After Temple’s 3-1 win against East Carolina Friday night in McGonigle Hall, Alyssa Drachslin moved to within 78 digs of 1,000 for her career. Yet, Drachslin said she would much rather focus on the here-and-now, and her team’s success as opposed to individual statistics and accolades.
“When it comes down to it, especially in games like today, stats don’t mean anything,” Drachslin pointed out. “Stats don’t reflect how you’re doing in the game, so it’s definitely not something I focus on.”
Drachslin and freshman Dara Peric tied for the team lead in digs with 16. Peric also finished with 17 kills, which helped lead the Owls to their 10th straight win, by scores of 25-15, 25-9, 28-30 and 25-22.
After convincing victories in the first two sets, it seemed like Temple was on the verge of a three-set sweep. However, ECU hung tough in the third set and was able to force the Owls into a fourth.
“I think every team has pride,” coach Bakeer Ganes said of ECU’s forcing a fourth set. “They’re here to compete, and obviously they executed a little bit better.”
Even though Peric and the Owls were happy with the win, they would have preferred to take care of business in three sets. Nevertheless, going to a fourth set gave the team a chance to catch its breath and regroup.
“We would have rather won in three [sets] of course,” Peric said. “After we lost that one, we kind of realized we had to regroup and just give our best and win that fourth game, which we did.”
One other factor that helped Temple pull out the match was the presence of a strong student section.
Late in the fourth and deciding set, the students seemed to be particularly invested in the game. Chants of “Let’s go Temple!” could be heard throughout the gym, and it seemed to give the Owls the boost they needed to come out on top.
“They were great,” Ganes said of the student section. “They really sensed when we needed some support and they stepped up, and I hope they come back.”
Drachslin echoed her coach, also giving high praise to the student section and its positive impact on the team.
“The crowd always has an impact on us,” Drachslin said. “Something the team needs to work on is pumping ourselves up, but luckily the fans pulled through again, so shout out to them.”
With the win, Temple improved to 22-6 overall and 13-3 in The American. They maintain sole possession of second place in the conference, and will next take on the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma on Nov. 21 at 8 p.m.
Daniel Newhart can be reached at email@example.com.