Women’s volleyball has rough trip up north

November 6, 2018

Over the weekend, UT’s women’s volleyball team had a bad time as they were swept by Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan on Friday and Saturday respectively. The losses drop the Rockets’ record to 9-16 overall and 4-10 in Mid-American Conference play.

Third-year Zoe Birnbrich tied for the match high with nine kills and hit .529. Fourth-years Maurissa Leonard and Carly Townsend had big games with Leonard adding 15 digs and Townsend recording a match-high 24 assists. 

The Eagles jumped out to a 14-6 lead in the first set. 

UT brought the deficit back to 18-15, but that would be all for the set. The Eagles finished the set strong with a 7-2 run to win, 25-17. 

Toledo jumped out to an early 4-3 lead to start the set, but Eastern Michigan went on a 5-3 run to make the score 9-6. Two EMU surges increased the lead to 23-14.  

Toledo came back using an 8-1 run to cut the lead to two at 24-22. EMU closed out UT to win the set 25-22.
EMU scored the first three points in the third set, but the Rockets tied the score at 9-9. After that, the Eagles went on a 5-0 run to take a 14-9 lead over Toledo. The Eagles closed out the set 25-18 to win the match in straight sets.

Against CMU,  Emma Swope added a team-high nine kills and second-year Chloee Kleespies recorded eight. 

“We ran into a couple teams this weekend that had a lot of momentum going for them,” head coach Jason Oliver said. “We’re still trying to figure out how to play at a high level on the road.”

Leonard broke the Rockets’ single-season school record for digs with 15 in the match, bringing her total to 576. This stat caps off a decorated career for Leonard as she owns the single-match, single-season and career digs records for the school.

CMU had an early 2-0 lead, but Toledo took control, rattling off a 4-11 run at one point after a big block by Swope and first-year Alexis Falzone. CMU shut down UT with two straight kills to win the first set. 

In the second set, Central Michigan ran out to an 8-3 lead. CMU went on a 14-2 run to take a commanding lead. The Rocket offense sputtered in the second set, and fell behind 25-13. 

Toledo started the third set with a 9-2 advantage, but CMU tied the match at 15-15. The Chippewas scored three straight points to gain an 18-15 lead. 

Elise Wilcox led a Rocket counter recording a kill and two straight service aces to knot the game back up at 18-18. CMU got the lead back at 21-19, but two straight kills from Swope and Birnbrich brought the score to 21-21. 

The Chippewas were able to close out the Rockets in a 3-0 sweep. The loss eliminates the Rockets from postseason contention.

The Rockets wrap up the regular season with matches against Ball State and Buffalo this week. The Cardinals visit 7 p.m. Thursday, while the Bulls come to the Glass City 3 p.m. Saturday at Savage Arena.



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