Offensive game powers Owls in win against Connecticut

The Owls got strong offensive performances from junior outside hitters Irem Asci and Izzy Rapacz to defeat Connecticut in straight sets on Wednesday in McGonigle Hall.

As the Owls closed out a three-set win against Connecticut, junior outside hitter Irem Asci was visibly emotional, screaming in joy after every point with a spring in her step.

Asci led all players with 16 kills to help Temple (15-6, 8-3 American Athletic Conference) win its third straight match on Wednesday evening at McGonigle Hall. Asci and junior outside hitter Izzy Rapacz combined for 25 of the team’s 43 kills and 28.5 of the team’s 53 points.

Asci, who hit 39.4 percent against the Huskies, has 46 kills in the team’s win streak. Asci and Rapacz, the team’s leaders in kills, continued their success on Wednesday.

“I’m pretty confident right now,” Asci said. “We have great setters that can set in any condition, so that makes my job a lot easier.”

“I was lucky enough to find the seam and hit a couple [of kills] down the line,” Rapacz said. “It was really good to put those balls away for my team.”

The Owls dominated in the hitting category, notching a 34.7 percent mark for the game, compared to only 16.8 percent for the Huskies. The team hit a game-high 47.1 percent in its 25-22 win in the second set. Coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam said the hitters “did a good job of executing.

Temple set up its attackers in ideal locations to get successful attacks. Junior setter Kyra Coundourides tallied 39 assists in the match, more than the entire Huskies squad’s 33 assists. Many of them went to Rapacz’s and Asci’s kills.

“[Coundourides] did a good job distributing the sets in a way where it allowed us to be in good position to get some quality looks,” Ganesharatnam said. “That was one of the things we wanted to achieve on the scouting report.”

The Owls face Memphis at home on Friday. The Tigers sit in 9th place of 11 teams in The American, but have won three straight matches.

“Memphis is going to be very aggressive,” Ganesharatnam said. “We’re going to work on controlling the ball on our own side.”

Varun Sivakumar can be reached at

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