Charlotte senior captain Amanda Videmsek posted her third-straight double-double with 16 kills and a career-high 19 digs and the 49ers pushed Marshall to a pair of extra-point sets, but the Thundering Herd outlasted the 49ers 3-1 (31-29, 25-17, 24-26, 25-23) Saturday at the Cam Henderson Center in Conference USA action. The win gives Marshall a 13-11 record overall, 7-2 in league matches. Charlotte is 10-14, 0-9 in conference.
The first set was obviously the story of the match, with 15 ties and seven lead changes. Marshall built up a 15-9 lead, but the Niners came storming back with a 5-0 run after a timeout and forced a tie at 16-all, and the score was tied at every point from 18 all the way to 29 until a pair of Herd kills with the score there got Marshall the opening-set win. The 49ers seniors came alive in the first set with Videmsek and Taylor Cannon (Elizabeth City, N.C. / Camtech HS) each logging six kills in the opening period. They combined for one error in 21 attempts to pace the team to a .340 attack percentage, while Marshall hit just .218 in the opening set.
Marshall put together runs of 5-0 and 7-0 in the second to hit for a .333 attack percentage and lead 2-0 into intermission. Junior Savannah Gaster (Johnsonville, S.C.) carried the offensive load for Charlotte in the second set, with five kills.
Marshal got out to a 6-1 lead in the third set, extending that lead to 16-9 before the Niners stormed back and got the period tied at 21 after winning two out of every three points to that spot. The Herd scored the next two before a Charlotte timeout and Herd kill surrounded by a Carly Ochs (Town and Country, Mo. / St. Joseph’s Academy) and a pair of Herd errors tied the match at 24. The 49ers got a kill from sophomore setter Britney Leigh Held (Brookfield, Wis. / Brookfield Central HS) and a Marshall error ended the set in Charlotte’s favor.
There were five tie scores in the fourth, including as late as 23-23, but Charlotte never led in the frame. Marshall went on a 6-0 run after a 13-all tie, only to see the Niners put together a 3-0 and 5-0 run to get it locked again at 22. Each team managed a kill to force a 23-all score, but a Marshall kill and Charlotte attack error ended the match.
The 49ers outhit the Thundering Herd .190 to .178, but Charlotte had two more errors and eight service errors in the match. Marshall also collected seven service aces to Charlotte’s three and outblocked Charlotte 12-7.
Videmsek led the Niners in kills, with Cannon and freshman Claire Kreuz (Boerne, Texas / Samuel Champion HS) adding 10 each. Sophomore libero Michelle Hovey (Raleigh, N.C. / Lighthouse) led all players in the match by tying her own school record with 38 digs (setting a new school high for digs in a four-set match). She raised her season average to 4.99, one shy of the coveted five digs-per-set plateau.
Held kept up with Videmsek with the team lead in double-doubles, as she collected her seventh of the season with 50 assists and 10 digs for the afternoon.
The 49ers will play their last final weekend of two home matches, with w Friday night 7 p.m. matchup with UTSA before a Sunday home tussle with UTEP at 1 p.m.
NOTES: Charlotte has played 27 of its 87 sets to within two or three points, but have posted just a 7-20 mark in those tight frames.