Press Release courtesy of Toledo Athletics.
The Toledo women’s volleyball team hosted its first Mid-American Conference foe of 2017 and things went about as well as one could hope. The Rockets quickly dispatched Ball State in three sets (25-23, 27-25, 25-16) to earn their first conference victory of the season. This is Toledo’s third straight win over Ball State, having swept the season series in 2016.
Senior Saige Thomas had a great night, tallying 15 kills to lead all comers; her individual termination total was the highest for UT this season in a three-set match. She had three blocks on the night, one of four Rockets to have at least that many: senior Rachel Vidourek had six, junior Carly Townsend had four, and senior Annie Beasley had three. Junior Maurissa Leonard had a team-high 18 digs and freshman Rhyen Neal recorded 10, her third double-digit dig output of the season. Townsend also tied for the match-high with 35 assists.
Toledo had 11.0 total blocks against the Cardinals, a season-best for a three-set match.
The Rockets now own a record of 6-9 (1-2 MAC) this season. They’ll look to add another notch to the win column this Saturday, Sept. 30 when the Akron Zips come to town. Saturday’s match at Savage Arena will begin at 5:00 p.m.
The match opened with a closely-contested set; neither team led by more than three at any point in the first frame. The Rockets did fall behind early, 9-6, after BSU rattled off three straight points. After calling a timeout, it was Toledo that scored three straight to bring the score back to even, 9-9. That little momentum swing was enough for UT. After the set came to an 11-11 tie, Vidourek powered one past every Cardinal on the court to put her team ahead by one, 12-11. Toledo would lead for the remainder of the set, clinching it on a service error from Ball State. Thomas tallied six kills in the first frame, the most for any Rocket in a set tonight.
Ball State was in control early, taking a 12-7 lead after scoring six straight points over Toledo. The Rockets came back, though, to score five straight of their own and knot the score up at 12-12. Three of those five points came via blocks, a big highlight for UT in the match. Ball State would not go away, though, and held the lead as late as 25-24. Facing a set point, Toledo would win the next three points thanks to kills from Leonard, Townsend, and Thomas to roar back and win 27-25. The final points of the second set featured some long rallies, but UT never relented and its persistence paid off.
The Rockets would eventually win the final set handily, 25-16, but it was the Cardinals who started off with a 3-0 lead. That advantage disappeared rather quickly, with Toledo taking a 5-4 lead after a kill from Beasley. Ball State hung around for a little while, fighting its way to a 9-9 tie, but the Rockets would never let their opponents get any closer than that. Vidourek’s kill put UT up 10-9 and from then the Midnight Blue and Gold tallied points in bunches. Their lead continued to grow until another big termination from Vidourek clinched the match for Toledo. Her kill made the score 25-16 and sealed the three-set sweep.
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