The first game of the Patriot Invitational went well for the Owls, as they beat Radford University 3-1.
Temple was led by seniors Emily Carlin and Gabriela Matautia who both recorded double-doubles. Freshman Caroline Grattan also was a big contributor for the Owls as she notched her first career double digits in digs.
“It was pretty competitive match from the get-go,” coach Bakeer Ganes said. “It was a team effort. The way we play, we don’t have individuals stick out, but that said, we did have some strong performances. Gabby had another very good match on offense and defense as well, and dug some tough balls for us. Emily came out and was very steady and did a good job for us on offense.”
For Carlin, the match had a little more of a meaning for her, as she was going up against her former team. Carlin transferred to Temple in Jan. 2013, after playing for three seasons with the Highlanders.
“I was a little bit nervous in the beginning,” Carlin said. “But it went well. I played like I would play any other team. It was nice to see old faces, but I really treated it like any other match. What I felt was that I’m really happy to be at Temple and there is no second-guessing.”
Elyse Burkert served up an ace to put Temple ahead 1-0 for the match. It was tight contested first set, as it was tied at 20, but Matautia had a couple clutch digs which led to Burkert’s ace to finish off Radford in the first set.
Temple cruised through the second set, but the third set was another nail-biter. This time Radford won at the end. Temple replied with a victory in the fourth set, leading by a small margin most of the way and holding tough at the end. Matautia knocked down six kills in the final set, including one for the final point of the match.
“From last weekend, we worked hard in practice and we brought that to the game today,” said Matautia. “We adjusted in the middle of the match to become more successful, and we did a great job working together and staying at the same intensity throughout the whole game.”
The Owls will play two more matches on Saturday against Coppin State at 3 p.m. and George Mason at 7 p.m.
Rich Fogel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @RBFogel26.