Owls drop season opener to No. 13 Oregon

In its season opener at McGonigle Hall Friday, Temple fell to No.13 University of Oregon 3-0 in its first match of the Temple Invitational.

After jumping on the scoreboard first, Temple struggled in the opening set, as Oregon tallied 20 kills to Temple’s 7. The Ducks grabbed a 21-14 lead, prompting the Owls to call their second timeout of the game. Temple scored only one more point in the first set as the Ducks took it 25-15.

“We wanted to play really aggressively and try to take them out of system,” coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam said. “I felt like we didn’t do a good job on serving aggressively in the beginning of the match.”

Unable to overcome the Oregon early on, Temple got off to a quick start with a 3-1 run in the second set. In a back-and-forth battle, the Ducks scored 16 kills to win the set, 25-21.

Temple came out flat in the third set, as Oregon went on a 5-0 run. After sophomore Irem Asci struggled in her first two sets, she collected nine of her 16 kills in the third. Even with Asci’s third-set effort, the Owls fell short losing 16-25.

“I was still believing at that point that we could still win. I was trying to keep the team up, get some balls and kills because we still were in it,” Asci said. “I do need to stay deeper and stay there to block.”

As Temple dropped its opening game of the season, Ganesharatnam said it can only get better from this point.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we also have a team that can be really good,” Ganesharatnam said. “We have all together about 33 matches, we just played one.”

The Owls play their second game of the tournament Saturday at 1 p.m. against Navy.

Connor Northrup can be reached at connor.northrup@temple.edu

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