CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Fresh off capturing the team title in the 2014 Charlotte Invitational, the Niners volleyball team will look to improve on its 3-1 start by taking on Winthrop inside Halton Arena on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. Charlotte won their first three matches of the season to help boost the 3-1 start with Britney Leigh Held and Semen Sen (MVP) being named to the All-Tournament team.
Charlotte began the new era with their 3-1 win over Morgan State that saw Irem Asci lead the way with 14 kills while Sen began her MVP weekend with 13 kills hitting .526. Held averaged nearly 11 assists per set helping the offense hit .444 and .333 in sets two and four. Asci and Held completed volleyball’s version of a double-double by adding 10 and 11 digs respectively. Libero Shelby Green popped up a team-high 14 to anchor the defensive efforts.
The Niners followed with their first 3-0 sweep of the season knocking off in-state foe UNCG later in Friday’s nightcap. The Charlotte defense held the Spartans offense to just .088 hitting percentage thanks in part to 55 digs and six team blocks. Asci and Sen once again led the offense with 11 kills each in the win while Held dished out 33 more assists. Green, along with sophomore Morgan Barker, recorded 13 digs apiece.
The 49ers came rolling out of the gates on Saturday hitting .467 in their opening set over ETSU setting the tone for a 3-1 win over the Buccaneers. Charlotte rallied back to win the four-set match as Sarah McDonald set a new career-high hitting .476 with 11 kills in the win. Sen also continued her MVP weekend with 11 more kills posting a .318 attack percentage. Held assisted 39 more times while Green added a match-high 16 digs. Green would help blow out ETSU in set four serving up five aces during a 12-point run, including three-straight, to finish the match with a 25-15 win.
Looking to start 4-0 on the year for the first time since the mid-90’s, the Niners started off with yet another comeback topping Sacramento State 27-25 after being down 16-12 at the midway point. However, between the Hornets hitting over .364 in each of the last three sets and the Niners running out of gas offensively, Sacramento State handed Charlotte their first loss of the season despite a team-high 15 kills from Abreia Epps. Epps, who made her Niners debut on Saturday after missing all of 2013 due to injury, picked up her first career kill earlier in the day on her first attempt versus ETSU.
Sen garnered her MVP honors for the tournament with 44 kills in four matches hitting .367 in the victory. Asci followed close behind with 41 while McDonald posted 30. Held averaged nearly 11 assists for the weekend finishing with 160 while Green dug up 55 attack attempts.
Winthrop started their season off with a 1-3 performance at Air Force’s invitational out in Colorado. The Eagles swept Rutgers in their season-opener before being swept by the hosts to finish their Friday play. On Saturday, Winthrop dropped a pair of four-set matches to Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and Cal. Alina Sopizhuk led the way for the Eagles with 47 kills while Emma Weakland hit .305 over the weekend with 41 kills.
Tickets are available by ordering online or by calling the Niners ticket office at 704-687-4949. Tuesday’s match for Charlotte will be the final non-conference tilt in Halton Arena before Conference USA play starts on September 23rd vs. Marshall. Live stats/video will be provided for the match through http://www.charlotte49ers.com. Updates will also be provided on Twitter by following @49erVolleyball and @49erGameday.