Toledo Volleyball Sweeps North Alabama

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The University of Toledo women's volleyball team wrapped up its weekend at the Beale Street Challenge with a three-set sweep of North Alabama on Saturday.
The Rockets tallied 18 service aces as a team, the most since 2008 when they had 19 in a match against Buffalo. Senior Zoe Birnbrich led the way offensively, hitting .667 (8/0/12) and junior Emma Swope added a match-high 14 kills as well. Swope had seven service aces, the 15th time a Toledo player had at least that many in a match and the first such occurrence since 2008. Sophomore Elise Wilcox added six aces to the cause.
"I think we did a good job of bouncing back after a disappointing day yesterday," head coach Jason Oliver said. "There are definitely still things we need to work on, but it was nice to end the weekend with a win. We're going to have days like yesterday, so it was encouraging to see us come back and respond with a win today."
Birnbrich was the Rockets' All-Tournament Team selection. She hit .397 and averaged 3.09 kills/set while adding 0.55 blocks/set and 1.36 digs/set.
Toledo (7-5) opens up MAC play this week with a home match against Ball State on Thursday, Sept. 26 and a road contest at Buffalo on Saturday, Sept. 28.
Set 1 (Toledo, 25-19)
Toledo took a 1-0 lead in the match by winning the first set, 25-19. The Rockets hit .343, which included five kills from Birnbrich and four from freshman Olivia Vance. North Alabama led very early on, at 5-4, but six straight points from the Rockets put an end to that and swung the momentum into Toledo's favor. Swope baffled UNA with her serve, tallying six aces in the first set alone, including five in a row at one point. The last time a Rocket had at least six serves in a match was Shannon Strachan against Buffalo on Nov. 8, 2008.
Set 2 (Toledo, 25-16)
The Rockets hit .412 in the second set, their highest of the match. The only time North Alabama led during the set was when it took a 1-0 lead on a Toledo service error. From that point on, the Rockets went on a 14-6 run to double up the Lions and take a 14-7 lead. Wilcox registered five of her six aces in the second set, including a stretch of four in a row.
Set 3 (Toledo, 25-23)
The closest set of the day, Toledo and North Alabama fought to eight tie scores, with the Rockets eventually pulling ahead in the end to clinch the sweep. Swope logged nine of her 14 kills in the final frame and sophomore Maddie Fogg tallied 12 of her 13 assists in set three. UNA led as late as 20-19 and looked to be pushing the Rockets towards a fourth set. But big kills from Swope and redshirt freshman Liz Beasley put the Midnight Blue and Gold ahead by two, 22-20. The Lions would tie the score at 23-23, but an attacking error and kill from freshman Ryann Jaqua sealed the deal in Toledo's win.