Riding a win in its last match Sunday, the Charlotte 49ers volleyball program heads to Philadelphia for its second trip to the Keystone State this weekend, taking on La Salle Friday night and turning attentions to Temple Saturday night before returning home. Both matches start at 7 p.m. The Friday night La Salle match will be held at the Gallagher Center at Philadelphia University.
Charlotte (7-12, 1-6 A-10) started a climb out of last place in the league with a 3-1 home win Sunday over Fordham to get into a tie for ninth, one game out of seventh-place. Due to the imbalanced league schedule, the 49ers started 0-4 in the Atlantic 10 Conference last season, but climbed back into sixth place and into the Atlantic 10 Tournament with a strong finish.
Offensively, junior Bianca Rouse (Columbia, S.C. / Keenan HS) continues to lead. The outside hitter and assistant captain is sixth in the conference in kills per set, at 3.27 in 2011. She leads the team with 242 kills this season. Charlotte's two middle hitters took home Defensive and Rookie of the Week in the Atlantic 10 Conference this week. Sophomore Amanda Videmsek (Highland Heights, Ohio / Beaumont School) and freshman Savannah Gaster (Johnsonville, S.C. / Johnsonville HS), continue to pace the 49ers at the net. With seven blocks in each of the 49ers two matches last week, Videmsek moved into fourth in the conference in blocks per set average at 1.04). Her 55 total blocks are second only to Gaster's 69, whose blocks-per-set average is 0.96, placing her eighth in the league in that category. She blocked seven in the Sunday win over Fordham. Also in the league's statistical leaders, the Niners senior setter, Sheri Davis (Cape Coral, Fla. / Evangelical Christian HS), stands eighth in the league with an 8.28 assists-per-set ratio, with her season total at 613.
As a team, Charlotte checks in this week fifth in blocks (2.14 per set) and seventh in service aces (1.35 per set.)
The 49ers opponents this week have a few players or note in the league stats categories this week.
La Salle enters play on Friday with a league-worst 5-19 record, 1-6 in the A-10. The Explorers defeated Rhode Island on October 1 at home, but have lost three in a row since then. La Salle has the league's aces leader in junior libero Breanna Mazalewski. Her 34 service aces are tops in the league, as well as her 0.40 aces-per-set average.
Temple is 5-17 on the season, the second-worst overall win percentage in the conference. The Owls sport a 2-5 league record, with wins over Rhode Island and La Salle. Temple has one win in its last four matches, the 3-1 victory at La Salle on October 6.
Charlotte took down Temple in both meetings last season and defeated La Salle in their only meeting in 2010.