Toledo (2-1) went the distance for a second-straight match and came away victorious following a 3-2 (21-25, 25-21, 25-22, 21-25, 15-10) triumph over Eastern Illinois (1-3) on Saturday evening at the Blue/Gold Invitational. It was the second consecutive year that the Rockets downed the Panthers in non-conference action.
A balanced effort from both an offensive and defensive point of view proved to be the difference for UT as four Rockets tallied double-digit kill and dig totals.
Senior OH Lauren Rafdal topped Toledo with a match-best 18 kills and was joined in double figures by senior RSH Becca Reidy (14 kills, 3 aces), senior MB Dakota Harkins (13 kills, team-high .458 ATK%) and freshman OH Alyssa Ehrhardt (13 kills, 16 digs).
Ehrhardt was part of a strong Rocket defensive showing that was spearheaded by freshman libero Ellen Hays' match-high 23 digs. Also making big contributions in the back row were senior S Adria Pryor (17 digs) and senior OH Jordan Kielty (12 digs).
Pryor quarterbacked the Rockets' attack and distributed 62 assists, while Harkins again made her presence felt at the net with six blocks.
Sophomores Chelsea Lee and Abby Saalfrank paced the Panthers with 14 kills apiece.
Toledo fell behind 6-3 in the final set but Reidy brought the Rockets back quickly with two straight aces to even the score at 6-6 and force and EIU timeout. Reidy then put UT ahead to stay with back-to-back terminations for a 10-8 advantage. Harkins and Ehrhardt teamed up for a block to end the match and any hopes of a Panther comeback.