Charlotte's volleyball team (9-4, 7-3) swept Florida Atlantic (1-8, 1-6) over the weekend in a battle between Conference USA (C-USA) opponents. The Niners won both of their matchups as the end of the season approaches and clinched a C-USA tournament spot. Charlotte's victory over FAU on Sunday was the first win for Charlotte since 1996.
"This weekend's matches were a testament to the toughness of this team," said Head Coach Karen Weatherington after the game. "They know how to win, and we did that in both games."
Charlotte won the first matchup on Sunday 3-1 (25-18, 25-18, 20-25, 25-23) to improve their conference play record.
In the first set, The Niners went back and forth with the Owls. Charlotte closed out the first set on an 8-1 run to win by a score of 25-18.
The second set would be much of the same for the Niners. Charlotte found themselves in a hole early as they trailed FAU 11-6. The team took a 13-12 lead and didn't look back as they would win the second set, 25-18.
In the third set, Florida Atlantic came out on top. The set would be rather competitive, but the Owls closed the door to win their first and only set of the contest by a score of 25-20.
The Niners closed it out in the fourth set of the matchup. Charlotte trailed 14-8 in the early going but would battle back to take the win. A 13-3 run would cap it off for the team.
The Niners were propelled by a great performance from freshman Emani Foster. Foster recorded 21 kills and two blocks in the contest, which would be the factor in the weekend's outcome.
Senior Sydney Rowan produced at a high rate as she had ten kills and one block in the contest. Rowan's veteran leadership would be big down the stretch for the team.
Lastly, sophomore Annika Wetterstrom was everywhere on the court this weekend. Wetterstrom had 27 assists in the first contest of two against the Owls.
"We raised our level of play and took the match over by being stellar at the net," said Weatherington. "We can credit our offensive execution for the win today."
Charlotte won the second of two matchups 3-1 (25-17, 25-16, 22-25, 26-24). The Niners get the clean sweep over the Owls and also clinch a spot in the C-USA tournament.
In the first set, the Niners went on two huge runs, 8-0 and 5-0 to get the win. FAU battled back, but it wasn't enough as Charlotte would take it 25-17.
The second set was, once again, more of the same for Charlotte. The Niners kept the lead the entire time in the set and would win it 25-16.
In the third set, Florida Atlantic got back into the contest as they would win it. A 5-0 run for the Owls was enough to pull away from the Niners. FAU would come out on top 25-22.
Charlotte closed it out in the fourth set as they came from behind to secure the Florida Atlantic sweep. The team battled through adversity to get two much-needed victories.
Foster was able to pick up where she left off in the second matchup as she recorded 17 kills, two blocks and three aces. Nalani Hyde showed up for the team and had seven kills and four blocks for her team.
Annika Thompson had a productive performance for the 49ers. Thompson led the team in aces with six as well as having 16 assists.
"We are so proud of this team and the response to another big challenge on the road," said Weatherington. "We are also thrilled to punch our ticket to the C-USA Championships and are excited to be home to finish out the regular season next weekend."
The Niners fought hard and will look to continue their hot streak in their final series of the season against rival Old Dominion on March 14 and 15. The team returns to Halton Arena, and both games will start at 1 p.m.