TOLEDO, OH - Toledo (4-2) continues its rigorous non-conference schedule when it travels to Milwaukee, WI this weekend for the Marquette/UW-Milwaukee Invitational. The Rockets will face Creighton on Friday, Sept. 10, UW-Milwaukee and Wisconsin on Saturday, Sept. 11 and Marquette on Sunday, Sept. 12.
UT posted a 1-2 record at the Bama Bash last weekend, rebounding from losses to Alabama and UAB on Friday with a 3-1 triumph over a veteran Furman squad on Saturday.
Junior OH Amber DeWeerdt earned a spot on the all-tournament team after posting a team-high 4.20 kills and 3.90 digs per set to go along with a .288 attack percentage. DeWeerdt registered a season-best 22 kills vs. the Paladins, a career-high .519 hitting mark against the Crimson Tide and now ranks sixth in the MAC with 3.36 kps.
Freshman MB Dakota Harkins also continued her strong start to the season, posting a .364 ATK% (22-6-44). She is leading Toledo this season with a .358 ATK% and 0.50 service aces per set in addition to ranking second with 0.75 blocks per set.TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
Following is the Rockets' schedule at the Milwaukee/Marquette Invitationals with matches to be played in UW-Milwaukee's Klotsche Center (2,500) and Marquette's Al McGuire Center (4,000):
1:00 p.m. Toledo vs. Creighton (@Marquette)
1:00 p.m. Central Michigan at UW-Milwaukee
8:30 p.m. Wisconsin at UW-Milwaukee
8:30 p.m. Creighton at Marquette
Noon Toledo at UW-Milwaukee
Noon Wisconsin vs. Central Michigan (@UW-Milwaukee)
6:30 p.m. Toledo vs. Wisconsin (@UW-Milwaukee)
6:30 p.m. Central Michigan vs. Creighton (@Marquette)
8:30 p.m. UW-Milwaukee at Marquette
2:00 p.m. Toledo at Marquette
LOOK AT THE ROCKET OPPONENTS
Creighton (3-4) is coming off a second-place finish at Saint Louis' Active Ankle Challenge where it posted 3-0 wins over the host Billikens and Wake Forest but lost a 3-2 decision to Iowa. Junior OH Alicia Runge leads the Bluejays' attack with 4.38 kps and a .228 ATK%.
UW-Milwaukee (2-4) has dropped four in a row, including a 3-0 setback to No. 12 Iowa State last Saturday. Junior OH Kerri Schuh tops the Panther offense with a .231 ATK% and 3.00 kps.
Wisconsin (6-0) hasn't lost a set this season and has four attackers registering attack percentages of .260 or better. Freshman OH Elisa Walch leads the Badgers with 4.13 kps and a .325 ATK%, while freshman MB Dominique Thompson possesses a team-best .380 hitting mark with 2.40 kps. Junior S Janelle Gabrielson quarterbacks UW's offense and is averaging 11.67 aps, 3.40 dps and has a .415 ATK%.
Marquette (3-3) has lost two matches already this season to Top 10 opponents - at No. 3 Stanford and No. 6 Minnesota. Senior MH Rabbecka Gonyo paces the Golden Eagles with an impressive .458 ATK% and 3.14 kps.
Toledo has enjoyed tremendous success at the net this season, averaging 2.14 blocks per set and limiting its opponents to a .167 attack percentage.
That's a big improvement from last year's season average of 1.60 bps when it ranked 11th in the Mid-American Conference. UT's current block average is fourth this year behind Ohio (2.72), Kent State (2.39) and Eastern Michigan (2.34).
Sophomore MB Bethany Irwin ranks third in the conference with 1.13 bps, including collecting a career-high eight rejections in UT's season opener vs. Loyola (MD).
Toledo ranks second in the MAC with 16.09 digs per set which ranks second in the MAC. Senior libero Katie Westerfeld is leading the Rockets with 4.55 dps and ranks third in the conference's individual rankings. Her 30 digs against Michigan were the second-most she has collected in her career.
A MEMBER OF THE CENTURY CLUB
Head Coach Greg Smith recorded his 100th career victory as a collegiate head coach with a 3-0 triumph over Binghamton on Aug. 28. The Rockets' second-year mentor now has a 21-14 (.600) win-loss mark at UT after posting an 81-94 (.463) ledger in six seasons (2000-05) at Virginia Tech.
HARKINS SERVING IT UP
Freshman MB Dakota Harkins is leading the Rockets and ranks sixth in the MAC with 0.50 service aces per set.
The Canal Fulton, OH native also appears among the conference leaders in attack percentage, ranking eighth at .358.
Toledo is facing Creighton, Marquette and
Wisconsin for the first time in school history...The Rockets trail their
all-time series with UW-Milwaukee by a 2-1 margin with the last meeting coming
in a 3-0 road loss in 2005.
A LOOK AHEAD
The Rockets will have one more non-conference match prior to opening conference play on the road at Western Michigan and Northern Illinois on Sept. 24-25.
Toledo will host Big Ten foe Michigan State in Savage Arena on Friday, Sept 17.