MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – A balanced offensive attack led by senior setter Kelly Maxwell helped Central Michigan open Mid-American Conference play with a sweep of Toledo inside McGuirk Arena Friday night, 25-23, 25-15, 30-28.
Maxwell finished the night with 43 assists, including 15 in the first set, as five different Chippewas (7-6, 1-0 MAC) had at least seven kills, led by sophomore Angelique White and junior Kaitlyn McIntyre’s 12 apiece. White finished the evening with a hitting percentage of .478, converting 12 of her 23 attempts with just one error.
“I’m very pleased with this victory tonight,” head coach Erik Olson said. “Toledo played well and passed a lot better than we saw on film and gave us a good match. This is probably our best win of the season thus far. They’ve had some significant wins and this was a very great ‘W’ for us putting it together. I was very pleased with our passing and I was very pleased with our side out numbers tonight and we touched a lot of balls. I thought [Hallie] Enderlee at right was very good and our middles kind of had their way.”
While CMU’s offense was clicking, its defense was as exceptionally superb, limiting Toledo to just a .160 hitting percentage on the night. Senior libero Jenna Coates led the way with a team-high 16 digs, while freshman Melissa Fuchs had 13 and sophomore Kristen Reenders 10.
A quick 3-0 run midway through the first set that included a kill by McIntyre, ace by Maxwell and kill by senior Danielle Gotham gave the Chippewas a 12-9 lead and forced a Toledo timeout. The run extended and pushed the Chippewas’ advantage to 17-12 on a kill by White, forcing a second Toledo stoppage. The Rockets rallied to pull within a point, 21-20, but a costly service error swung things back towards CMU's favor and junior Hallie Enderle slammed home the final three points to give CMU a 25-23 win.
The second set was all CMU from start to finish as it jumped out to an early 12-7 lead and ultimately pushed the advantage to eight, 20-12, on a kill by McIntyre. Reenders served four straight points during a mini run and a kill by White closed the set, 25-15.
The Chippewas hit .484 in the second set while limiting the Rockets to a clip of just .135.
Despite the Rockets’ best effort in the third and final set, the Chippewas were able to rally and close out a back-and-forth affair, 30-28. The final set saw the game tied or lead change 15 times, and CMU was forced to fight off set point twice with kills by White and McIntyre. After McIntyre’s kill tied the set at 28 apiece, Gotham and Maxwell teamed up for a double block and an error by Toledo’s Lauren Rafdal sealed the match.
CMU will look to improve to 2-0 in conference play tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. when it takes on Ball State (13-3, 1-0 MAC).