Coach Bakeer Ganes said earlier in the season the team is pleased with a weekend split when his team heads on the road for two matches. Through seven road matches in the American Athletic Conference, the Owls are 5-2 and exceeding Ganes’ expectations.
On Friday night against Memphis, Temple got off to a quick start and held the advantage, topping Memphis, 3-1.
Temple took the first set 25-20 and played sound defense as Memphis hit 15.2 percent in the set.
Temple would seize control of the match in the second set holding Memphis to a 14 percent hitting percentage. Offensively, the Owls had 17 kills in the second set en route to a 25-21 victory. Leading 2-0, which the Owls couldn’t do last time against Memphis, was nice for the team, but with the lineups for each team altered, Ganes said the parallels were few.
“We can’t really compare this match to last match,” Ganes said.
Temple would close the door in the third set, hitting a match high 27.6 percent. The Owls would win the set 25-20 and again held Memphis to a low hitting percentage as the Tigers hit 13.3 percent.
“I thought we served very well today,” Ganes said, when asked about the key to keeping opponent hitting percentage low.
Assistant coach Akiko Hatekeyama is in charge of the team’s serving strategies and Ganes felt they were able to keep Memphis on their heels.
“We really wanted to put pressure on them with our serving so they couldn’t run their middles as much as they did last time we played,” Ganes said.
The Owls now sit at 17-6 overall and 8-3 in The American, and are tied for second place in the conference standings with Memphis. Ganes said he wants his team to stay focused on the task at hand, which is now Cincinnati on Sunday.
“We have a lot of matches to be played and we still have to focus on things one match at a time,” Ganes said. “[Cincinnati is] going to be quite a battle.”
Greg Frank can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @g_frank6.