Rockets Fall to Marist in Opening Match of Blue/Gold Invitational, 3-1
TOLEDO, OH – Toledo was unable to sustain the momentum from a convincing opening-set win and dropped a 3-1 (18-25, 25-14, 25-22, 25-21) decision to Marist at the Blue-Gold Invitational in Savage Arena. The match was the first of the season for both schools.
Senior OH Lauren Rafdal led UT offensively with 14 kills and was the only Rocket to reach double digits in that category. Senior MB Dakota Harkins, a 2012 second-team All-MAC honoree, tallied five kills and a .500 ATK% but was limited by an ankle injury. She left the match during the first set and didn’t return until midway through the fourth set.
Freshman libero Ellen Hays notched a team-high 16 digs for UT with senior RSH Becca Reidy garnering a team-best three blocks. Reidy tallied seven kills and a .263 ATK% with freshman OH Alyssa Ehrhardt enjoying a solid collegiate debut with six kills, two blocks and a .250 ATK%.
Marist utilized a strong defensive effort to limit UT to a .171 attack percentage while posting an efficient .276 ATK% of its own. Junior MB Mackenzie Stephens topped the Red Foxes with a match-high 16 kills and an impressive .444 hitting mark. She was supported offensively by senior OH Grace Hill (13 kills) and sophomore RSH Courtney Shaw (12 kills).
Junior libero Brooke Zywick paced Marist defensively with a match-best 22 digs with Shaw and junior MB Marisa Gilbert each tallying four blocks.
Toledo appeared to be ready to send the match to a fifth set when it rallied from a 10-2 deficit in the Set 4 to take a 17-16 advantage following a Harkins and Reidy block and a Harkins kill. The Red Foxes promptly answered though with a 4-1 spurt, and the Rockets weren’t able to gain the equalizer for the remainder of the match.
UT will look to rebound from its season-opening defeat when it meets Loyola (IL) this evening at 7:00 p.m. The Ramblers posted a 3-2 (25-20, 23-25, 28-26, 14-25, 15-13) victory this morning over Eastern Illinois.