Toledo volleyball clinches share of first MAC West Division title

November 15, 2013 | News, UToday
By Steve Easton

Toledo (19-10, 12-3 Mid-American Conference) clinched a share of its first-ever MAC West Division title with a come-from-behind 3-2 (18-25, 14-25, 25-12, 25-23, 16-14) victory at Western Michigan in Kalamazoo.

thumb-rocket-color-logoThe win secured the No. 2 seed for the Rockets in next week’s Mid-American Conference Tournament due to UT’s sweep of second-place Ball State (22-7, 10-4 MAC) this year.

UT made an improbable comeback in the final set by scoring the match’s final nine points after falling behind by a 14-7 margin. The victory lifted the Rockets’ record in five-set contest to a perfect 10-0 and also was Toledo’s first win ever in Kalamazoo.

“It was an incredible victory for us tonight and the most amazing win I’ve ever been a part of,” said Head Coach Greg Smith after seeing his team extended its conference win streak to a school-record eight matches. “There are just no other words to describe it. I couldn’t be more proud of how our girls played against a very tough WMU club on its home court. I just told the team to keep working hard, take it one point at a time, and see what happens. It was just an awesome, awesome win.”

Senior outside hitter Lauren Rafdal spearheaded a balanced Toledo offense with 19 kills and a .271 attack percentage with senior right side hitter Becca Reidy contributing 15 terminations and a .500 hitting mark.

Senior middle blocker Dakota Harkins joined her fellow classmates in double figures with 13 kills, while junior middle blocker Brooke Frazer tallied seven kills and a .429 attack percentage.

Frazer also paced the team with five blocks, while Rafdal and freshman libero Ellen Hays shared team dig honors with 15 defensive saves apiece.

The Rockets will look to win the West Division outright when they travel to DeKalb, Ill., to face Northern Illinois Saturday night at 6 p.m. Central Time. The Huskies were swept at home Friday night by Ball State.

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