Written by Greg Frank @g_frank6
The volleyball team improved to 5-2 on Saturday afternoon with a 3-2 victory over Duquesne. It was a back and forth affair as the Owls finished strong hitting .643 in the fifth set, a set in which they won 15-1.
Despite the strong finish, Temple had its lapses on Saturday afternoon most notably in the second set. After a strong first set, which it won 25-19, Temple hit -.06 in the second set. The Owls dropped the set 25-13 and headed into the locker room tied at one set all. Coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam acknowledged the team can get better mentally to avoid such lapses.
“I just thought we were not focused enough,” Ganesharatnam said of the second set defeat.
Halftime came at a good time for the Owls as the team regrouped to win the third set going away 25-14. It was a very clean third set for Temple as it committed just three unforced errors to take a two sets to one lead. The fourth set was a roller coaster as each team had its bright spots but ultimately Duquesne pulled away with the set before Temple closed it out in the fifth.
Grabbing the early lead was a common theme for Temple in all three sets it won on Saturday afternoon. Ganeshartanam was pleased with the way his team responded after dropping sets two and four but noted there is plenty of room for improvement.
“The story of the game was the consistency because we were really sharp or we made a lot of unforced errors so that’s something we need to work on,” Ganeshartanam said.
Senior defensive specialist Kayla Yingling noted that halftime came at an important juncture in the match.
“We just talked in the locker room about being mentally sharp for the third game,” Yingling said.
Despite needing five sets to get the victory, there were more positives than just the final score for the Owls. Senior libero Alyssa Drachslin finished with 26 digs. Offensively, the Owls had four players with double digit kills and were led by sophomore outside hitter Irem Asci with 14.
“I think we have to learn out of this match,” Ganeshartanam said. “The good thing is we gutted it out but we have to move forward and one of the things [we need to work on] is consistency.”