The Charlotte volleyball program returns home to begin a four-match home stand this weekend. The 49ers will host the two unbeaten teams in the league this weekend, in Xavier and Dayton. Xavier visits Halton Arena Friday night at 7 p.m., while the Flyers come to town for a Sunday 1 p.m. tilt. Friday night will be Youth Night, with all youth between the ages of 2-17 in free (under two is always free).
Charlotte is 6-9 overall, with an 0-3 start in league play. Four of Charlotte's first five league opponents earned a berth in the Atlantic 10 Tournament field last season, finishing ahead of Charlotte in that field.
Charlotte is 3-1 at home this season, and 34-20 in four-plus seasons under head coach Chris Redding. The 49ers are coming off a five-match road swing, which including winning the first set in all three A-10 road matches, despite losses in all three.
Four 49ers have reached 100 or more kills this season, led by junior Bianca Rouse (Columbia, S.C. / Keenan HS), who has tallied 197 kills so far this year. Her 3.28 kills-per-set average rankes sixth in the Atlantic 10 Conference at the start of the week. The 49ers have had their blocking prowess slowed a bit due to the injury of sophomore Amanda Videmsek (Highland Heights, Ohio / Beaumont School), but she and the team's leading blocker, freshman Savannah Gaster (Johnsonville, S.C. / Johnsonville HS) have been in the mix in practice this week and should return to form with a healthy team heading into the weekend. Charlotte is averaging almost half a block more than opponents through 15 matches this year. Only three teams in the league (Xavier and Dayton included in that list) have more blocks per set than the 49ers.
Charlotte's digs and blocks averages are on the rise. In the last three matches, all league tilts, the 49ers have averaged 13 digs per set (above their season average of 12.3) and 2.77 blocks per set (above 2.11 per set). The 49ers are about half a kill and half an assist per set below their season averages in that same span.
Xavier is one of only two programs that Charlotte has not defeated in Atlantic 10 play (Saint Louis the other). The 49ers have an all-time mark of 2-11 versus the Musketeers. XU comes in hot, with a five-match win streak and a 12-5 overall mark. Three XU players have over 100 kills to this point, with sophomore outside hitter Sarah Brown leading the charge with 159 (3.24 per set), good enough for eighth in the league. Junior libero Stephanie Vorherr has a remarkable 271 digs (4.44 per set), the fourth-highest digs-per-set total in the A-10 to this point of the season.
The Flyers sit at 11-5, with a Friday match at George Washington before their visit to the Queen City on Sunday. The Flyers have two players with over 150 kills, including junior outside hitter Rachel Krabacher's league-leading 260 (4.48 per set). Five different Flyers have over 100 digs, with junior libero Paige Vargas sporting a total of 270 (4.66 per set), third-best in the league.