CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte women's basketball team has
extended its consecutive postseason appearance streak to 11 following the
announcement Monday night the 49ers will be participating in the Women's National
Invitation Tournament (WNIT) for the 10th time in the program's 38-year
history. Charlotte, who will play host to in-state foe Appalachian State in the
first round Thursday in Halton Arena, is one of only 12 schools nationally to
reach the postseason in each of the last 11 seasons and the lone non-BCS member
of the elite dozen. Time for the game will be announced Tuesday.
The Niners received their 12th overall postseason berth after posting a 24-5 record during the season, including a school-record 13-game win streak on their way to a second-place finish in the Atlantic 10. Charlotte was one of seven schools from the conference to earn either an NCAA or WNIT bid this year.
The WNIT berth is the fourth straight for the 49ers, one shy of the school-record run from 2004-08. Overall, Charlotte is 10-9 in the event, with its 4-1 record advancing to the 2011 semifinals marking the program's most successful appearance.
It marks the seventh time in which the 49ers will play host to a WNIT first-round game and the fourth-straight year, dating back to 2010. Despite having a game on its home floor for first-round action, Charlotte has only advanced to the second round or further four times with 2010 and 2011 witnessing a second-round contest inside Halton Arena.
Head coach Cara Consuegra made her postseason debut with the Niners a year ago, in the WNIT first round against Wake Forest.
This year's 49ers squad was led by All-America candidate and Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, Jennifer Hailey. Hailey became just the second Charlotte player in program history to receive the top honor from a conference, joining Kristin Wilson in 1986-87 by the Sun Belt.
An All-Atlantic 10 First Team choice, Hailey was joined on the all-league squads by third-team honorees Amanda Dowe and Ny Hammonds.
Appalachian State, out of the Southern Conference, reached the semifinals of the league's tournament and owned a 20-10 record through the campaign under fifth-year head coach Darcie Vincent. She has a 104-58 overall mark during her time in Boone, N.C.
Anna Freeman leads a trio in double-figure scoring with her 16.4 points per game average. Maryah Sydnor and Courtney Freeman also average at least 10 points a contest with 15.0 and 12.2 averages, respectively. Anna Freeman is the Mountaineers' top rebounder at an 8.8 per game clip.
Both Anna Freeman and Sydnor were honored by the Southern Conference coaches on their all-conference squad, while the league's media placed Freeman on the first team and Sydnor on the second team.
Charlotte owns a 15-4 all-time series lead against Appalachian State, having last faced the Apps at the Holmes Center Nov. 20, 2009, and coming away with a 74-57 victory. It extended the Niners current win streak in the series to five.
Josh Feldman will have the play-by-play call on Charlotte49ers.com, while live stats and video are also linked through the website. In-game updates can be found on Twitter by following @49erGameDay. Stay tuned to Charlotte49ers.com for further updates on the team's progress.