20, 25-14, 25-22). The loss came in the quarterfinals of the C-USA championships in Bowling Green, Ky.

Charlotte finished the season with an 11-16 record and were 5-9 in C-USA play. Notable wins came against Syracuse, Virginia and a 3-2 comeback win against UTSA. 

Emani’ Foster highlighted the season. Foster finished the regular season with 496 kills, leading Conference-USA and No. 5 in the nation. She also hit the 1000 career kills milestone against FIU.

After the loss, head coach Karen Weatherington said she was proud of the team’s season.

“We were proud to just be here, and we knew we were running up against a really good team,” said Weatherington, “I felt good coming into the match. We didn’t get our serve and pass game together, but I thought we put together some other good pieces. We’re a good, hardworking group. We never stopped fighting when we were down. I love every single one of my players and can’t wait to have all of them back.” 

Set one (25-20)

The two teams traded blows to start the match as the score remained tied at 10. UTEP then got things rolling, jumping to a 21-15 lead. 

Charlotte didn’t go away easy as a three-point run, started by a Jessica Ricks kill, brought the Niners within three. However, it was not enough for the 49ers, as UTEP ended the first set 25-20.

Set two (25-14)

UTEP took an 11-6 lead early in the second, but three straight scores by Charlotte brought them back within two. However, UTEP turned on the jets while up 13-11 as they then went on a seven-point run to take the lead 20-11. 

The 49ers tried to get back into it with kills by Ricks and Foster, but the deficit was too wide. The Miners took the second set 25-14.

Set three (25-22)

With the season on the line, Charlotte displayed a fight until the end. UTEP got off to a swift start, taking an 11-2 lead. However, Charlotte was able to weather the storm with a 7-1 run just a few players later to narrow the deficit to three. 

The excellent play by Foster and Ricks helped ignite the 49ers as they combined for nine points to tie the set at 19. Late in the third, Ricks made a kill to keep Charlotte within one, 23-22. However, UTEP scored two straight to take the victory and end the 49er season 

A look at the stats

Ricks led the way in kills, aces and blocks with 10, two and two, respectively. Annika Wetterstrom led the way in assists with 13, and Annika Thompson was right behind with 12. Whalen led the team in digs with 11.