Panthers set to face C-USA foe in crucial league showdown

The FIU women’s volleyball team meets a center court prior to their matchup against the Stetson Hatters on August 25, 2018 at the Ocean Bank Convocation Center. (Photo courtesy of FIU Athletics)

By Jenna Smith/Asst. Sports Director



The Panthers prepare to face the Charlotte 49ers on Friday, Oct. 26, at the Halton Arena in Charlotte, NC.

Charlotte has beat FIU for three years straight since 2015, but this could be the ending of that streak.

FIU (13-7) has changed the attitude of their team by defeating numerous conference teams they have previously lost to in the past such as Marshall and University of Texas at El Paso.

Following their string of victories, they prepare to face Charlotte who is currently ranked fifth.

Last year, Charlotte’s best asset was their attacking and their final hitting percentage of the season was over .200. Along with their strides in attacking they are also averaging three blocks per set.

The 49ers have a hitting percentage of .225 and average 2.5 blocks per set. FIU also holds an average of .193 and 2.2 blocks per set.

The Panthers have proven to be more efficient in attacking and consistently commit fewer errors than the opposing team. FIU averages 12.8 kills per set overriding Charlotte who has 12.2

In previous matches, FIU has not allowed too many runs to occur during the serve receive.

Earlier in the season, when the opposing teams served aggressively, they would shake up the Panther’s offense and result in them to regroup on the court.

The transition of communication and teamwork has changed due to their adjustments on how the serve receive looks.

Often times, Margherita Bianchin and Lina Bernier will run a two-person serve receive by splitting the area of the court in half.

This fast pace offense that the Panthers have developed makes it hard for other teams to stop.

Bianchin led the team last year in kills and has the most kills (265) this season.

Being team captain, her leadership and flexibility on the court have been present in each game.

Coach Rita Buck-Crockett has found her niche within the team by continually presenting different outside hitters in each set. This forces the opposing team to change up their defense due to the hitter’s range of versatility.

Sidney Henderson’s high vertical gives opponents trouble when it comes to defending her hits.

Nina Petranovic’s placement of the ball and aggressive attacks has benefited the team’s play.

While their newest player, Ronja Klinger, has begun to make her mark by having the third highest kills on the team after appearing in 60 out 77 sets this season.

Since Buck-Crockett’s arrival in 2013 to the indoor volleyball program, this year has been her best record to date.

Despite, the 15-13 winning record in 2015, the current 13-7 record shows a turnaround in the program.

Buck-Crockett is a few games away from passing her own record, for the most wins in a season here at FIU.

Start time for the contest is set for
6 p.m.

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