Each team can only have six players on the floor during a set. To be successful, they must work together and form one cohesive unit, much like a family.
Two students transferred to Temple in 2016 because they recognized that quality in this team on and off the court.
Junior Kyra Coundourides transferred from Virginia Tech, and calls Brunswick, Ohio her home. However, Philadelphia is quickly becoming her second home.
“The thing that sold me [on Temple] was the team,” Coundourides said. “The girls here are amazing with how much they care about each other.”
Sophomore Iva Deak transferred from Iowa Western Community College, but she originates from Zagreb, Croatia.
“I just liked the whole program that Temple gives to students, academically and on the court,” Deak said.
Friday’s contest against Northern Arizona University was the first game for each transfer student in the Cherry and White, but they coalesced nicely with the rest of the squad. Both players played a pivotal role in the 3-1 victory against Northern Arizona, combining for 17 of the team’s 70 points.
Coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam helped recruit both players to come to Temple, so he was not surprised when they produced this early in the season.
“They do a really good job of executing at a high level because they are pretty strong mentally. They don’t make a lot of mistakes, and they are both coachable kids, which is a great combination.”
Both players were gracious of the opportunity the coach gave them to play as much as they did, citing a trust the coaching staff had in them.
“I’m really happy that he trusted me so early,” Deak said.
“It’s nice to have coaches that trust you that much, that appreciate you, and I appreciate them,” Coundourides added.
To transfer from such great distances can be hard on any student, but the volleyball team has provided the home away from home each player sought. They spend most of their time together, even outside of team activities. It provides stability in the otherwise tumultuous lifestyle college can become.
Nick Haas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Haas88