The University of Toledo women's volleyball team defeated Ohio on Saturday night in five sets, improving its overall record to 8-11 (3-5 MAC).
The Rockets won sets one and three, while the Bobcats took the second and fourth frames. With the match on the line, UT came out on top in the final set to secure the win on its home floor.
Chloee Kleespies led the way offensively with 18 kills while hitting .308. Zoe Birnbrich added 15 kills and Andrea Stephenson registered three service aces, including a critical one in the fifth set. Maurissa Leonard (26), Rhyen Neal (12), and Stephenson (10) all reached double digits in digs.
Next up for Toledo is a tough road swing through two of the best teams in the MAC. The Rockets head south to play at Bowling Green next Friday before facing the Miami RedHawks in Oxford on Saturday.
Set 1 (25-22, UT)
Toledo notched the first point of the night on an Ohio attacking error, and once the Midnight Blue and Gold took a 1-0 lead in the first set they did not relinquish it. UT led wire-to-wire in the first frame to take a 1-0 lead in the match. Leonard recorded nine digs in the first set alone, while Elise Wilcox converted kills on three of her four attack attempts.
Set 2 (25-23, OU)
The most back-and-forth set of the night, there were eight tie scores and five lead changes in the second frame. Toledo once again took the early lead, but the Bobcats garnered their first of the night to take a 5-4 lead. The Rockets used a 5-0 run in the middle of the set to jump ahead by six, 16-10, but Ohio didn't stay down for long. Ohio scored eight of the next 11 points to pull within one, 19-18. Toledo looked to be headed to a 2-0 lead in the match, leading 23-21, but surrendered the next four points to fall 25-23 and hand the Bobcats the second set.
Set 3 (25-19, UT)
Neither team was able to secure much breathing room for much of the set; nobody led by more than two until Toledo took a 15-12 lead. The Rockets were able to extend that lead to 20-15 thanks to the offensive exploits of Caleigh Barhorst. The five-point cushion was enough to withstand a few late Ohio points and give the Rockets a 25-19 third set win. Kleespies (six kills) and Birnbrich (four kills) were the backbone of the UT offensive attack in the third set.
Set 4 (25-14, OU)
The fourth set was all Ohio from the start. Toledo quickly found itself in a 10-2 hole after the Bobcats scored eight straight points. The Rockets were able to pull within four, 15-11, but wouldn't come any closer. A 10-3 run ended things pretty quickly, and the Bobcats' 25-14 win ensured a fifth and final set.
Set 5 (15-12, UT)
Despite the way the previous set ended, Toledo came out and took a 5-2 lead to set the tone in the fifth frame. Stephenson's third ace of the night made it 8-4. Ohio pulled within two points four separate times between that point and the end of the match, but terminations from Kleespies and Wilcox put the finishing touches on an exciting five-set win for the Rockets.