Owls sweep Bearcats, earn tournament bid

Temple University volleyball defeated the University of Cincinnati 3-1 on Friday and 3-2 on Saturday.

Senior outside hitter Katerina Papazoglou serves the ball during the Owls' match against the University of Cincinnati at McGonigle Hall on March 26. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple University volleyball (10-5, 4-4 The American Athletic Conference) swept the University of Cincinnati (6-7, 4-3 The American Athletic Conference) in matches on Friday and Saturday. 

The Owls won 3-1 on Friday with scores of 25-19, 25-18 and 25-21 and won 3-2 on Saturday with scores of  30-28, 25-16 and 15-11. 

Temple played strong and aggressive on offense knowing they needed to win both days to advance to the American Athletic Conference Tournament in Cincinnati, Ohio on April 2. 

“We did put some emphasis on blocking this week and last week, especially this week,” said head coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam. “We kind of progressed last week starting a little bit and then really took off with that, putting a strong emphasis on that this week.” 

In Friday’s match, junior outside hitter Miray Bolukbasi recorded 17 kills and seven digs while junior outside hitter Katerina Papazoglou achieved her 25th career double double in addition to 12 kills and 16 digs. Junior setter Tyler Lindgren recorded 43 total assists, five digs and four blocks. 

Before Saturday’s match, the team honored setter Selina Merfol, Papazoglou, and middle back Baleigh Jean-Philippe on Senior Day.

Bolukbasi racked up 19 kills and 7 digs in Saturday’s match. Papazoglou and junior outside hitter Gem Grimshaw each served up 11 kills while adding seven digs and 11 digs, respectively.  

The Owls will take on Houston in the American Athletic Conference Tournament on April 2 and 3. 

“We’ve been building up the steam for two years,” Ganesharatnam added. “We’ve been knocking on this opportunity to play post season for the last three years. I just felt like we had to take this opportunity. We can’t wait for anyone to invite us, and we got to knock this door in and walk through.”

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