UToledo News » Athletics








Rockets Earn 3.302 Grade Point Average Fall Semester

UToledo student-athletes earned a combined grade point average of 3.302 in 2019 fall semester. It is the highest semester GPA in a fall term for the Rockets, and the second-highest mark ever, trailing only last spring’s 3.306.

It is also the 10th consecutive semester in which UToledo student-athletes have earned a semester GPA of 3.2 or higher, Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien announced today.

Softball recorded the highest semester team GPA with a mark of 3.723. Men’s golf (3.709), women’s golf (3.708) and women’s soccer (3.705) were each above the 3.7 mark, the first time in school history that four teams had GPAs above a 3.7.

Other highlights from this past semester include:

• 48 student-athletes earned president’s list honors with a perfect 4.0 GPA.

• 46.6% (173 of 379) were on the dean’s list by garnering at least a 3.50 GPA.

• 71.0% (269 of 379) made the honor roll by securing a 3.00 GPA or higher.

• A record-high 17 student-athletes competed in their sport while enrolled in graduate school courses.

“The superior academic achievements of our student-athletes have become an expected part of what it means to be a Rocket,” O’Brien said. “We have had consistently spectacular academic success in our program, winning the Mid-American Conference Academic Institutional Achievement Award for highest GPA in the conference in six of the last eight years. Our student-athletes can be very proud they have maintained and even exceeded the academic tradition that has become a hallmark of our program.

“I would also like to express my deep gratitude once again to the Student-Athlete Academic Services staff, dedicated University faculty, coaches and parents who support and nurture the efforts of our student-athletes,” O’Brien said. “Special congratulations goes to Head Coach Joe Abraham and our softball program for posting our highest team GPA just six months after winning the 2019 MAC Championship.”

Associate Athletic Director for Academic Services Ericka Lavender added, “Congratulations to all of our student-athletes for another outstanding semester in the classroom. The same dedication and determination to be successful in their sport also drives our student-athletes to excel academically. I am also grateful for the support and great work of my staff, as well as our head coaches and administration that makes these achievements possible. I would also like to thank our faculty and staff for all of their continued and outstanding efforts on behalf of our student-athletes.”

Toledo 2019 Fall Semester Team GPAs
Overall Department GPA: 3.302
Team GPAs

Baseball 3.200
Men’s Basketball 3.155
Women’s Basketball 3.189
Men’s Cross Country 3.375
Women’s Cross Country 3.615
Football 2.916
Men’s Golf 3.709
Women’s Golf 3.708
Softball 3.723
Women’s Soccer 3.705
Women’s Swimming and Diving 3.439
Men’s Tennis 3.599
Women’s Tennis 3.374
Women’s Track and Field 3.413
Women’s Volleyball 3.581

Toledo Women’s Basketball to Host Wine Night Jan. 29

The Toledo women’s basketball program will host Rockets’ Wine Night in Savage Arena before its showdown against Eastern Michigan Wednesday, Jan. 29.

Cost for this event is $30 and includes a game ticket, wine samples and appetizers. Tickets are $20 for fans who have already purchased their game tickets. The cost for designated drivers is $20 and includes a game ticket and appetizers with soft drinks.

Attendees for the event will be required to show a valid photo ID upon entry. No refunds or exchanges will be provided for failure to provide ID or failure to attend.

Wine Night will take place in the Fetterman Gym from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and is for fans 21 and older.

For more information, visit the Rocket Ticket Office in Savage Arena, call 419.530.GOLD (4653), or go to the Toledo Rockets’ website.

Basketball Tickets Available for $8 as Part of Winter Spectacular

The Toledo men’s and women’s basketball programs are providing a holiday special to Rocket fans for six different games over the next five weeks with their annual Winter Spectacular.

With UToledo students home for winter break, fans can sit in the bleacher seats for just $8 (includes parking) for men’s games vs. Wright State Saturday, Dec. 21; Western Michigan Saturday, Jan. 11; and Central Michigan Tuesday, Jan. 14.

For women’s games, general admission tickets are available for just $8 (includes parking) for contests vs. Canisius Sunday, Dec. 29; Buffalo Wednesday, Jan. 8; and Akron Wednesday, Jan. 15.

Tickets are based on availability; prices will increase to $9 on the day of each game.

To purchase tickets for the Winter Spectacular, stop by the Rocket Athletic Ticket Office in the Sullivan Athletic Complex at Savage Arena, go to the UToledo Ticket Central website, or call 419.530.GOLD (4653).

Toledo Looks to Finish 2019 Regular Season With Win at CMU

The Toledo Rockets will close out the regular season against Central Michigan Friday, Nov. 29, in Mount Pleasant.

The game will start at noon and be carried on ESPNU.

Sophomore Bryant Koback leads the Rockets with 1,165 rushing yards.

With a win, the Rockets (6-5, 3-4 Mid-American Conference) would be assured of a winning record in 2019, the 10th-consecutive winning campaign for the program.

The Rockets are coming off a 49-30 loss at Buffalo Nov. 20. The loss knocked Toledo out of contention for the MAC West Division title.

The Chippewas are still alive in the MAC West race. They need a win over the Rockets and a Western Michigan loss at Northern Illinois Tuesday, Nov. 26. With a win at NIU or a CMU loss, WMU will win the MAC West Division and face Miami in the MAC Championship game Saturday, Dec. 7.

Toledo was unable to stop Buffalo’s run game in the loss last week. The Rockets trailed by just eight points at halftime, 28-20, but UB outscored them 21-10 in the final 30 minutes. The Bulls racked up 503 yards of total offense, 331 on the ground. Jaret Patterson, the MAC’s second-leading rusher, ran for 192 yards and scored five total touchdowns, four on the ground and one in the air.

Central Michigan (7-4, 5-2 MAC) will be entering Friday’s game with plenty of rest, having played just twice in the month of November. CMU’s last game was a 45-44 win at Ball State Nov. 16, its fifth win in six games. After winning just one game in 2018, first-year Head Coach Jim McElwain has Central Michigan in MAC West title contention. Running back Jonathan Ward is third in the conference in rushing yards per game (107.6) and has run for at least 100 yards seven times. Wide receiver Kalil Pimpleton leads the MAC with 69 receptions and 738 receiving yards and has caught six TDs.

Toledo leads the series with CMU, 26-18-3. The Rockets won at home last year, 51-13, and have won nine consecutive games in the series.

Toledo Travels to Buffalo With Division Title Still on Line

The Toledo Rockets face a must-win situation when they travel to Buffalo to take on the Bulls Wednesday, Nov. 20.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. The game will be televised by ESPN2.

Toledo faces a must-win game at Buffalo Wednesday, Nov. 20, to stay in the hunt for the MAC West Division title.

Toledo (6-4, 3-3 Mid-American Conference) is still in the hunt for a MAC West Division crown and a chance to appear in the MAC Championship Game. However, the Rockets have no margin for error; they must defeat Buffalo and Central Michigan in the regular-season finale — and also get some help from other teams.

The Rockets are in a tie for fourth place with Northern Illinois in the MAC West. Western Michigan (5-2) leads the division, followed by Central Michigan (4-2) and Ball State (3-2). Toledo needs all of those four schools to lose at least one game (two in the case of Ball State) to have a chance at a title.

Toledo is coming off a 31-28 loss to NIU Nov. 13. The Rockets trailed by 21 points before rallying with three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. But NIU kicker John Richardson made a 25-yard field goal with 41 seconds remaining that capped a 13-play, 68-yard drive to put the Huskies up 31-28. On its final drive of the game, Toledo made it all the way to the Northern Illinois 31-yard line, but time expired before quarterback Eli Peters could spike the ball to attempt a game-tying field goal.

Buffalo (5-5, 3-3 MAC) is coming off a 30-27 loss at Kent State Nov. 14. The Bulls were up 27-6 in the fourth quarter before Kent State rallied to win. Buffalo has the No. 1 defense in the MAC, holding opponents to 23.1 points and 292.8 yards of total offense per game. Junior defensive end Taylor Riggins leads the MAC with 10 sacks. Sophomore running back Jaret Patterson is second in the league with 1,136 yards rushing.

Toledo leads the series, 7-4, but the Bulls won 31-17 last year in the Glass Bowl.

Toledo to Host Northern Illinois Nov. 13 With Division Title Race on Line

It’s November, and in the world of college football, that means MACtion, and with MACtion comes the annual showdown between Toledo and Northern Illinois.

The Rockets and Huskies will meet in the Glass Bowl Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 8 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.

The Rockets enter Wednesday’s home game vs. Northern Illinois a half-game out of first place in the MAC West Division.

In every single season since 2010, Toledo and NIU have met in November with the MAC West title still at stake for one or both schools. Despite the fact that both teams have multiple conference losses this season, this year’s matchup could be a factor in determining the West Division representative to the Mid-American Conference Championship Game Dec. 7.

Toledo (6-3, 3-2 MAC) is still in the thick of the division race. The Rockets are a half-game behind Western Michigan and Central Michigan (both 4-2) and tied with Ball State (3-2). Toledo and CMU meet in the season finale in Mount Pleasant Friday, Nov. 29.

For NIU (3-6, 2-3 MAC), on the other hand, a loss to the Rockets would officially knock them out of the race.

Toledo is coming off two consecutive home wins, most recently a 35-33 thriller over Kent State Nov. 5. Junior Shakif Seymour rushed for a career-high 175 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Rockets. Seymour, taking over as Toledo’s main running option due to a first-half injury to sophomore Bryant Koback, gained 40 yards and two first downs in Toledo’s final possession as the Rockets ran out the clock and held on to the victory.

Northern Illinois is coming off a 48-10 loss at Central Michigan Nov. 2. The Huskies rank third in the MAC in total defense, allowing an average 372.7 yards per game. The offense is led by senior quarterback Ross Bowers, who is second in the MAC with 243.4 yards passing per contest.

Toledo leads, 31-15. NIU beat the Rockets, 38-15, in DeKalb last year.

Full-time UToledo employees and retirees may purchase two tickets at half-price. Additional tickets may be purchased at the full price. UToledo students are admitted to home games free with ID.

To purchase tickets, stop by the UT Athletic Ticket Office, located in the Sullivan Athletic Complex at Savage Arena, go to the Toledo Football Ticket Central website, or call 419.530.GOLD (4653).

Promotions Set for Upcoming Toledo Men’s Basketball Season

The University of Toledo Athletic Department has announced its promotional schedule for the 2019-20 men’s basketball season. The Rockets will play 15 home games this season in Savage Arena, highlighted by contests vs. archrival Bowling Green and defending Mid-American Conference Champion Buffalo.

The home schedule will feature fan-friendly events including, theme nights, giveaways and special offers. For a complete listing of promotions, visit the men’s basketball website.

Toledo’s fourth annual Rockets for Life game will be held Saturday, Feb. 15.

After two road games, Toledo will host Robert Morris Saturday, Nov. 16, and Howard Sunday, Nov. 17, as part of the Men Against Breast Cancer Invitational in its first two home contests.

Listed by date, special events scheduled include:

Saturday, Nov. 23 vs. Northwestern Ohio — Performance by UToledo twirler Caroline Langfitt.

Saturday, Nov. 30 vs. Oakland — Thanks for Giving; bring canned goods, toiletries or gently-used clothing to game.

Sunday, Dec. 8 vs. Marshall — Santa Claus visit, Battery Wholesale teddy bear toss, and a bounce house in the Fetterman Gym.

Saturday, Jan. 11 vs. Western Michigan — MAC home opener and Scout Night and Sleepover.

Saturday, Jan. 25 vs. Bowling Green — #PackSavage.

Tuesday, Jan. 28 vs. Kent State — Military Appreciation Night.

Tuesday, Feb. 11 vs. Miami — Craft Beer Night.

Saturday, Feb. 15 vs. Buffalo — Rockets for Life Game; wear neon colors to support Life Connection of Ohio.

Saturday, Feb. 29 vs. Ball State — Throwback to 1990s.

Friday, March 6 vs. Eastern Michigan — Senior Night and Dancing Rockettes Performance.

Full-time UToledo employees and retirees may purchase two tickets at half-price. Additional tickets may be purchased at the full price. UToledo students are admitted to home games free with ID.

To purchase tickets, stop by the UToledo Athletic Ticket Office, located in the Sullivan Athletic Complex at Savage Arena, go to the Toledo men’s basketball ticket central website, or call 419.530.GOLD (4653).

Women’s Basketball Home Schedule to Feature Theme Nights, Giveaways

The University of Toledo Athletic Department has announced its promotional schedule for the 2019-20 women’s basketball campaign. The Rockets will play 14 home games in Savage Arena this year, highlighted by Dayton, Memphis and Belmont, as well as an ultra-competitive Mid-American Conference slate.

Toledo’s home opener is against Dayton Saturday, Nov. 9, at 2 p.m.

The Rockets will play 14 games in Savage Arena this season, highlighted by matchups against Dayton, Memphis, Bowling Green and 2019 Mid-American Conference Champion Buffalo.

The home schedule will feature fan-friendly events, including theme nights, giveaways and special offers. For a complete listing of promotions, visit the women’s basketball website.

Listed by date, special events scheduled include:

Sunday, Nov. 24 vs. Memphis — Igniter Day; celebrate the 20th year of the fan club.

Wednesday, Nov. 27 vs. Valparaiso — Thanks for Giving; bring canned goods, toiletries or gently used clothing.

Tuesday, Dec. 3 vs. Belmont — Education Day; local schools come to Savage Arena for a day of fun, learning and Rocket basketball.

Wednesday, Jan. 8 vs. Buffalo — Mid-American Conference opener; Toledo Cheerleading performance.

Wednesday, Jan. 29 vs. Eastern Michigan — Wine Night and 1970s night.

Saturday, Feb. 1 vs. Kent State — National Girls & Women in Sport Day and Cheer Clinic.

Wednesday, Feb. 12 vs. Ball State — Military Appreciation Night.

Saturday, Feb. 22 vs. Western Michigan — Rockets for the Cure.

Saturday, March 7 vs. Northern Illinois — Senior Day and Dancing Rockettes Performance.

Full-time UToledo employees and retirees may purchase two tickets at half-price. Additional tickets may be purchased at the full price. UToledo students are admitted to home games free with ID.

To purchase tickets, stop by the UToledo Athletic Ticket Office, located in the Sullivan Athletic Complex at Savage Arena, go to the Toledo women’s basketball ticket central website, or call 419.530.GOLD (4653).

Women’s Basketball Team Set to Court Success

The Toledo women’s basketball program’s schedule includes a game at 2019 NCAA Championship finalist Notre Dame. The Rockets will play against the perennial power Fighting Irish Nov. 20 in South Bend, Ind.

The Midnight Blue and Gold will tangle with 2018 NCAA Champion Notre Dame (35-4, 14-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) for the fourth time in the last five years. A season ago, the Rockets drew 6,059 fans for their home matchup against UND, the third largest crowd in school history.

“To reach your potential as a team, you have to challenge yourself against the best,” said Head Coach Tricia Cullop, who ranks sixth in league history in overall winning percentage (241-123, .662) and 10th in conference winning percentage (127-61, .676). “Playing Notre Dame has made us better. When you play a team of their caliber, you have to bring a sustained and focused effort.”

Additional highlights for Toledo’s non-league slate are five games against squads that competed in the 2019 postseason.

Toledo will square off against Big Dance participant Belmont (26-7, 16-2 Ohio Valley), Postseason WNIT foe Dayton (17-14, 10-6 Atlantic 10) and Postseason Women’s Basketball Invitational squad Georgia State (17-14, 11-7 Sun Belt) prior to beginning league play. Two of the three aforementioned matchups will take place at the friendly confines of Savage Arena, as the Rockets host the Flyers Nov. 9 and the Bruins Dec. 3.

“Our goal every season is to play in the postseason,” Cullop said. “These five games will give us a chance to improve before MAC play and earn an opportunity to play in postseason.”

Toledo has been outstanding at home under Cullop, compiling a stout 137-40 (.774) ledger. The Rockets have won at least 11 home contests in nine of 11 seasons, including a school-record 19 victories during the 2010-11 campaign.

“We are so grateful for the amazing atmosphere our fans provide in Savage Arena,” Cullop said. “We’ve been top 30 in the country in attendance seven out of the last eight years.”

Toledo also will battle Postseason WNIT participants Troy (22-9, 13-5 Sun Belt) and Pacific (19-13, 10-8 West Coast) as part of the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic Dec. 19-20 at the South Point Hotel & Casino. The Rockets, who will compete against both the Trojans and Tigers for the first time in program history, will venture to Sin City for the first time since the 1995-96 season.

“We’re excited to travel to Las Vegas to play two strong mid-major programs in Troy and Pacific,” said Cullop, whose team is averaging a MAC-best 21.9 wins over the last 11 seasons. “In addition to playing competitive teams, it’s a great chance to show our players a part of the country that many of them have only seen in pictures.”

The Rockets’ season will officially tip off at Georgia State Nov. 5. Toledo will tangle with Dayton in its home opener, followed by a matchup at Notre Dame 11 days later.

A three-game homestand will begin against Memphis Nov. 24, Valparaiso Nov. 27 and Belmont Dec. 3. Toledo defeated all three opponents a season ago on the road, claiming a 58-48 victory against the Tigers, a 65-59 triumph vs. the Crusaders and a 78-69 win against the Bruins.

Toledo then will embark on a four-game road swing with the first stop at Duquesne (19-13, 11-5 Atlantic 10) Dec. 7. A season ago, the Rockets registered an impressive 65-52 home victory over the Dukes.

The women’s team also will face Detroit Mercy Dec. 14. The Rockets will wrap up the non-league slate with a home contest against Canisius Dec. 29.

The Rockets will play two contests against each of the five other Mid-American Conference West Division schools as well as against 2019 MAC Champion Buffalo (24-10, 12-6 MAC) Jan. 8 at home and Feb. 8 on the road, and 2019 Postseason WNIT participant Kent State (20-13, 11-7 MAC) Feb. 1 at home and Feb. 15 on the road from the East Division as part of their 18-game league schedule.

Toledo also will compete against the remaining East Division teams once, with 2019 Women’s Basketball Invitational participant Akron (16-15, 7-11 MAC) Jan. 15 and archrival Bowling Green (9-21, 2-16 MAC) Jan. 18 visiting the Glass City, and the Rockets traveling to 2019 Postseason WNIT participants Miami (23-9, 13-5 MAC) Feb. 5 and Ohio (30-6, 14-4 MAC) Feb. 19.

The Midnight Blue and Gold will commence league play at division rival Western Michigan (10-20, 4-13 MAC) Jan. 4.

The Rockets are slated to return nine letter winners in 2019-20; these include three starters from last year’s squad that posted a 21-12 overall record and an 11-7 ledger in the MAC.

The Rockets, who finished second in the MAC West Division standings, made their 12th overall appearance in the 2019 Postseason WNIT and seventh under Cullop. Toledo defeated Big East member Seton Hall, 71-65, in the first round before falling at eventual tourney finalist and Big Ten foe Northwestern, 54-47, in the second round.

Senior Mariella Santucci (9.2 points per game, 3.8 rebounds per game, 5.1 assists per game), senior Sara Rokkanen (6.3 points per game, 2.8 rebounds per game, 1.8 assists per game), junior Nakiah Black (10.7 points per game, 3.4 rebounds per game, 2.2 assists per game) and junior Tanaya Beacham (3.9 points per game, 3.0 rebounds per game) will be the leading returnees for Toledo in 2019-20. Overall, Toledo welcomes back 54.0% of its scoring, 45.3% of its rebounding, 62.4% of its assists, 30.1% of its blocks, and 56.5% of its steals.

Full-time UToledo employees and retirees may purchase two tickets at half-price. UToledo students are admitted to home games free with ID.

Season and individual tickets are on sale: Visit the Rocket Athletic Ticket Office at the Sullivan Athletic Complex in Savage Arena, contact the Rocket Athletic Ticket Office at 419.530.GOLD (4653), or go to the Toledo Central Ticket Central website.

Men’s Basketball Team Keyed Up for Season

Highlighting the Toledo men’s basketball schedule is a November matchup at Notre Dame, the first meeting between the Rockets and the Fighting Irish since they faced off in a Sweet 16 battle in the 1979 NCAA Tournament.

“We’re excited about our non-conference schedule,” said Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk. “It’s a schedule that will challenge us and help us prepare for our Mid-American Conference season.”

Toledo tips off its season at Valparaiso Nov. 5 before beginning play in the Men Against Breast Cancer Invitational. The Rockets open the event with a trip to Marshall Nov. 10 before hosting Robert Morris in their home opener Nov. 16 and Howard Nov. 17. Toledo wraps up the event by visiting Notre Dame Nov. 21.

“I think having the opportunity to play at Notre Dame is great for our fans because it’s a short drive that gives them the chance to see us play a high-major school on the road,” Kowalczyk said. “I have a lot of respect for Mike Brey and what their program stands for. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”

After hosting Northwestern Ohio Nov. 23, the Rockets will entertain Oakland Nov. 30 during the Thanksgiving weekend. Toledo will play four of six games in December on the road with its home contests coming vs. Marshall Dec. 8 and Wright State Dec. 21. The Rockets will play at Cleveland State Dec. 4, Detroit Mercy Dec. 14, University of Missouri-Kansas City Dec. 17 and Bradley Dec. 28.

“We have a few new opponents on our schedule, and I really like adding Valpo because of the proximity,” Kowalczyk said. “It makes sense to play them because it’s just a short bus trip. Bradley was an NCAA Tournament team last year, and I think it’s a great home-and-home opportunity for us as well.”

Toledo will open its MAC campaign with a nationally televised contest at Ball State Jan. 3. Following their trip to Muncie, Ind., the Rockets will visit Kent State Jan. 7 before playing their first conference game in Savage Arena vs. Western Michigan Jan. 11.

“I think it’s going to be a season of transition in the MAC,” Kowalczyk said. “Last year we had 17 of 20 all-conference players returning, and this season there are 16 of 20 all-conference players leaving. I feel really good about where our program is headed with the culture of winning we have established. It’s certainly at a high level right now and something we’re going to work hard to continue.”

In addition to their five MAC West Division opponents, the Rockets will host four East Division foes — archrival Bowling Green (Jan. 25), Kent State (Jan. 28), Miami (Feb. 11) and defending league champion Buffalo (Feb. 15). The remainder of Toledo’s conference home games will include matchups vs. Central Michigan (Jan. 14), Northern Illinois (Feb. 4), Ball State (Feb. 29) and Eastern Michigan (March 6).

Toledo’s conference road schedule will be highlighted by a trip to the Stroh Center Feb. 8 for a second matchup vs. the Falcons. The Rockets also will visit MAC East Division foes Akron (Jan. 18) and Ohio (Jan. 21) in addition to traveling to Eastern Michigan (Feb. 1), Western Michigan (Feb. 22), Central Michigan (Feb. 25) and Northern Illinois (March 3).

Kowalczyk has guided the Rockets to four 20-win campaigns in the last six years, marking the first time for this accomplishment since Bob Nichols recorded five straight seasons of 20-plus victories from 1976 to 1981. Kowalczyk has led the Rockets to the second-most overall victories (129) in the MAC over the last six seasons. Toledo registered a 25-8 record with a 13-5 mark in league play last year, and its 68 MAC victories over the last six seasons rank second in the league.

The Rockets captured their second-consecutive MAC West Division title last season and earned a berth into the National Invitation Tournament with the second-most wins in program history. Toledo returns three starters from last year’s squad — junior Marreon Jackson (11.7 points per game, 4.2 assists per game), senior Luke Knapke (10.5 points per game, 6.6 rebounds per game) and senior Willie Jackson (8.5 points per game, team-high 8.9 rebounds per game).

Full-time UToledo employees and retirees may purchase two tickets at half-price. UToledo students are admitted to home games free with ID.

Season and individual tickets are on sale: Visit the Rocket Athletic Ticket Office at the Sullivan Athletic Complex in Savage Arena, contact the Rocket Athletic Ticket Office at 419.530.GOLD (4653), or go to the Toledo Central Ticket Central website.