A school-record crowd of 1,810, clad in pink, came out to support Dig Pink Night, raising money for breast cancer awareness, education and research as the Charlotte 49ers were upended at home by Rhode Island 3-1 (25-21, 25-15, 23-25, 25-22). The Rams improve to 11-9 on the season, 3-3 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Charlotte slips to 6-12, 0-6 in the league.
Charlotte's top two kills leaders, junior Bianca Rouse (Columbia, S.C. / Keenan HS) and senior Leah Leventhal (Gainesville, Fla. / Santa Fe HS) both had kills and digs double-doubles, with senior setter Sheri Davis (Cape Coral, Fla. / Evangelical Christian HS) adding an assists and digs double-double in the match. Rouse led the Niners with 17 kills and added 17 digs. Leventhal had 13 kills and 13 digs for the Niners, while Davis handed out 36 assists with 14 digs in the match.
Junior libero Jenna Litoborski (Lemont, Ill.) tied for the match lead with 20 digs.
Down two sets-to-none, the 49ers went to the locker room at intermission looking for answers before coming out to a set-three victory.
"I told the girls that there was a huge crowd of people wanting to cheer for them and we should use that energy to fuel us," said Niners head coach Chris Redding. "We were a little tight and trying too hard in the first of the match, but I was proud of how we settled in and started playing to the scouting report and to what we can do."
In the third set, Charlotte was able to side out the Rams at a 66 percent clip, holding URI to an .024 attack percentage, their lowest of the match.
The 49ers were a part of their own undoing, however, with 17 service errors, which prevented rallies and momentum to stay with the pink-clad squad.
Charlotte will turn around and host Fordham Sunday to complete the four-match home stand. First service in Halton Arena is scheduled for 1 p.m.