Wake Forest Drops Tough Opening Match 3-2 To Charlotte

Aug. 28, 2009

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Charlotte jumped out to an early two-sets to none lead and held on for the 3-2 victory despite a gutsy effort from the Wake Forest volleyball team on the opening night of the 2009 Deacon Invitational.

The 49ers (1-0) won the first two sets 25-22 and 25-23 to head into the break with a 2-0 lead. But Wake Forest rallied in sets three and four to take 25-20 and 25-19 victories, forcing a deciding fifth-set.

In the final set, Charlotte came back from a four-point deficit and pulled out the 17-15 victory.

Charlotte got a match-high 18 kills from Kathleen Hicks who also dished out five assists and added three service aces. Setter Sheri Davis chipped in with a double-double posting 48 assists and 10 digs.

Kelsey Jones led the Demon Deacons (0-1) with her 29th career double-double, dishing out 40 assists and collecting 14 digs.

Junior Kristen White led the attackers with 14 kills and nine digs. She was joined in double-figures by sophomore Carlin Salmon with 11 kills and Andrea Beck with 10. Salmon and Beck also recorded a total of five blocks a piece in the match.

Defensively, freshman Heather Kraft made her first collegiate start and collected a total 14 digs on the night. She was thrust into the starting lineup just minutes prior to the start of the match after junior Megan Thornberry suffered a finger injury during warm-ups.

Senior Abby Miller also chipped in with 11 digs and two service aces.



The night got off to a slow start as both teams struggled to get in any kind of offensive flow. The two teams combined for a total of nine service errors in the opening set.

Charlotte took an early 3-0 lead but the Deacs rallied to win six of the next seven points to take a 6-3 lead. The 49ers then regained a 3-point advantage at 15-12, forcing a Wake Forest timeout.

After the timeout, the Deacs got as close as two on four different occasions but eventually fell 25-23. Hicks led all attacks with six kills in the opening stanza while White added five for the Deacs.

Wake again raced out to an early 5-1 lead in the second set and held an 11-8 lead when Charlotte took its first timeout. The 49ers slowly chipped away at the lead and put together a mini run to take an 18-16 lead.

After a Wake Forest timeout, the Deacs got kills from Salmon, White and sophomore Kadija Fornah to grab a 20-19 advantage but Charlotte answered back with a kill from Hicks and back-to-back service aces from Davis to regain a 23-22 lead.

A hitting error by Charlotte evened the set at 23-23 but the 49ers closed the door with a pair of kills from Kaitlin Knight for a 25-23 victory.

For the third-straight set, the Deacons took an early 5-2 lead but Charlotte would even things up at 8-8 and the set would stay close all the way up until Wake took timeout down 20-19.

Kills from White and Salmon mixed with a Charlotte error allowed the Deacs to snag a 22-20 lead. With Miller at the service line, Wake continued the run with an ace from Miller and blocks from Salmon, White and Jones to close out the set on a 6-0 run and grab a 25-20 win.

The Deacs got a boost off the bench in the third set from sophomore Cambrey Oehler. She put away all four of her attacks and collected a pair of digs in the set. As a team, Wake hit a solid .385 in the third frame.

With the Demon Deacons up 8-6 in the fourth, Charlotte put together a sting of four-straight kills to take a 10-8 lead. Wake took timeout and came out on a 5-0 run of its own thanks to kills from White, Salmon and junior Lauren McIntyre. White and Salmon also teamed-up for a big block at the end of the run.

Wake pushed the lead to 18-13 forcing Charlotte to use its second timeout. The teams would trade points the rest of the set and the Deacs pushed the match to a fifth set with a 25-19 victory. Wake finished the fourth set with 15 kills and no errors for a .519 hitting percentage. Salmon led the way with five kills in the set and Beck chipped in with four.

In the fifth and deciding set, Wake got a pair of kills from Salmon along with an ace from Miller and a kill from Jones to build an early 10-6 lead but that's when Charlotte started to chip away.

The 49ers cut the lead to 12-9 and then put up a wall at the net, blocking three-straight Demon Deacon attacks to even the score at 12-12. A hitting error by Charlotte gave the Deacs a 13-12 lead but as was the case most of the night, any momentum that was gained was then quickly lost by a service error.

After a good rally, Charlotte took a 14-13 lead on a kill from Knight. Wake evened the score on a 49er hitting error but Hicks then quickly regained the lead for Charlotte with her 17th kill of the match.

A kill from Salmon once again tied the score at 15-15. Another good rally ensued and again, Charlotte was able to win the point with a kill from Knight to take a 16-15 lead and would finish the match on the next rally with a kill from Hicks.

On the night, Wake Forest out hit Charlotte .227 to .129 but the 49ers recorded four more kills, 59-55. Charlotte also led the Deacs in assists 54-48.

Wake held an 11-8.5 advantage at the net in blocks and also out-dug the 49ers 67-60.

One of the key stats of the night came from the service line. Charlotte recorded nine service aces compared to just two for Wake but the 49ers also committed 15 service errors while the Deacs recorded 13. The large number of errors hampered either team's ability to sustain a run.

In the opening match of the Deacon Invitational, Jacksonville State got 17 kills from Caitlin Vorbeck and 29 digs from Lauren Harkins to defeat Furman in four sets, 3-1.

The Invitational will conclude on Saturday with four matches. Furman and Charlotte get things started at 10 am followed by Wake Forest and Jacksonville State at 12:30 pm. The Gamecocks will then hang around to play Charlotte at 4:30 pm and Wake Forest and Furman will cap the evening off with a match at 7 pm.

Admission is free to all four matches.

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