Toledo Opens Weekend with 3-2 Triumph at Portland
PORTLAND, OR – Toledo (5-3) extended its win streak to three matches with a 3-2 (21-25, 25-23, 20-25, 25-12, 15-11) triumph at Portland (0-7) on Friday afternoon in its opening match of the North Harbour Marriott Challenge. The victory also improved UT’s record in five-set matches to a perfect 4-0 this season.
“We had a slow start to the match but played well at the end,” Toledo Head Coach Greg Smith said. “Our passing was very good in the match at that was big key to the success our middles enjoyed. Dakota and Brooke were definitely a presence which gave us a balanced offense.”
The Rockets were paced by their middle blocker tandem of senior Dakota Harkins and junior Brooke Frazer. Harkins tallied a season-high 14 kills, a .542 attack percentage and five blocks, while Frazer contributed a season-best 10 terminations, a .500 hitting mark and team-best six rejections.
Also producing double-digit kill totals for UT were seniors outside hitters Lauren Rafdal and Jordan Kielty with 12 and 10 kills, respectively. Senior RSH Becca Reidy finished just shy of double digits with nine terminations to give the Rockets an even more balanced attack.
Senior S Adria Pryor quarterbacked Toledo’s attack and collected 47 assists to go along with a career-best four kills, 10 digs and four blocks. UT posted a solid .265 team attack percentage and held a significant defensive advantage at the net with a 13-7 in the blocking department to limit Portland to a .178 ATK%.
Senior Autumn Wedan, who entered the contest ranked fifth nationally in kills per set, topped the Pilots’ attack with 25 kills.
Freshman libero Ellen Hays paced the Rockets’ defensive efforts in the back row by tying her season high with 23 digs. Rafdal joined Hays and Pryor in double digit digs with 15.
Pryor ignited a four-point Toledo run midway through the fifth set to put the Rockets ahead, 9-7. With UT trailing 7-5, the Rockets’ senior setter dropped a dump in and following a Pilot attack error she combined with Frazer for a block for an 8-7 advantage. UT then took an 11-8 lead, but the hosts rallied to even the score at 11-11. The Rockets closed out the match with a Rafdal kill, a Portland attack error, a Rafdal ace and a block from Frazer and Reidy.
Toledo will return to action later this evening when it faces Pac-12 Conference foe Oregon State (4-2) at 8:00 p.m.