Toledo to Open MAC Play Thursday at Ball State Before Hosting Buffalo Saturday
TOLEDO, OH - Toledo (6-6) opens its 2012 Mid-American Conference campaign on Thursday, Sept. 20 when it travels to Muncie, IN to battle Ball State (7-6). The Rockets will then return home on Saturday, Sept. 22 to meet Buffalo (6-6) in their conference home opener. UT's matchup against the Cardinals is slated to begin at 7:00 p.m. with its contest vs. the Bulls scheduled to start at 3:00 p.m.
Toledo brings some momentum into conference action with four wins in its last six contests. Junior MB Dakota Harkins ranks seventh in the MAC with a team-high .305 attack percentage, while junior S Adria Pryor also ranks seventh in the league with 9.48 assists per set.
Other Rockets appearing in the conference rankings are junior RSH Becca Reidy (7th/0.31 saps), junior OH Jordan Kielty (10th/0.30 saps) and senior libero McCall Paynter (10th/3.73 dps).
Harkins and Kielty were honored for their play last weekend at Wake Forest's Black and Gold Challenge by being selected to the all-tournament team.
A LOOK AT BALL STATE
The Cardinals are 56-19 (.747) under third-year head coach Steve Shondell and posted home wins over Pittsburgh, Wright State and Wyoming last weekend.
Ball State ranks second in the MAC in attack percentage (.228) and digs (17.09) and is third in kills (14.18) and opponent attack percentage (.180). Junior libero Catie Fredrich leads the conference with 5.29 digs per set, while senior OH Kara Bates is second with 3.89 kills per set.
A LOOK AT BUFFALO
Buffalo is 5-1 at Alumni Arena this year, including victories over Dartmouth, Hartford and Syracuse on its homecourt last weekend. The Bulls, who will visit Akron on Thursday before heading to the Glass City, are 1-5 away from Alumni Arena this season.
UB ranks second in the MAC with 2.43 blocks and 1.41 service aces per set. Junior S Dani Reinert is third in the conference with 0.39 saps with junior libero Kelly Svoboda ranking eighth with 4.35 digs per set.
UT VS. THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS
Toledo possesses a 5-55 all-time win-loss mark vs. Ball State...Four of the last eight matches between the schools have went the distance with the Cardinals winning three of those...UT has won just once (in 2008) in 20 contests inside Worthen Arena.
The Rockets have lost just once in 18 meetings against the Bulls with their lone defeat coming in a 3-2 (30-27, 25-30, 31-29, 17-30, 17-15) setback in Alumni Arena on Oct. 18, 2002.
HARKINS CONTINUES MOMENTUM
Junior MB Dakota Harkins has picked up where she left off from the 2011 campaign. Harkins is leading the Rockets in attack percentage (.305) and blocks per set (0.81) and ranks third in kills per set (2.45). She posted a .424 ATK% with 3.56 kps last weekend, including a career-high 14 kills vs. Appalachian State.
Harkins notched a .413 ATK% (53-10-104) and 1.05 bps over her last five matches last year to end the season ranked seventh in the Mid-American Conference with a school-record .321 attack percentage.
PRYOR SETTING THE TABLE
Junior Adria Pryor and freshman Alex Hines entered the 2012 campaign battling for the Rockets' starting setter job. After splitting setting duties in UT's opening weekend, Pryor has emerged as the team's primary setter and is averaging 9.48 assists and 2.17 digs per set.
Toledo's starting setter the last four years was three-time second-team All-MAC honoree Kassie Kadera, who finished her Rocket career ranked second with 4,853 assists.
CONTINUITY ON THE COURT
Junior OH Jordan Kielty is the only Rocket to appear in all 44 sets this season. The Canton, MI native ranks second on the team with 0.30 service aces per set and third with 2.16 digs per set.
Six different Rockets have led the team in kills this season. Junior OH Lauren Rafdal has paced UT a team-high six occasions followed by junior RSH Becca Reidy (four), junior OH Jordan Kielty (three) and junior MB Dakota Harkins (two).
Junior MB Dakota Harkins led the Rockets with three all-tournament team selections during UT's pre-conference slate. Harkins was honored at OSU's Sports Imports Classic, Oakland's Golden Grizzlies Invitational and Wake Forest's Black & Gold Challenge.
Also honored were senior libero McCall Paynter and Sondra Parys at the Rocket Classic and junior OH Jordan Kielty at the Black & Gold Challenge.
ROCKETS IN THE MAC
Dakota Harkins is seventh with a .305 ATK%...Adria Pryor is seventh with 9.48 aps...Becca Reidy and Jordan Kielty are tied for fifth and eighth, respectively, with 0.31 and 0.30 saps...McCall Paynter is 10th with 3.73 kps.
A LOOK AHEAD
UT hits the road next weekend for matches at MAC West Division foes Western Michigan and Northern Illinois on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28-29. The Rockets will then return home for five straight matches beginning with Eastern Michigan on Friday, Oct. 5.