Despite hot start, a bad second set dooms women’s volleyball

After losing their 20th game of the season, the Owls will look to knock off nationally ranked Central Florida on Saturday.

Temple wins its fifth match of the season against conference opponent Memphis on Hawaiian night at McGonigle Hall. | MIKE NGUYEN / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple University women’s volleyball lost to South Florida on Thursday night 3-1 at McGonigle Hall. The loss dropped the Owls’ to 5-19 on the season.

Temple got off to a fast start, winning the first set 25-22. USF responded with a dominating second set and won 25-13.

“We did a good job controlling the match in the first set, we executed pretty well,” said coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam. “I think the second set we completely, for whatever reason, collapsed mentally and there is no excuse for that.”

South Florida had an efficient second set hitting .343. During the second set, the Owl’s hit a low -0.26, which was their lowest of the match. The difference in hit percentage set the tone for the rest of the match.

“They had more tips and roll shots … I do not know if they changed anything drastically,” freshman setter Tyler Lindgren said. “They found the open spots in our court and they exposed that and we were just not able to adjust to it in the middle of the game.”

The Bulls’ adjustments in the second set carried over into the third set, where South Florida hit a .463 hitting percentage. The Owls’ hung tough but still dropped the set 25-20.

“They changed the way they played and we just could not find more options to score,” Graduate Student outside hitter Irem Acsi said. “That was one of the things that we just did, especially myself. The errors that should not be there hopefully we will pick it up against UCF.”

Despite this being Temple’s fourth straight loss, there are reasons the be optimistic about the future of the young roster, Ganesharatnam added.

“I think the freshman class has done a great job, a lot of the freshman have stepped up,” Lindgren said. “It is cool to see such a young lineup out there and I think we are doing a good job.”

Women’s volleyball will play Saturday against Central Florida which is 21-3 overall and undefeated in American Conference play.

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