Facing what appeared to be an insurmountable deficit, Toledo rallied for a 3-2 (23-25, 23-25, 25-18, 25-23, 15-13) victory over Loyola (IL) in its second game of the day at the Blue/Gold Invitational in Savage Arena. In addition to dropping the first two sets, the Rockets (1-1) also bounced back from a 20-16 deficit in the fourth set to stay alive in the contest.
Senior OH Lauren Rafdal paced UT's attack for a second-straight match with a match-high 21 kills, including the decisive termination to end the evening. Joining Rafdal in double figures in kills were senior OH Becca Reidy (15 kills, .282 ATK%) and freshman OH Alyssa Ehrhardt (11 kills). Senior S Adria Pryor directed Toledo's offense to a .234 team attack percentage while accumulating 55 assists and 12 digs.
Senior MB Dakota Harkins and Reidy impacted the match at the net defensively with seven and five blocks, respectively, while freshman libero Ellen Hays led the Rockets' defensive efforts in the back row with a team-high 17 digs.
Sophomore OH Kathleen Vogel's 19 kills paced the Ramblers (1-1) offensively with sophomore OH Maureen Carls notching 10 kills and a match-best .474 hitting mark. Sophomore libero Stephanie Kinane topped Loyola defensively with a match-high 20 digs.
The first two sets were evenly played with 25 tie scores and 13 lead changes but the Rockets didn't have anything to show for it. UT broke away from the Ramblers midway through Set 3 when kills from Ehrhardt and Reidy capped off a 6-1 spurt to give the Rockets a 20-14 advantage.
Toledo then took a 12-9 lead early in Set 4 only to see the visitors appear to take control with a 20-16 lead. The Rockets then registered three straight blocks to spark a 7-0 burst for a 23-20 advantage. That was all that UT needed to send the match to a deciding fifth set.
The Rockets never trailed in the final set but nearly let the Ramblers back in the contest after seeing a 14-10 lead reduced to a single point. Rafdal then ended any hopes of a Loyola comeback with her 21st kill of the evening.