Written By: Richard Turner
Photo Courtesy of: OwlSports.com
Coming into Saturday’s match against Towson, Temple knew what they were up against. Towson went into this match 29-3 and was ranked 30th in the nation. Towson played 23 more matches entering today, which gave them a real advantage in terms of experience. Things didn’t start that way, though.
Temple took control of the first set and did a great job controlling the pace as they won the set, 25-20. The rest of the match, however, was all Towson. Towson went onto win the next three sets, 25-20, 25-15, and 25-18, to close out the Owls in three straight and give Temple their first out-of-conference loss of the season.
Towson did a great job on the offensive end as they had three players with double-digit kills, including Nina Cajic with 15, Emily Jarome with 13, and Lydia Wiers with 11. Altogether, these three combined for 39 out of the 55 hits for Towson, with the Tigers also having a 28% hit percentage, including 61% in the final set. The offense wasn’t the whole story for Towson, though.
A big reason for the Owls defeat was the number of blocks Towson had. Towson had 15 blocks, led by Lydia Wiers’ eight compared to Temple’s four blocks. Towson always seemed to be in position when Temple tried to fire a shot across as they held Temple’s hit percentage to 18, including 0% in the third set.
Errors also plagued Temple as they finished with 24 on the night, including 8 in a decisive third set. Coach Ganesharatnam said, “It all goes back to the Serve-Receive we have in the system. If the Serve-Receive stays in system, it allows our attackers to be in a better position to score. We didn’t always put ourselves in the best position to get a kill or to score.”
It wasn’t all bad for Temple, though. Sophomore middle-blocker Kayla Spells continued her impressive stretch over the weekend, finishing 12 kills on 21 attempts, good for a remarkable 57.1% kill percentage. Junior outside-hitter Gem Grimshaw led the Owls with 14 kills and added 13 digs while having a hitting percentage of 30.1%. Also, junior setter Tyler Lindgren led the team with 31 assists while also having four kills on the afternoon.
Coming up, the Owls will have some time to rest and practice before a rematch with UCONN on Sunday, Mar. 7, at McGonigle Hall, a team they beat 3-1 last time out. The match is set to begin at 1:00 p.m.