Volleyball falls in three sets to Toledo despite late rally
After dropping its first two sets, the Central Michigan volleyball team rallied in set three, but fell short, 32-30, against Toledo on Thursday at McGuirk Arena.
The Rockets defeated the Chippewas, 25-17 and 25-13 in sets one and two. Junior outside hitter Jordan Bueter highlighted CMU's ability to capitalize in the third set of every match.
"We're trying to flip our game three into game one," she said. "We feel that we really do capitalize in set three and you can see that. We want that to be set one instead."
Bueter led the Chippewas with 12 kills and sophomore outside hitter Laura Willson added nine kills.
Toledo's sophomore defensive specialist Maurissa Leonard tallied a season-high of 32 digs to lead the Rockets. Toledo dug a total of 72 balls to CMU's 56.
"She's good (and) we have a lot of respect for her," Willson said about Leonard. "We knew going in that we needed to try to make her work and hit away from her. Wherever we hit, she just seemed to get there and make the great reads and get us."
Head coach Mike Gawlik said his team's "heart and fight" showed up in each set, but their execution needs to match.
"All in all, we need to have more balance in our offense," he said. "I did like our effort in set three. I really liked how we responded down the stretch, trading clutch points and I thought (Toledo) played well. I thought we played well in those points of the match."
After Thursday's loss, CMU's record fell to 9-14 overall and 3-8 in the Mid-American Conference.
The Chippewas will be back in action Saturday at McGuirk to square off against Ball State (9-15, 5-5 MAC) for the second time this season. In its MAC opener, CMU lost to the Cardinals in five sets.
"Without a doubt, we're better, but I know (BSU) is better too," Gawlik said. "There's a little bit of jitters on opening night, so I imagine that Saturday night will be a little bit more clean of a match."