The Charlotte 49ers (11-9) lost to the Florida international University Panthers (9-6) 3-2 (20-25, 25-19, 27-19, 24-26, 10-15) breaking a three-year winning streak against the team going back to Oct. 14, 2016. The loss also drops Charlotte down to a 1-3 conference record.
The team was led by Junior Sydney Rowan, whose 28 kills were the second most of the match behind FIU’s Fiorella Murillo’s 29.
The match started out with the 49ers in troubl, as they would drop the first set to the Panthers 20-25 off the strength of Murillo and her five kills. The Niners would bounce back and take the second set, however, as they would rally to take a 25-19 lead to tie 1-1 by the third set.
The 49ers would stay in firm control of the third set, jumping to a 5-3 lead after a block by Jocelyn Stoner and Annika Wetterstrom. The team would hold the lead for the remainder of the set, winning the last eight out of 11 points to put the set away 27-19, the largest difference of the night.
The next set would be back and forth as the two teams battled it out. The teams would start out 1-1, exchanging points up until 10-10, where Charlotte would win three points in a row to make it 13-10 with the help of two kills set up by Wetterstrom. The lead wouldn’t hold for long though as FIU would rally to win six of the next seven points, putting them up 14-16. Charlotte would lead once again in the set, momentarily with a 24-23 one-point lead after a Rowan kill, but FIU would ultimately take the set, leaving the match 1-2 in favor of the away team.
The next two sets would go in the Panthers favor as the team would remain in control of the match the rest of the night.
Rowan’s 28 kills were most of the season for her so far, and Redshirt Sophomore Simone Jeffries also posted a career high in blocks in the game with seven. The loss was the second for the team when scoring over 47 points on the season – a streak in which they are 11-2.
The teams next match comes against C-USA opponent Florida Atlantic on Sunday, Oct. 13 at FAU at 6 p.m.