Toledo, Ohio - Central Michigan held a 2-1 lead in Saturday's match at Toledo, but was unable to hold off a comeback by the Rockets before falling in a dramatic five-set affair, 25-22, 22-25, 25-20, 21-25, 11-15.
The loss drops the Chippewas' record to 11-13 on the season and 5-7 in the Mid-American Conference. The Rockets improved to 16-10 and 9-3 in the MAC.
The Chippewas took control of the the match with a 25-22 victory in set one. CMU took a 13-9 lead on a double block by junior Hallie Enderle and sophomore Angelique White to force a Toledo Timeout. The Rockets held close and pulled within two, 19-17, but a kill and block on back-to-back rallies by White pushed the lead back to four, 21-17. UT again pulled within a pair, 24-22, forcing a CMU timeout, but senior Katie Schuette closed the win with a kill out of the stoppage in play for a 1-0 CMU advantage.
UT evened the match with a 25-22 win of its own in set two, but the Chippewas didn't allow the momentum to completely sway, coming back with a key 25-20 victory in set three.
The third set was dominated by the Chippewas' defense as they limited the Rockets to a .000 hitting percentage and recorded four blocks in the set. CMU trailed early, 9-7, but quickly evened the match on a kill by senior Danielle Gotham and took the lead, 14-13, on an ace by Schuette. A block by Gotham extended the lead to 21-18 and forced a Toledo Timeout and another double block by Schuette and Gotham gave CMU the victory, 25-20.
The Maroon and Gold took a 13-10 lead in set four on a kill by Schuette and led as late as 19-18 on a kill by White before Toledo turned the set in its' favor. The set was tied following a kill by White, 21-21, but the Rockets scored the final four points to claim a 25-21 win and even the match.
UT jumped out to an early 4-1 lead in the decisive fifth set, but CMU was able to score four-straight that included a double block by Enderle and Gotham to take a 5-4 lead and force a timeout. The Rockets went on a run of their own, scoring four of the next five points to claim a 9-6 lead and extended the advantage to five, 12-7, on a CMU error. The Chippewas pulled within a pair, 12-10, on a kill by junior Kaitlyn McIntyre, but it was as close as they would get as Toledo went on to claim a 15-11 win.
McIntyre led the Chippewas with 17 kills, while Gotham had 12 kills and matched a career high with nine blocks. White notched 11 kills and five blocks and Enderle chipped in with nine kills and a career-high seven blocks.
The Chippewas set a team season high and held an advantage in blocks for over the Rockets, 17-11.
CMU returns home for a pair of key MAC West matches next weekend when it will host Northern Illinois and rival Western Michigan.