Owls drop conference opener

Prior to the season, coach Bakeer Ganes preached the importance of the four tournaments to open to the season.  He wanted his team to be ready for its second season in the American Athletic Conference.

However, on Wednesday night against Connecticut, Temple didn’t seem like a team that was 9-3 in those four tournaments.  The Owls fell in straight sets by scores of 25-22, 25-18 and 25-22.

“I think we just didn’t perform well,” Ganes said. “We didn’t execute well enough to compete.”

The Owls had been competitive in all three of their losses entering Wednesday’s conference opener. Those losses, all suffered in the Long Island University-Brooklyn Invitational, came in four sets to Northern Kentucky and a pair of five-set matches to Boston College and LIU-Brooklyn, respectively.

“[Wednesday] was likely our worst performance of the season,” Ganes said.

In between the three losses in Brooklyn and Wednesday night’s loss to UConn, Temple won its three matches in the Big 5 Invitational at The Palestra.  Therefore, Ganes said a letdown like Wednesday’s was puzzling.

“That’s probably the million dollar question,” Ganes said. “We have to figure that out really fast and it’s my responsibility to get the team ready.”

Ganes said his players were all well aware of they did not play up to their potential Wednesday night.

“I didn’t have to tell them,” Ganes said.  “They know that we played like crap today.”

For the first time this season, Temple failed to have one of its hitters record double-digit kills. The Owls are next in action Sunday afternoon on the road at East Carolina.

Greg Frank can be reached at Greg.Frank@Temple.edu or on Twitter @g_frank6.

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