Owls lose fifth straight in close match

After a five-set match, Temple University volleyball lost against Tulane University.

Falanika Danielson, a freshman libero, goes to set the ball during the Owls' game against the University of Central Florida at McGonigle Hall on Oct. 17.

Temple University volleyball (5-18, 1-11 The American Athletic Conference) dropped their fifth consecutive match on Sunday afternoon, falling 3-2 to Tulane University (14-10, 7-5 The American) after a competitive five sets. 

The Owls have only secured one win this season since beginning conference play, an Oct. 15 match against the University of South Florida. With only eight games left in the season, they are now starting to rematch each team on their conference schedule. 

The Owls lost the first set 25-16, their largest deficit of the match, as Tulane outperformed Temple with a hitting percentage of .414. 

Early in the second set, the Owls gained a four-point lead they fought to maintain. Using their middles, the Green Wave’s well-rounded offense put up a fight, but Temple still won the set 25-22. 

In the third set, the Green Wave struggled with some passing difficulties but made up for it with the help of their redshirt-senior outside hitter Lexie Douglas, who served up a total of 27 kills in the match and helped the Green Wave win 25-21. 

The Owls took the fourth set with a score of 25-20, in large part to graduate student outside hitter Miray Bolukbasi. Bolukbasi’s intense play in Sunday’s match helped serve up a total of 19 kills and 12 digs. 

“I think this weekend was the best weekend she’s had all season,” said head coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam. “She’s going up and having power hits and hitting down the line and changing the tempo, and she’s much more stable on our serve receive than she has been earlier in the season.” 

The game entered a fifth set because of a lack of consistency from both teams, where Temple fell 15-7. 

Throughout the season, the Owls have struggled to maintain their long runs and rallies, causing unforced errors. However, Sunday’s match may have been the turning point for them. 

“It’s been going on for a long time,” Ganesharatnam said. “It’s a process, but I thought today the management of the runs were better than the past few matches.” 

Temple will be back in action at home next weekend at McGonigle Hall at 7 p.m. on Nov. 5 against the University of Memphis (10-14, 3-9 The American). 

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