Aleah Hughes posted the most kills by a Penguin in seven years, but the Youngstown State volleyball team was outlasted by Toledo in a five-set marathon on Saturday at the Zips Invitational. The set scores were 21-25, 25-21, 25-27, 25-23, 20-18.
In a match that lasted 2:50 and saw 47 ties and 19 lead changes, Youngstown State concluded its non-conference schedule with a 6-7 record.
Hughes finished with 25 kills, the most by a YSU player since Missy Hundelt in 2011, and 16 digs in the losing effort. Margaux Thompson also had a double-double with 10 kills and 11 digs, and Giovanna Kuntze just missed a triple-double with 51 assists, 17 digs and nine kills.
Chloee Kleespies had 22 kills on 63 attacks to lead the Rockets.
Hughes had four kills in each of the first two sets, and she registered eight on just 10 attacks in the third set a YSU hung on for a 27-25 win. YSU trailed 17-11 in the set before rallying to catch the Rockets at 20-20, and it fought off three set points to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
In the fourth set, the score was within two points until Toledo took a 22-19 lead. YSU got within one three different times before a Kleespies kill tied the match.
There were 13 ties and nine lead changes in the fifth set, and the margin never grew to more than two. Youngstown State led 13-11 after a Varcolla ace, but Toledo scored the next three points to set up a match point. YSU saved that point and another, and the Penguins had three match points but couldn't convert. Thompson's kill gave YSU an 18-17 lead, but the final three points of the match came on two YSU attack errors and a Toledo ace.
Youngstown State will begin Horizon League play at Cleveland State on Friday at 6 p.m.