Dating back to last season, Temple had won eight straight road matches entering Sunday’s game. The Owls’ streak continued when the Owls defeated Cincinnati in straight sets at Fifth Third Arena.
“I can’t explain how we’ve been better on the road,” coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam said. “Maybe it has been better matchups for our team, but I’ll take any win.”
Coming into the match, the Bearcats were tied with Southern Methodist for first place in the American Athletic Conference with an 8-1 record. Now Temple (14-6, 7-3 The American) defeated both teams at the top of the standings.
“I don’t know how to explain us playing so well against teams with the top conference records,” Ganesharatnam said. “But we know there are about three or four teams that are on the same level with the top teams in the American.”
Temple led early in the first set before going on a five-point run to take a 17-10 lead. The Owls went on to win the set 25- 18. Junior outside hitter Irem Asci had four kills in the first frame and finished with a team-high 13 for the match.
The second set was more of the same for the Owls. They had a four-point streak at the end of the set to give them a 23-16 lead before winning the set 25-19.
Cincinnati showed more resistance in the final set, getting within one point when Temple was up 18-17. But after Cincinnati made it close, Temple scored the next five points to go up 23-17 before winning the third set 25-20.
“We feel really good beating a good team in straight sets,” Ganesharatnam said. “We feel really good about our performance today, and we had a great weekend beating two good teams.”
Looking at the box score it looks like Temple and Cincinnati played a close game. Both teams had 38 kills, 37 assists and two service aces. The biggest difference was the errors. Temple only committed 11 errors in the whole match, while Cincinnati committed nine in the first set and ended with 21 for the match.
The Bearcats only hit 14.5 percent in the match.
“We did a good job putting Cincinnati in positions to commit errors,” Ganesharatnam said. “Whether that was with our aggressive serve or our play at the net, we did a good job disrupting their rhythm offensively.”
Temple returns home to play a weekday afternoon game against Connecticut Wednesday at 5 p.m. The Huskies have lost four straight and five of their last six games.
Kevin Schaeffer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @_kevinschaeffer.