Volleyball drops two against Ball State and Akron

October 9, 2018

The University of Toledo women's volleyball team was swept by Ball State on Friday and Akron on Saturday. The defeats drop the Rockets’ record to 7-10 and 2-4 in Mid-American Conference play.


Toledo was out-hit by the Cardinals, .374 to .197. Second-years Chloee Kleespies and Emma Swope both led the team with ten kills, while third-year Zoe Birnbrich recorded eight and hit .412. Fourth-years Carly Townsend and Maurissa Leonard helped with 32 assists and tallied a match-high 23 digs, respectively.


UT started out with the lead,4-3, but Ball State used a 6-1 run to take a 16-10 lead and then closed out the first set with a 7-2 surge to win the set at 25-17. UT hit .179 in the first, compared to BSU's .381.


The Rockets did not have a lead in the second set. Ball State ran out to a 7-1 lead to set the tone for the second set. Toledo cut it close, pulling within three at 18-15. This started with  a 4-0 run by the Rockets. UT would fall behind 2-0 in the match after losing the second set, 25-18.


The final set was a shootout. Toledo hit .265, but Ball State hit .432 to earn a three-set sweep. The Cardinals got out early with three straight points, but the Rockets clawed their way back to tie the frame at 12-12, with the equalizer coming on a service ace from first-year Elise Wilcox.


UT held a late 16-15 lead, but a 9-2 BSU closed the door on a Rocket comeback. Toledo would drop the final set, 25-19, and fall to Ball State  in straight sets.


Against Akron, UT dropped the first game, then fought back to win sets two and three, but the Zips won the next two sets to come away with the victory.


Kleespies recorded a match-high 18 kills, while first-year Alexis Falzone registered 12 terminations and hit .357. Townsend was credited with 50 assists and double-digit digs were tallied by Leonard (27).


"I give credit to Akron," head coach Jason Oliver said. "They played with a confidence that put them over the top. Our team played well enough on the road to win and we will find a way to win these tight moments in the future. I have no doubt in the character of our leaders and we will learn from this moving forward."


Akron ran out to a 4-1 lead in the first set, but Toledo came back and took a 6-5 advantage. It was a back-and-forth set as both teams found themselves tied 12 times, including as late as 19-19.


The Zips had a 3-0 run to take a 22-19 lead. They also closed out the set with back-to-back points to earn a 25-22 win.


Set two was also back and forth as it featured 11 ties and five lead changes. Toledo took a 5-2 lead to start things off, but the Zips went on a 6-1 run to grab an 8-6 lead over UT.


The set came to a head at a 17-17 tie when the Rockets took charge. Toledo cruised in the final stages of the second set, scoring eight of the final nine points to win, 25-18.


Wilcox and Birnbrich came up big with some clutch plays while Swope's termination ended the second frame. Toledo hit .400 compared to the Zips' .118.


In the third set, the Rockets grabbed the lead at 11-5 and it appeared they would cruise to a victory and take a 2-1 lead in the match. They increased their lead to 24-14, but the Zips scored six straight points to threaten. However, a big kill from Wilcox won the set for the Rockets.


Set four was all Akron. After scoring the first four points of the set, the Zips built a 13-3 lead to take control of the fourth frame.


Toledo would never lead in the set and ended up losing 25-15. Akron hit a .344, while the Rockets had their worst hitting performance of the evening (-.029).


In the final set, the Zips once again took an early lead, scoring five of the first six points. But Toledo went on an offensive run, scoring seven of the next eight points and giving the Rockets an 8-6 advantage.


But that would be the last time the Rockets found themselves in front of the Zips. Akron scored six of the last eight points of the match to win the set and the match.


The Rockets return home next weekend. Toledo will host Kent State 7:00 p.m. Oct. 12 at Savage Arena



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