Toledo's Late Rally Falls Short in 3-0 Loss at Central Michigan
MT. PLEASANT, MI – Toledo’s valiant comeback in Set 3 fell just short on Friday evening as the Rockets (7-7) fell at Central Michigan (7-6) in the Mid-American Conference opener for both squads.
Senior OH Jordan Kielty paced UT’s offensive attack with 12 kills and was the only Rocket to reach double digits in the termination category. Senior RSH Becca Reidy was Toledo’s most efficient attacker with a .389 hitting mark on 7-0-18 totals.
Freshman libero Ellen Hays topped all players in the contest with 18 digs and was also flawless in a match-best 31 serve receive attempts. A trio of Rockets – junior MB Brooke Frazer (1-2), senior MB Dakota Harkins (0-3) and Reidy (0-3) - contributed three blocks apiece to lead the Midnight Blue and Gold’s defensive efforts at the net.
"I thought we played well in the first and third sets, but we just couldn't come up with the key points when we needed to due to unforced errors," Toledo Head Coach Greg Smith said. "Becca and Jordan had solid performances for us, and I thought our middles blocked the ball well. We just have to regroup and come back with a determined effort tomorrow at Eastern Michigan."
Junior OH Kaitlyn McIntyre and sophomore MB Angie White topped the hosts with 12 kills apiece with White notching an impressive match-best .478 hitting mark.
UT held a 6-4 advantage in the blocking department but was outdug by the Chippewas by a 56-47 margin. CMU also was more efficient offensive with a 49-40 and .262-.160 cushion in kills and attack percentage, respectively.
The opening set was a tight affair until Central Michigan tallied four straight points to take an 18-12 advantage. UT was able to close within 24-23 on a block from senior S Adria Pryor and Harkins but junior RSH Hallie Enderle’s kill ended the comeback.
The Chippewas carried that momentum into Set 2 and held the lead the entire way en route to a 10-poin victory. The Rockets were down 9-7 but saw CMU go on a 6-2 run to take control.
UT tried to wrestle control of the match back in Set 3 and led by as many as four points until the hosts tallied four straight points to even the score at 15-15. A pair of Kielty kills reassume control at 19-16 but CMU tied the score at 19-all on a White kill and back-to-back markers from McIntyre. The Chippewas then had their first two match points but Kielty came up big to even the score at 24-24 and 25-25. UT then had a set point at 26-25 and 28-27 but saw Central score the last three points to win the match.
Toledo concludes its opening weekend of conference play tomorrow with a visit to Ypsilanti, MI to battle Eastern Michigan (10-6, 0-1 MAC) at 7:00 p.m.