Four players tally double-digit kills against Tulane

Senior outside hitter Irem Asci suffered a knee injury early in the match, but other players stepped up in Temple’s four-set win against Tulane Friday night in New Orleans.

Senior outside hitter Izzy Rapacz (center) celebrates a point with her teammates in the Owls' loss to Wichita State on Sept. 22. | MIKE NGUYEN / TTN FILE PHOTO

Senior outside hitter Irem Asci had to miss the remainder of Friday’s match after she suffered a knee injury in the opening set against Tulane.

Temple lost Asci, who is second on the team in kills, early in New Orleans, but the Owls found scoring from other players.

Temple (6-5, 2-1 American Athletic Conference) beat Tulane in four sets. Four Owls totaled double-digit kills for the match.

“We have some good players, and as long as we stay injury-free, I think we have a chance to compete for some [wins] in the conference,” coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam said.

Temple will continue conference play at Houston on Sunday afternoon. Asci will sit out Sunday’s match against the Cougars and will be assessed by team physicians when Temple returns to campus on Monday, Ganesharatnam said.

Senior middle blocker Janine Simmons hit 52.6 percent to record a career-high 11 kills. Senior outside hitter Izzy Rapacz and redshirt-freshman outside hitter Dana Westfield also ended with 11 kills each. Junior middle blocker Iva Deak had 10 kills against the Green Wave.

The Owls also had 11 service aces, which is their highest total since their 13 aces in a win against Duquesne University on Sept. 12, 2015.

Temple hit 33.8 percent against Tulane and scored 77 points, the most in a win this season. Temple hit at more than 30 percent efficiency for only the second time this year.

The Owls forced 21 attack errors on the Green Wave and held them to hit just 8 percent.

Ganesharatnam said the team’s mental focus was the main factor in the victory over Tulane.

Temple led 17-11 in the second set before it gave up the six-point cushion. Tulane went on a 14-2 run sparked by an attack error from senior outside hitter Dara Peric to win its only set of the match. The second set was the only time Temple allowed Tulane to reach the 20-point mark.

“The one time we could’ve done a little bit of a better job was at the finish of the second set,” Ganesharatnam said.

“If you take that lack of focus in the second set out, our overall execution was good,” he added.

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