Owls finish 1-2 in City Classic Tournament

Temple University volleyball faced Villanova University, the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University in their last tournament of the season.

Gem Grimshaw, junior outside hitter, prepares to hit the ball at an Owls' game against the University of Pennsylvania at McGonigle Hall on Sept. 18. | ISAAC SCHEIN / THE TEMPLE NEWS

The City Classic Tournament this weekend was filled with ups and downs for Temple University volleyball as they finished with a 1-2 record. 

The Owls  (4-7, 0-0 The American Athletic Conference) lost 3-2 to Villanova University (8-4, 0-0 The Big East) on Friday, defeated the University of Pennsylvania (3-6, 0-0 The Ivy League) 3-1 on Saturday morning and lost 3-1 to Princeton University (6-2, 0-0 The Ivy League) on Saturday evening.

On Friday, junior outside hitter Gem Grimshaw led the Owls with 16 kills and a career high of 20 digs. Graduate student outside hitter Miray Bolukbasi helped with 12 kills in addition to sophomore middle blocker Kayla Spells serving up nine kills. 

A lack of communication hurt the Owls in the end.

“I think for us, it’s important that we progress and get better,” said head coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam on Saturday. “I did not think we played very good volleyball last night. The movement on the court, the rhythm was just not very good, and we wanted to do a better job today.” 

Temple went on a six-point scoring run in Saturday morning’s match against the Quakers, giving the Owls a 25-24 edge and pushing Temple to dig deep for the win in the second set.

“I thought [Saturday] morning was a good step in the right direction towards where we wanted to be,” Ganesharatnam said. “Obviously there were times where it was not pretty but I think it was also good to get a positive result.”

Grimshaw led the Owls with 15 kills, and Bolukbasi, who played aggressively throughout the whole match, followed close with 14 kills of her own.

In the Owls’ last game of the tournament, they lost to the Tigers in a hard match with a score of 3-1. 

The Owls fell out of their system from the morning match and had difficulties getting under the ball. 

Grimshaw, who led with 24 kills, played consistently in all three games this weekend. 

“[Grimshaw] is carrying the team on her back,” Ganesharatnam said. “2021 is a coming out party for her, and we’re asking her to do a lot of things. It’s a lot to ask from her, but she’s doing a really good job.”

The Owls kick off their first conference game of the season on Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. against Southern Methodist University (4-6, 0-0 The American) in Dallas, Texas. 

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