The Owls opened up the Hilton Penn’s Landing Cherry and White Challenge Friday with a straight sets victory over the University of Montana.
Although Temple (5-2) swept Montana 3-0 for its first win against the Grizzlies in school history, junior outside hitter Tyler Davis said the Owls committed too many errors.
“Our issue this weekend and last weekend is we are up and down mentally,” Davis said. “We kind of have waves of really good plays, then dip down a little bit.”
In the opening set, the Owls jumped out to an early 8-3 lead, but Montana responded with a 6-1 run to tie the game at nine. Temple regained the lead 14-12 and closed out Montana to win the set, 25-15.
After trailing 13-9 in the second set, the Owls used a match-high 16 kills to regain the lead and win the set, 25-23. Despite nine attack errors, Coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam was pleased with his team’s effort.
“In the second set, I was not too worried because we made some mistakes that could have been great plays,” Ganesharatnam said. “If you can ever call mistakes good mistakes, we definitely made good mistakes.”
In the third set, Temple came out aggressive and earned 12 kills while committing one attack error. The Owls won the set, 25-15.
“Adjusting pays off,” Davis said. “I think we just got everything out of our system we were ready to play, we know we can beat the team and just had to come out strong.”
The Owls continue play in the tournament Saturday with games against Duquesne University, and Binghamton University. Temple looks to build off this win in order to win its first invitational of the season.
“Definitely an improvement all round on defense, offense and serve receive,” Davis said. “[Bakeer Ganesharatnam] is proud of us, all he can ask is for improvement and I think we are on track for the rest of the weekend.”
Connor Northrup can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org