After a strong win over Xavier, 20th-ranked Dayton ended Temple’s seven-game winning streak by sweeping the Owls, 3-0.
“I don’t know,” junior outside hitter Elyse Burkert said. “It went so fast; it was hard to do anything.”
Immediately after the loss, the Owls may have been in a sort of daze.
“We went into the locker room like, ‘what happened,” sophomore outside hitter Jennifer Iacobini said. “No one did anything extraordinary.”
“Someone could have picked it up or done something, but we just didn’t,” Iacobini said. “During that third game, there was nothing you could really do.”
“That second game we were pretty close to them, 18-25,” Iacobini said. “I don’t know what happened that third game.”
Temple lost the third set by the largest margin of the night, 25-10. Coach Bakeer Ganes felt that Dayton wanted to send a message.
“Where [this program] was just a year and a half ago, we can’t all of a sudden talk about winning the A-10,” Ganes said. “I think Dayton really wanted to make sure we were aware of that.”
“Some people here, I wouldn’t say within the team, but some people got carried away a little bit,” Ganes said. “We have to be realistic.”
The Owls were seemingly aware of where they stood in the conference.
“Not that we thought we were going to lose, but we knew this was going to be a tough match-up,” Burkert said. “I don’t think we went into this match with the mindset, ‘let’s get the most out of this.’”
“I think in the back of our heads tonight, we were like, ‘it’s Dayton,’” Iacobini said. “They’ll probably beat us.”
However, Temple’s perception has apparently changed following the game.
“What we said as we walked back to the locker room was that was the only game we’re going to lose for the rest of the season,” Iacobini said. “I know we can beat every single team in this conference, especially after last night.”
“We know we’re going to beat them even if it’s at their home,” Iacobini said. “I know that we are going to get at least second or third in the conference.”
Ganes has similar views.
“We’re having a good season, and we’re much better than we were a year or two ago,” Ganes said. “Nobody expected us to do this well, but we’re still worlds away from a program like Dayton, and people need to recognize that.”
The Owls currently occupy third place in the Atlantic 10 Conference, 3-1, and have a strong season record, 13-5. Dayton is currently leading the conference, 4-0, and stands at 12-4.
“[We need to make sure] we are confident, not cocky, for every game,” Burkert said. “Just because we beat Xavier, doesn’t mean we can beat teams Xavier beat, and just because we lost to Dayton doesn’t mean we can never beat Dayton.”
“Like even with La Salle this weekend, if we’re going to play them, let’s crush them,” Burkert said. “If we’re better, let’s beat them, not just ehhh play down- beat them.’”
Temple’s next game will be against La Salle on Oct. 5, 2012.
Liam McKenna can be reached at email@example.com