Charlotte volleyball tips off the 2013 season with three matches at the Wildcat Classic, hosted by Davidson College this Friday and Saturday at Belk Gym. The 49ers will take on CSU Bakersfield to start the season and tournament with a noon contest Friday. The 49ers will turn around and take on the host Wildcats Friday night at 7 p.m. Charlotte will face a short turnaround in a 10 a.m. Saturday morning match against Charleston Southern to complete the weekend.
Charlotte posted a 10-16 mark last year after an 8-3 start in tournament play. The 49ers were led offensively by returning captain and senior Amanda Videmsek (Highland Heights, Ohio / Beaumont School), who posted a team-best 294 kills and 59 blocks. Reserve setter Britney Leigh Held (Brookfield, Wis. / Brookfield Central) steps into the starting setter role this year after averaging 8.43 assists per set with six starts and five other matches under her belt last season. Sophomore libero Michelle Hovey (Raleigh, N.C. / Lighthouse) was third on the team last season, but the returning digs leader with 235 as she steps into a six-rotation spot on the floor. Hovey and junior Laura Cantrell (Millers Creek, N.C. / West Wilkes), who returns after suffering a season-ending injury in the 11th match of the season last year, have been named assistant captains this week.
The Roadrunners were 14-17 last season. Senior Debora Araujo led the team with 475 kills after transferring in from Nebraska CC. Sophomore Kelsee Sawyer was second on the team as a freshman with 313 kills. CSU Bakersfield joins the Western Athletic Conference this season.
The Wildcats were 11-16 overall and 7-9 in the Southern Conference last season. Seniors Caroline Brown and Tindall Sewell finished first (371) and second (287) on the team in kills last year. Davidson will play a final year in the SoCon before moving onto the Atlantic 10 Conference next fall.
Charleston Southern is slated to finish ninth in the Big South Conference after a 13-21 season and 5-9 league record last fall. Four Buccaneers posted between 200 and 250 kills, with senior Kayla Klinger (235) the leading returning player at the net and sophomore Meredith Parrott (221) the next-best offensive weapon back from 2012.
The 49ers play the first three weeks of the season on the road before hosting the 49er Invite on September 20-21. The Niners will open the home schedule with a Friday night match against South Carolina State that Friday at 7 p.m.