By: Jacob Smedley
Photo Courtesy: Jhalen Wingate
After a close and competitive first set, UCF pulled away in the second set to shut out the Owls for a second consecutive night.
UCF (8-0,2-0) beat Temple (5-3,1-3) 25-19 in the first set, 25-12 in the second set before a decisive 25-16 third set to close out the match.
Both Florida schools have given the Owls problems as after a 5-0 start the team has dropped 3 of its last 4 matches to the likes of UCF and USF.
The hitters for the Knights were potent, junior Mckenna Mellville and senior Anne-Marie Watson had a combined 23 kills which was only 3 shy of Temples’ entire team. In back to back nights UCF finished with at least 35 kills.
On the flip side Temple struggled on the offensive side of the net. The Owls finished with a .060 attack percentage which is by far their worst of the season topping last night’s performance of .143.
“This was a learning experience for us. We have not won a championship, ” said head coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam postgame. “This is something we have to learn in order to get to that point that allows us to compete for a championship.”
The serving was another issue that plagued the Owls from the very beginning. The Knights ended up with 11 aces with the Owls not even notching one. UCF sophomore defensive specialist Arianna Arjomand led the way with four herself.
“Today they clearly won the pass game,” said Ganesharatnam. “They served really well, They picked us apart and served the ball much better than they did yesterday.”
While the match was filled with a lot of UCF cheering and victory group huddles the Owls did have some positives to take away from the two day series.
Sophomore middle blocker Kayla Spells finished with three kills on six attempts and had the highest attack percentage out of the entire team. Additionally, junior Tyler Lindgren finished with a .250 attack percentage with a game high 21 assists.
The Owls will look to bounce back next week with another home match at McGonigal Hall Friday February 26th vs Seton Hall (0-0) . The game time is at 5:00pm and can be viewed on ESPN+.