By: Melissa Payavis
Temple hosted a pair of conference matchups on Friday against Houston and Sunday against Tulane. They racked on another set of sweeps, continuing their seventh straight win of the season. The Owls took Houston in three sets: 25-19, 25-23, and 25-20. Temple also tallied their eighth sweep on the year against Tulane, going 25-21, 25-12, and 27-25 in extra rallies. The Owls have been on a hot streak recently, winning ten of their last 11 matches. Temple leads the all-time series with the Cougars 8-3, and Tulane 7-1. This was Tulane’s first loss after breaking their eight-game losing streak with a win against UConn on Friday.
The last time the Owls and Cougars faced off down in Houston, Temple found themselves in a hole when they were down two sets to none. They were forced to rally and come back in the fifth set to come back with a victory 3-2.
In the previous weekend’s matchups against Tulsa and SMU, junior libero Mia Heirakuji averaged 24 digs per match without a reception error. She was named the American Defensive Player of the Week on Monday. This is the second time that she has received this honor. Seniors Izzy Papacz and Kyra Coundourides earned a spot on the American Weekly Honor Roll.
Redshirt freshman Dana Westfield had a game high of 14 kills on Friday night, followed by freshman Katerina Papazoglou with 12 kills. Senior setter Kyra Coundourides notched a double-double with 42 assists and 12 digs.
“It’s nice that Kyra trusts me enough to give me enough balls to be able to get the team high and be able to get certain points, and that she sees where the block is,” Westfield said. “So it’s nice to know that she trusts me and that everyone else is supportive.”
On Sunday, the Owls numbers were similar to Friday’s numbers. Westfield notched a game high 13 kills and Coundourides tallied another double-double with 36 assists and 12 digs.
Michael is an award-winning radio host at WHIP Radio. He has been a staple host on WHIP’s Wake Up Call, and has recently occupied the role of Program Director for the station.