TOLEDO, Ohio – After three back-and-forth, hard-fought sets, a slow start in the fourth set cost the Miami University volleyball team in a 1-3 (21-25, 23-25, 25-23, 18-25) setback against Toledo Friday night. The RedHawks fall to 10-11 overall and 2-7 in the Mid-American Conference. The Rockets improve to 13-10 overall and 6-3 in the MAC.
Freshman outside hitter Maris Below led the way with a career-high 18 kills. She also added eight digs and assisted on three blocks. Freshman setter Krista Brakauskas had her third straight double-double, recording a career-high 50 assists to go along with 19 digs. Miami hit .245 for the match, but the Toledo hitters remained hot throughout the match, finishing with a .312 hitting percentage.
A pair of kills by Below, along with a kill from sophomore outside hitter Annie Reiswig and a service ace by Brakauskas helped the RedHawks to a 5-2 lead to begin set one. The Rockets fought back with a 6-1 run to take an 8-6 advantage. Miami kept the score close throughout the remainder of the set, but was never able to tie the score. Junior outside hitter/setter Meg Riley and Reiswig had three kills apiece during the final portion of the set, while Below recorded four more, but Toledo went on to win, 25-21.
Tied at five in set two, a kill from freshman middle hitter Paige Hill began a 4-0 run that put Miami in front, 9-5. The Rockets answered with four straight points of their own to tie the score. The teams traded the lead six more times until the score was tied at 18. A kill by Hill, followed by two straight from Reiswig gave the ‘Hawks a 21-18 lead. Toledo scored two in a row to pull within one, but sophomore middle hitter Jenny Ingle answered with a kill off a nice set from Brakauskas to make it 22-20. The Rockets offense got hot at the right time, recording four straight points to create set point at 24-22. Riley fought off one with a kill, but UT scored the next point to earn a 25-23 victory.
Set three played out in a very similar, tight manner to set two. Tied at nine, a 4-1 run by the ‘Hawks put them ahead, 13-10. The Rockets answered with a 6-1 run of their own to go in front, 16-14. Two kills from Below along with kills from Reiswig and Ingle helped tie the score at 20. Tied at 21, back-to-back kills from Riley gave Miami a two-point cushion. That was quickly erased when Toledo scored the next two points. Riley continued to find the floor for the RedHawks however, as she put down a kill followed by a service ace to give Miami a 25-23 win.
Toledo raced to a 12-2 advantage to take control of set four early. Below and junior middle hitter Chelsea Visk teamed up on a pair of blocks, but the Rockets eventually pushed the advantage to 11 at 20-9. Two kills from Below and service aces by senior libero Madison Hardy and junior defensive specialist Tori Clifford sparked a 7-1 run by Miami that pulled it to within five at 16-21, but the deficit proved to be too much as Toledo went on to a 25-18 victory.
Riley and Reiswig finished with 13 kills apiece, while Ingle contributed nine. Hardy recorded 16 digs for the ‘Hawks.
Miami continues its road trip when it heads to Ball State for a 7 p.m. match.