Seeing double photo

Annika Wetterstorm (14) and Annika Thompson (17) have the same name and same role with the 49ers. 

To most, Annika is not a name you hear often. However, Charlotte's volleyball team happens to have two players with the name Annika on the team. Annika Thompson and Annika Wetterstorm are both setters, and both stand at five feet and ten inches tall. 

There is a sixteen-and-a-half-hour drive between Thompson's hometown Collierville, Tennessee and Wetterstorm's hometown of Longmont, Colorado. A fun fact about the two is even though Wetterstrom is a third-year, Thompson, a second-year, is the oldest of the two. 

Both players find it weird to call each other by their own names, so they came up with nicknames to go by and make it easier on their teammates and coaches. Thompson either goes by "Nik" or "Tommy." Wetterstrom's nickname is "Ani." 

"We're similar and different in a lot of ways," says Thompson.

The two have a great relationship on and off the volleyball court. According to Thompson, not only do they share the same name, but they also happen to share the same sense of humor.

The two 49ers seem to be like fire and ice. Wetterstrom describes Thomspon as fiery, and Thompson emphasizes how well Wetterstrom remains calm. They both are a great balance for the 49ers between the energy Thompson brings and the veteran poise Wetterstrom consistently displays. 

The two are always looking to feed off each other. 

"It is nice to be able to talk to someone who can relate to what you want to do better," says Wetterstorm. 

Wetterstrom adds that they both do a good job of communicating and giving each other constructive criticism during games and practices. 

Being on different sides of the net in practice gives them a chance to make each other better and see where they can grow. 

Thompson recalls looking up to Wetterstrom as a freshman and seeking to learn from her early on. Wetterstrom set the standard for Thompson and served as a role model from the jump. Thompson shares that Wetterstrom has a way of bringing her teammates together and getting her teammates to feel comfortable playing around her. 

"She knew the system and she knew what was expected of her and so I kind of looked up to her in that way," says Thompson. 

Thomson describes Wetterstrom as even-keeled and says that she doesn't get rattled. Thompson hopes to continue to learn from Wetterstrom on how to remain poised in the midst of adversity.

Both setters have been a major asset to the team throughout the 2021 season, where Charlotte went 12-12 this season and just missed the Conference USA (C-USA) tournament. 

"ANI"

Wetterstorm started her career with Charlotte in 2019. The third-year setter played in all 68 sets, starting 14 of the 18 matches and leading the team with 400 assists in the 6-2 offense, averaging 5.88 assists per set and earning double-digit assists in each of the 18 games. She had back-to-back 27-assist games against Marshall in the C-USA opener. She led the offense to C-USA weekend sweeps over FIU, Middle Tennessee, Florida Atlantic and Old Dominion.

She also had a season-high 30 assists against Florida Atlantic on March 7, followed by another 31 in the 49ers' 3-2 C-USA Tournament Quarterfinal win against UAB on April 1. Wetterstorm finished the season with 106 digs, 14 aces and 400 assists.

"NIK"

Thompson joined Charlotte shortly after Wetterstrom in 2020. Last season, the second-year setter started four times and appeared in all 18 matches and 68 sets. She made an immediate impression with 20 assists and seven digs in a 3-0 season-opening sweep against Davidson.

She began her career with 13 double-digit assist games, eventually totaling 16 for the year. Not to mention, she set a new career-high with 25 assists and 11 digs against Clemson last season, recording her first career double-double with 23 assists and 11 digs in the match two, 3-1 triumph.

Then, in a win over FIU on Feb. 15, she set a new career-high with 26 assists and 11 additional digs. Thompson also contributed 22 assists in the 49ers' 3-2 triumph against UAB in the semifinals.

Even though the season has found its season, the duo of Annika's have been a driving force for the 49ers. 

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