By Drew Bishop
After a resounding win over Memphis on Friday night, the Temple Owls faced a taste of their own medicine on Sunday afternoon, losing 25-18, 25-17, and 25-22 to the Tulane Green Wave. Errors sunk Temple, with 19 on the attack and 6 on services, and lost chances marred the team, preventing any set-winning momentum.
The first set gave the Owls promise as they opened on two strong points to claim an early lead. Irem Asci collected her first kill on the second point to go along with her 11 TA’s for the set. Exchanging blows with the Green Wave, Temple’s chance to seize momentum came through a 3-0 run, changing the scoreline from 6-7 to 9-7. Tulane fought back and minimized the Owls’ attack to .029 by the end of the set.
Freshmen Kayla Dinkins and Makala Heidelberg, who combined for 7 kills and 18 total attacks in the first set, aggressively led the Green Wave throughout the day. Tulane claimed the set, 25-18.
Even though they lost the first set, the Lady Owls were more efficient in the second set, improving on kills (+4), errors (-3), and TA’s (+2), with an attack of .222.
The Lady Owls stood with Tulane for most of the set behind great efforts from Mia Heirakuji and Tyler Lindgren, with 9 and 10 digs, respectively, for the entire game. After the midway point, the 15-12 deficit quickly developed into a larger 20-12 deficit, with three-straight attack errors by the Owls. The Green Wave quickly closed the set, 25-17.
Temple improved once again in the third set, even holding a 16-12 lead at one point. But spurned by five kills from Burcescu Yvette, Tulane was able to crawl back into the game. The deciding third set was the most competitive of the match, with the Owls only being down 22-21 down the stretch. They were unable to mount a run, however, and Tulane held on to win.
With the win, the Tulane Green Wave improve to 17-7 with a five-game AAC winning streak, and the Temple Owls drop to 5-16 with a 2-7 conference record.
The Lady Owls will travel to Tulsa next week to face the 14-7 Tulsa Hurricanes on Friday at 8pm.
Head coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam
Photo: Owl Sports
Drew Bishop is a sophomore on-air personality and writer for WHIP Radio. He writes for Temple Volleyball and appears on The Main Event, Stadium Talk, and Temple Talks Philly.