Charlotte volleyball hits the road to begin Conference USA play this weekend, Friday night at 6 p.m. at FIU and Sunday for a noon match at Florida Atlantic. After spending eight years as a member of the Atlantic 10, the 49ers are making their return to C-USA, a league they co-founded in 1995.
Charlotte ended the non-conference portion of the schedule at 10-5, matching last year’s win total ahead of the 14-match C-USA schedule. Charlotte is one of four teams with 10 wins heading into conference play. The 49ers start on the road for this pair and will play at home every other weekend starting next week to the end of the season. The 49ers are 3-1 on the road this season, losing only a five-set affair at Davidson on the opening day of play, August 30. The 49ers have posted wins at Chattanooga, Norfolk State and North Carolina A&T so far.
The FIU Panthers are 6-6, 12th in the league, while the Florida Atlantic Owls sit at 7-5 and sit seventh.
Charlotte is in the Top Five in the lead to this point in attack percentage, kills per set, assists per set and digs per set. The 49ers are tied with the Owls in block per set, at sixth. FIU is second in the league in blocking, the only category among the three teams in which Charlotte does not lead the trio.
Charlotte senior middle Amanda Videmsek (Highland Heights, Ohio / Beaumont School) is eighth in the league in kills per set, at 3.42 through 15 matches. She leads all players among the three teams in that category. She has turned in 178 kills so far this season. FIU’s Kimberly Smith and Ksenia Sukhareva are 12th and 13th, respectively, in C-USA in that category entering this weekend.
Charlotte sophomore setter Britney Leigh Held (Brookfield, Wis. / Brookfield Central HS) sits second in conference with 11.04 assists-per-set average. Only one player has turned in more assists so far this season among the 15 league schools. FAU’s Jelena Jovanovic is tenth in Conference USA in that category. Also second in the league is sophomore Michelle Hovey (Raleigh, N.C. / Lighthouse), with 5.21 digs per set. After posting 26 digs in a three-set win over Gardner-Webb Tuesday, she is one of just two players so far in conference with more than five digs per set this season. Freshman Claire Kreuz (Boerne, Tex. / Samuel Champion HS) sits third in the league in service aces, logging 0.39 per set in 2013.
Charlotte has not faced either school since 2003, taking on FIU in Halton Arena that season. Charlotte is 3-4 against the Panthers in program history, and 2-1 against Florida Atlantic.
Charlotte will be back home Friday, October 4 to face Louisiana Tech at 7 p.m.