Temple defeated East Carolina in straight sets Friday in Greenville, North Carolina. The Owls (24-8,15-5 American Athletic Conference) finished the regular season on a seven-match win streak.
The first two sets were tight for the Owls.
The squad won the first set, 25-21 after being tied 19-19 and won the second set, 25-23 after trailing 23-22.
“We just needed to control our play a little better,” coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam said. “I think we were able to get going in the third set. We hit correct balls with better touches and were able to get our offensive game going.”
After gaining a 5-4 advantage in the third set, Temple never trailed on the way to winning the set and the match, 25-15.
In the match, the Owls had four players with five or more kills and hit 26 percent.
“We’re near the top in the conference in almost every offensive category,” Ganesharatnam said. “It definitely helps having so many girls be able to hit well.”
Sophomore outside hitter Irem Asci led the offensive attack. Asci was the only Owl with double-digit kills. She finished with a kill rate of 52.4 percent on her 13 kills.
Senior middle blocker Halle McCullough had her second-straight game with more than five kills, finishing with nine.
After today’s win, the Owls are not guaranteed any more games. The squad’s current Rating Percentage Index is ranked No. 71 in Division I. The team will wait and see if it is selected Sunday for the Division I Women’s Volleyball Tournament.
“We did what we could do,” Ganesharatnam said. “We took control of what we can control, and I know it’s a longshot, but I think we did enough to be able to make a case for us.”
Despite the selection show being on national television, the team will not be watching the show together.
“It has been a tough stretch the last few weeks,” Ganesharatnam said. “I think the girls have done enough, so we gave them the day off, and we’ll figure out what our future for the season is on our own.”
Kevin Schaeffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or@_kevinschaeffer