For the third time in as many tries, Charlotte won the opening set in a conference volleyball match, but the 49ers lost the next three sets in a 3-1 defeat (20-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-18) on the road at George Washington Saturday night. The Colonials improved to 12-5 overall in capturing its first league win of the season, to 1-2. Charlotte is 6-9 overall, 0-3 to start Atlantic 10 Conference play.
George Washington has won at home over the Niners in six straight seasons.
"We lost another heart breaker," said Charlotte head coach Chris Redding. "I think we have been a little inconsistent and have been unable to finish these matches. I put that on me. I have to do a better job in practice to prepare us to be more consistent and I am going to a make sure we do that over the next two weeks."
In that opening set, Charlotte jumped out to a 4-0 lead, including a pair of aces from libero Chrissy Drake (Greer, S.C. / Riverside HS), and four blocks at the net to hold off the Colonials and open with a 1-0 match lead. Senior setter Sheri Davis (Cape Coral, Fla. / Evangelical Christian HS) recorded a pair of kills, seven assists and three blocks in the opening frame. Sophomore Amanda Videmsek (Highland Heights, Ohio / Beaumont School) also helped at the net with three blocks to go with a pair of kills in the opening set. Charlotte never trailed in the first frame.
In the second, GW started with a service error, followed by another Drake ace en route to the Niners starting with a 9-4 lead. The teams traded 5-0 runs in the second, but an additional 4-0 Colonials run put Charlotte at bay and leveled the match at one set each. Charlotte's attack percentage of .258 was the highest second-set percentage in three league matches so far this season.
The third set featured match highs of seven ties and three lead changes. With the set tied at 22, the Colonials were able to score the final three points on a kill, an ace and a Niners attack error for the 2-1 match lead. Charlotte was held to just .057, with eight errors and 10 kills on 35 attempts.
The 49ers recovered slightly in the fourth set, hitting .128 in the frame, but the Colonials put together a .375 percentage and weather four ties in the frame to close out the win.
Davis finished with 35 assists to go with six kills and seven digs. The Niners were led offensively by junior Bianca Rouse (Columbia, S.C. / Keenan HS) and her 17 kills. Senior Leah Leventhal (Gainesville, Fla. / Santa Fe HS) followed with nine kills. Videmsek tied for the match high with six blocks on the night. Junior Jenna Litoborski (Lemont, Ill. / Lemont HS) paced Charlotte with 12 digs.
"We could use some home court going against the top two teams in the league next week," added Redding
The 49ers dropped all five matches on this road swing, but will be home for their next four contests. That home stand begins next Friday night at 7 p.m. in an Atlantic 10 Conference match against Xavier. It will be free youth night in Halton Arena, where Charlotte is 3-1 this season. The Niners follow that with a Sunday tilt against Dayton at 1 p.m.