Charlotte Hosts Dig Pink Match To Start Important C-USA Weekend

  0 volleymob | October 25th, 2017 | College - Women's Indoor, Conference USA, News

Press Release courtesy of Charlotte Athletics

The Charlotte 49ers volleyball team will host their annual “Dig Pink” match on Friday night to open up a crucial weekend of Conference USA action inside Halton Arena. The Niners will host Southern Miss at 6:00 p.m. Friday before ending Sunday with a 1:00 p.m. tilt vs. Rice. Both matches will be broadcast live on beIN Sports Connect.

“This is a huge weekend for us and the teams coming in,” began Head Coach Karen Weatherington. “Southern Miss and Rice are playing well as are we and everybody is battling it out in the conference. We just have to have a little fight and know we have a battle ahead. Dig Pink is the most exciting time in volleyball season. We’re raising money for Breast Cancer research and want all of our fans to come out, get a pink T-shirt and help us change lives. We need our fans this weekend. We’re having a historic season and need their support this weekend. We have to defend our home court.”

Charlotte (17-7, 4-4 C-USA) will look to snap a two-game losing streak in which both matches came down to the final points in set five. The most recent happened on Sunday as the Niners had a 2-0 match lead before visiting North Texas stormed back to steal the match 3-2. Charlotte had three players in double-digit kills led by Janell Sparks’ 20, Sydney Rowan’s 15 and 10 from Tatyana Thomas. Rowan was one of three with a double-double adding 12 digs for her 10th of the season.

Entering the final weekend in October, the Niners are continuing to lead the country in blocks as they have all year long. The 288.5 total blocks is 14 clear of VCU in second while the 471 block assists 16 better in the top spot.

Southern Miss (15-9, 5-3) had their three-game win streak snapped on Sunday as well falling in five at home to Florida Atlantic. The Golden Eagles had the opposite situation of the Niners in they lost the first two sets before battling back to force the fifth. Kylie Grandy posted 17 kills while the defense help keep them in it with a 71-dig effort. Southern Miss also led 11-10 in the block column.

Grandy leads the team with 276 kills on the year followed closely by Chandler Marshall and her 261. Natalie Druhan has 320 digs while Sarah Bell has posted 956 assists.

“You can’t talk about Southern Miss without talking about defense,” continued Weatherington. “They are very disciplined and detailed. We have to be aggressive on offense, use a wide range of our repertoire and match that out.”

Rice (18-5, 8-1) begins the weekend with a big in-state rivalry matchup at North Texas before traveling to Charlotte on Sunday. The Owls are currently on an eight-game win streak, all after losing their C-USA opener at UTEP 3-2 back in September. Last weekend, Rice had to grind through a pair of five-set home victories over UTSA and UTEP, having played five-setters in each of their last four matches.

The Owls trailed the Roadrunners and Miners both 2-1 on Friday and Sunday before rallying back to win them in five. Nicole Lennon leads the team with 334 kills while Madison McDaniel helps out with 757 assists. Lee Ann Cunningham paces the defense with 439 digs while Grace Morgan is the Owls top blocker with 91.

“Rice is always Rice,” finished Weatherington. “They have a swift style of system and are intelligent. They are young like us and are always great competition. They are playing well. It’s time for us to go in assertive, get our blocking together and hopefully see the victory.”

Friday’s “Dig Pink” match will feature a pink T-shirt giveaway when the Halton Arena gates open at 5:00 p.m. for fans to wear during the match. The annual pink jerseys the 49ers have on Friday will have an auction take place during the match for those pink tops. Other donations will be accepted as well.

On Sunday, gates open at 12:00 p.m. with a pregame yoga session taking place. A 49ers cup giveaway will also take place while supplies last.

Tickets, live stats and the beIN Sports Connect links are all available at

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