The University of Toledo women's volleyball team fell to rival Bowling Green on Friday night in four sets at the Stroh Center.
The Rockets won the first set but were unable to keep up with the Falcons the rest of the match. Chloee Kleespies had a team-high 13 kills while Maurissa Leonard led all comers with 28 digs. Zoe Birnbrich tallied eight terminations and hit .304 and Carly Townsend was credited with 34 assists.
Next up for Toledo is a Saturday evening duel with the Miami RedHawks. The match is scheduled to start at 5:00 p.m. in Oxford, Ohio.
Set 1 (25-19 UT)
The Rockets scored the first four points of the match, with the first score of the night coming on a service ace from Rhyen Neal. Toledo held onto the lead and built a 13-9 advantage, thanks to a strong offensive showing from Birnbrich. A 6-1 run later in the set put the Rockets ahead, 19-12. Bowling Green closed the gap a little bit late, pulling within five (23-18), but consecutive kills from Swope and Birnbrich gave Toledo the final two points it needed to win the first set.
Set 2 (25-14 BGSU)
Bowling Green controlled the second set early on, surging to a 7-2 lead and taking advantage of a slow start from the Rockets offensively. The Falcons opened up a 16-10 lead on UT, but the Midnight Blue and Gold scored three straight to pull within three points. But six straight points from BGSU negated any gains Toledo had made to take the lead. It would end up being a 9-1 run for the Falcons to close the second set, a scoring binge that closed out the Rockets and tied the match at 1-1.
Set 3 (25-17 BGSU)
Toledo found itself trailing, 9-6, to open play in the third set, but scored four straight to take a 10-9 advantage over BGSU. The Rockets would grow that lead to 15-12, but from that point on the Falcons dominated the third set. A 13-2 run for Bowling Green ended the set and put Toledo in a 2-1 hole in the match. BGSU hit .317 compared to the Rockets' .098.
Set 4 (25-21 BGSU)
For the third straight set, Bowling Green was able to grab an early lead over the Rockets. Toledo trailed, 8-4, in the early going. The Falcons appeared to be in the early stages of pulling away when they took a 15-12 lead, but Toledo stormed back to pull ahead by one, 16-15. Townsend's huge block evened the score at 15-15. BGSU did not stay down for long, though, and a 6-1 run suddenly put Toledo at a 21-19 disadvantage. The Falcons closed out the match with a 25-21 win in the fourth set.