Charlotte volleyball returns to the court Thursday in the 11th-annual Dig Pink match as the 49ers take on new conference foe Butler in the first-ever meeting between the programs at 7 p.m. in Halton Arena.

Fans entering the arena will receive a Dig Pink t-shirt, while supplies last. The 49ers ask that you put on the shirt to turn the inside of the arena pink for the match. The 49ers are looking for the first Atlantic 10 Conference win of 2012, with an 8-9 overall record and 0-5 league start. The Bulldogs come into Thursday 11-8 overall, 1-4 in conference play.

The 49ers will raffle off a special Carolina Panthers hat, part of the Breast Cancer Awareness collection, autographed by Greg Olsen, Steve Smith, Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams.

Penny Wars, the final fundraiser between the athletic teams at Charlotte, will conclude at intermission of the match, while football coaches will be on hand to launch autographed Dig Pink t-shirts into the crowd.

The Bulldogs and 49ers are third and fourth, respectively, in opponent hitting percentage in the conference to this point of the season, both holding opponents under a .175 attack percentage.  The 49ers are ranked third in the league in kills and assists, while Butler is sixth in both categories. Butler is second in blocking and is the conference leader in services aces, while the 49ers are tenth and 11th in the league in those categories.

Individually, senior Bianca Rouse (Columbia, S.C. / Keenan HS) recorded 11 kills last Saturday to pull to a tie with Jessica Oldenburg (2003-06) for ninth on Charlotte's all-time career kills list, at 1,172. Her next kill puts her in ninth alone and she needs 174 to move into a tie for eighth on the program's list.


The 49ers have set single-match attendance record in each of the past two Dig Pink matches, with a school-record 1,810 showing up in last year's contest.

So far, the team has raised over $4,000 in solicitations in various events leading up to the match. The online auction for the game-worn pink sleeveless jerseys is up and running and donations are still being taken at the Dig Pink page online.