TOLEDO - Toledo let an early lead slip away for a second straight night on Saturday in the Rockets' 3-1 (21-25, 26-24, 25-23, 25-10) setback to Mid-American Conference West Division leader Central Michigan (11-6, 5-1 MAC).
Junior OH Lauren Rafdal led UT (7-11, 1-5 MAC) offensively with 14 kills and was joined in double figures by senior OH Sondra Parys (13 kills) and junior MB Dakota Harkins (11 kills, team-high .421 ATK%).
Harkins also spearheaded the Rockets' defensive presence at the net with a team-high six blocks. Senior libero McCall Paynter was Toledo's back row leader with 11 digs.
Sophomore OH Kaitlyn McIntyre topped the Chippewas with 19 kills with senior OH Lindsey Dulude and junior MB Danielle Gotham tallying 11 terminations apiece. Junior libero Jenna Coates notched a match-best 15 digs with three Chippewas each registering four blocks.
Toledo opened the match by rallying from an early four-point deficit to even the score at 21-21. The Rockets then won the set with four-point burst on a Parys kill, a block from junior RSH Becca Reidy, a CMU attack error and a Harkins kill.
UT appeared ready to take a 2-0 lead with a five-point run to take a 20-17 advantage. The Chippewas answered by tying the set at 21-21 and traded points until back-to-back kills from Gotham and Dulude evened the match.
The third set was evenly played a well with neither team leading by more than two points until UT took a 17-14 lead midway through the set. Unfortunately for the Rockets, CMU scored six straight points for a three-point cushion that it wouldn't relinquish. Toledo did climb within a point at 23-22 and 24-23 on kills from Harkins and Rafdal but couldn't score the equalizer.
The visitors dominated the final set by surging to a 10-2 lead and never looking back. The Chippewas tallied a .419 ATK% and limited UT to -.074 mark.
The Rockets return to action next weekend with a pair of home matches against Ohio and Kent State on Friday-Saturday, Oct. 12-13.