Toledo Volleyball Falls to Northern Illinois in Four Sets

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The University of Toledo volleyball team wrapped up a 1-1 weekend with a loss to Northern Illinois on Saturday night, falling in four sets.

The Rockets and Huskies split the first two sets, but NIU won the final two frames by identical scores (25-16). Northern Illinois hit .367 in the first set of the night and .382 in the last. Chloee Kleespies had a team-high 12 kills, while Elise Wilcox registered 10 terminations. Three Rockets reached double digits in digs: Maurissa Leonard (18), Rhyen Neal (16), and Andrea Stephenson (14).

Toledo travels to Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan next weekend.

Set 1 (25-20, NIU)
After falling behind 4-1, UT fought back to tie the set at 5-5. That would be the last time Toledo held a share of the lead, though, due to a 13-5 run from NIU that put the Rockets in an 18-10 hole. While UT was able to pull within four, 20-16, they were unable to overcome the offensive attack of the Huskies, who went on to win the first set 25-20.

Set 2 (25-23, UT)
Toledo's lone win of the night came in the second set, which it led wire-to-wire. UT started off with a comfortable 6-2 lead thanks to big plays from Kleespies and Wilcox. That lead grew to 17-9 after a 4-0 run that featured three kills as well as a service ace from Stephenson. Northern Illinois definitely made things interesting late, however, trimming the Rockets' lead to just one, 24-23. Kleespies finished off the Huskies, though, to tie the match at 1-1. Wilcox tallied six kills in the second set.

Set 3 (25-16, NIU)
Northern Illinois won the final two sets of the night by the same score, 25-16. In the third set, the Huskies wrestled control away from the Rockets early to take a 7-4 lead. That advantage grew to 16-9, though UT was able to pull within four points, 20-16. NIU ended the game with an exclamation point, though, scoring five straight points to reach 25 and take a 2-1 lead in the contest.

Set 4 (25-16, NIU)
The Huskies led the entire fourth set, ending the match on a strong note. They took a commanding 8-2 lead to kick things off then, after three straight scores from Toledo, NIU answered with a 4-1 run to make the score 12-6. Toledo got as close as three, 13-10, but couldn't make the gap any narrower. Northern Illinois closed out the match with three straight points and put away the Rockets in four sets.