The Temple women’s volleyball team made sure that their return trip to
Xavier’s Cintas Center would end on a sweeter note.
The Owls went down an extra day in advance to prep for the Atlantic 10
Conference Championships, in which they held the top seed, and came
home just in time for the men’s basketball home opener with some good
news. They are A-10 Champions and are headed to the NCAA
Tournament for the first time since 1999.
They did it on the hands of A-10 Setter of the Year Alison Runk, the fists
and forearms of Player of the Year Xu Yun and the brains of Coach of the
Year Bob Bertucci. Yun also won the tournaments Most Outstanding
Player award and teammate Yamit Haba was named to the
“It’s very gratifying to see this new group of athletes to win their first
conference championship,” said Bertucci.
The Owls redeemed themselves with a semi-final win against Xavier after
losing to the Musketeers and losing the chance to host the tournament in
a match last week, also at the Cintas Center. Xavier had not dropped a
home match the entire season.
“In hindsight, it looked like that might have been a good thing to happen,”
Bertucci said of the return trip to Xavier. “Of course we wanted to play that
A-10 Championship here.”
The final victim was George Washington, who didn’t go away without a
fight in a 3-1 Owls win. Yun led the team with 23 kills and 25 digs while
Runk dished out 59 assists.
“The match was so exciting,” Bertucci said. “It was a little bit of luck and a
lot of hard work for the girls and they really stepped it up when they
With a Notre Dame loss, Temple moved into the top seed in the Northeast Region for the first time in Bertucci’s eight-year tenure.
“To unseat Notre Dame is something we’ve been trying to do for quite a while,” Bertucci said.
Unseating Notre Dame to advance past the first round of the NCAA tournament is something the Owls have never done in their three tournament appearances.
“That is our goal and now we have the chance to prove that,” Bertucci said.
But the proving will have to wait until the Owls find out who their opponent is. The field for the tournament will be set Dec.1.
Chris Silva can be reached at CBSRican@aol.com