The Charlotte women's volleyball team could not handle the heat as the Blazers of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) fought to a 3-0 victory over the Green and White on Sunday, Oct. 30.
The loss brings Charlotte to No. 10 in Conference USA (C-USA) standings with a 2-8 record in conference matches.
First set (24-26)
It was the 49ers that started the match strong, scoring three points before the Blazers could get on the board. Despite a few troubles, Charlotte led the game 13-10 and had held the lead or tied with UAB the whole set.
The Blazers then posted seven points in a row, but Charlotte answered with their own rally. After a kill by junior Emani' Foster, Charlotte was on top 21-20.
A series of little rallies by both teams ultimately decided the set. The Blazers scored three in a row, then answered by three from Charlotte, who was one point away from victory. However, UAB refused to fail under pressure, and another three points from them decided the set.
At 26-24, it was the closest set of the match.
Second set (25-18)
While the first set was a back-and-forth bout, UAB held the advantage throughout the second.
Attack and service errors played a role in depressing the 49er's offense. Seven errors were made during the set, giving UAB nearly a third of the points necessary to win. Charlotte was behind 21-13.
Consecutive errors turned the tide against UAB as Charlotte rallied with five points in a row, three of which were errors. However, the deficit was too significant for the 49ers to overcome; once UAB settled and shored up their efforts, they scored four of the following five points to carry the set 25-18.
Third set (25-12)
Charlotte struggled throughout the third set, unable to answer a commanding Blazer crew. Foster scored the first point of the set, answered by six in a row from UAB – only one of which was a 49er error.
Things sat even at 7-7. It was the last close moment of the match.
The Blazers scored the following five points in a row, and though Charlotte dulled the attack, every 49er point was matched by one or more for UAB. With Charlotte down 11-17, the situation was already dire, and a collapse in the last third spelled the end of the 49ers' victory chances.
UAB scored nine of the last 10 points to finish the set 25 to 12. Charlotte's one point was due to a Blazer service error.
Their 12-point set was Charlotte's lowest in a non-fifth set since Aug. 28, 2021, when the 49ers took a set two 25-7 loss to Colorado.
Out of Charlotte's lineup, Foster was the star with 13 points scored, while senior Amani McArthur scored eight. However, compared to the last showdown with UAB on Sept. 25, the team lacked the same offensive power.
The road loss to UAB continues the struggles that the 49ers have away from the home court. Five of Charlotte's eight victories this season were at home, with two at opposing courts.
In terms of successful attacks versus attempts, Charlotte saw its third-worst outing, with only 13.8% of all attacks being successful. In addition, the 35 points scored in the game comprise the joint-worst performance by the team, tied with Oct. 21's match against Western Kentucky.
The 49ers make their way to Miami, Fla., to battle the seventh-place Florida International University Panthers on Friday, Nov. 4, at 6 p.m. It is the fourth to last game of the season.