KALAMAZOO – Toledo battled hard in Friday night's match at Western Michigan but couldn't come up with the key points when it needed to as the Broncos (9-6, 2-1 MAC) registered a 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 28-26) triumph over the Rockets (7-8, 1-2 MAC) in University Arena.
UT was competitive throughout the contest and held sizable leads in both Set 1 and Set 3. The Rockets were up 12-7 early in the opening set and then let 20-16 and 24-22 advantages in the final set slip away.
"We have to do a better job of closing out sets," Toledo Head Coach Greg Smith said. "We were up at least four points in both the first and third sets, and when you have that type of opportunity against a good team like Western Michigan you have to take advantage of it."
Toledo was buoyed offensively by the left-side outside hitter tandem of senior Sondra Parys and junior Lauren Rafdal. Parys was red-hot offensively with a season-high 18 kills and .680 attack percentage, while Rafdal equaled her season best with 15 kills.
"Sondra and Lauren really carried us offensively tonight," Smith said. "Becca (Reidy) also was solid for us on the right side with nine kills, but we weren't able to establish our middle attack."
Senior libero McCall Paynter topped UT's defensive effort in the back row, while junior OH Jordan Kielty tallied nine digs.
"Our back row played well and impacted the match with a lot of hustle plays," Smith said.
Western Michigan featured a balanced offensive attack led by senior MB Jessica Brown (12 kills, .333 ATK% and junior OH Ali Gossen (10 kills, .391 ATK%). The Broncos hit a robust .385 as a team to offset the Rockets' impressive .299 ATK%.
WMU held a slight 47-45 dig advantage over UT and a 7-3 edge in team blocks.