The women’s volleyball team won rather convincingly on Friday night, beating Cincinnati in three straight sets to take the match.
After sweeping South Florida on October 5, the Owls kept right on rolling against the Bearcats. With sophomore Caroline Grattan sidelined because of injury, the Owls relied more on the efforts of players like junior Halle McCullough to carry them.
With Grattan out, McCullough’s role on the team and her side on the floor have both changed.
“I have played two positions since I’ve been here,” McCullough said. “Now I’m back playing on the right side, the position that I originally played. I just have to take advantage of this opportunity.”
McCullough finished the game with seven kills, four of which came in the first set.
Even without Grattan in the lineup, Temple set the tone early. Coach Bakeer Ganes credited that in part to his team’s depth.
“We have 16 players, and we have multiple players competing for one spot,” Ganes said. “We knew we had some players in the background who could come and step in. Obviously Caroline provides us with a lot of good things, so we’re hoping to have her back very soon.”
Ganes also cited the crowd as a big momentum booster for his team. This was Temple’s first home game since beating Holy Cross to win the Temple Invitational on Sept. 6.
“The crowd makes a huge difference. When the crowd gets into it, the players really feed off that,” Ganes said. “That’s why we work so hard to get more and more students to attend these matches. I think it’s an easy game to follow, so I encourage students to come out and to watch us play because it’s a lot of fun.”
McCullough also believed the crowd was a big factor, especially since many were fellow student athletes.
“Most of the crowd was other student athletes that we’re very good friends with, so we go to their games, they come to ours. It’s nice,” McCullough said.
With the win, the Owls improved to 12-5 overall and 3-2 in conference play. They stay home to take on Memphis Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. in McGonigle Hall.
Daniel Newhart can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.