Owls’ split first two games of season

Temple University women’s volleyball played strong in its first game, but fell short on defense in their second.

Taylor Davenport, freshmen middle blocker, hits the ball over the net during the Owls' match against the University of Delaware at McGonigle Hall on August 27. | AMBER RITSON / THE TEMPLE NEWS

After losing their first set against the University of Delaware 25-8 at the Temple Invitational, the Owls knew they needed to change their playing style if they wanted to win the second game of their first tournament. 

Temple University women’s volleyball (1-1, 0-0 The American Athletic Conference) started off their season on Friday by defeating  Rider University (0-2, 0-0 The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) 3-2 and losing to the Blue Hens (2-0, 0-0 The American East Conference) 3-1 in the first two games of the Temple Invitational at McGonigle Hall. 

Freshman middle blocker Taylor Davenport was a key player in the team’s match against Rider as she achieved a career high of 12 blocks.

“[Davenport] is a great athlete, obviously she does a great job for us at the net,” said head coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam. “She has a huge ceiling, and she’s been starting for us since last season when she came in. She just keeps getting better and better.” 

The Owls lost their energy in the third and fourth set due to unforced errors but recovered in the fifth set, where the team had stellar energy and solid serves, Ganeshartnam added.

In their next match of the tournament, Temple fell short to the Blue Hens because they lacked aggression on defense and did not step into spots that needed to be filled during serve receive and rallies. 

The Blue Hens’ aggressive offense capitalized on the Owls inability to keep pace around the fifth set. Delaware hit a .298 attack, while Temple was held to .076 attack. 

Although Temple was unsuccessful against the Blue Hens, the underclassman made strides in Friday’s two games. Freshman outside hitter Leonie Freytag made her first appearance on the court and had her first collegiate kill. 

The Owls plan to work on serve receive and defense in preparation for their final game in the invitation, against Stanford University on Aug. 28 at 6 p.m. at McGonigle Hall. 

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