Charlotte volleyball got off to a slow start, rallied to level the match, but could not put together a consistent attack after intermission and fell 3-1 (25-19, 21-25, 25-21, 25-22) to Louisiana Tech Friday night in the home Conference USA opener for the 49ers. Charlotte slips to 10-8 overall, 0-3 in league play. Tech improves to 7-11, with a 1-3 league mark.
Sophomore Sarah McDonald (Snoqualmie, Wash. / Mount Si HS) put together 13 kills, the third time this season she has produced this total, the second-highest of her career. She did so in 29 attempts for a .345 attack percentage, also the second-best of her career, with just three errors. She was the lone 49er with double-digit kills. It was the fourth time she led or tied for the team lead in kills this season.
The team had just 41 kills, the season low for a four-set match.
There were just three lead changes in the match, as Louisiana Tech was able to get out to hot starts and hold off Charlotte in the three sets in which they won.
In the second set, the Lady Techsters jumped out to a 5-1 lead, and led as late as 19-14, but the 49ers finished the set on an 11-2 run, which included three kills from senior captain Amanda Videmsek (Highland Heights, Ohio / Beaumont School) to even the match at a set each.
After the break, Tech put together a 9-5 start and kept the lead going away. The fourth set was much tighter until a late 3-0 run with Tech up by two and only a late 5-2 Charlotte run could get it close, until a pair of Xzache Mathis kills helped to put the 49ers away.
Charlotte was out blocked 12-6 in the match.
Sophomore libero Michelle Hovey (Raleigh, N.C. / Lighthouse) had 17 digs to lead the Niner defense, with freshman Morgan Barker (Holly Springs, N.C.) adding 11. Sophomore setter Britney Leigh Held (Brookfield, Wis. / Brookfield Central HS) had 36 assists in the match.
Charlotte will host Tulane Sunday at 1 p.m. to complete the weekend homestand. There will be a postmatch clinic by the coaches and players. Fans must register for the clinic at Charlotte49ers.com.