Owls sweep Knights in second conference win

The team beat Central Florida 3-0 Sunday in Orlando, Florida to move its American Athletic Conference record to 2-0.

The Owls defeated Central Florida 3-0 at The Venue Sunday, moving to 2-0 in American Athletic Conference play.

Temple (11-3, 2-0 The American) earned 43 kills and six service aces, sweeping the Knights—The American’s 2014 conference champions—for the first time in seven meetings. Coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam said he credits the win to his team’s effort.

“Overall it was a very good team performance,” Ganesharatnam said. “We beat the defending conference champions today. Everyone had a very solid performance. The middles did a tremendous job in transition play by being available to attack and being able to block.”

In Temple’s 25-22 win in opening set, the team earned 19 kills and limited Central Florida to one service ace. In the closest set of the contest, the Owls collected 11 digs and one block.

“I think even though the first set, score wise, was close, we were always in control of the set.” Ganesharatnam said. “You cannot blow away anybody 25-12 every set, especially on the road.”

Sophomore outside hitter Irem Asci earned five kills on seven attempts in the opening set victory. Asci followed the first-set performance with five kills in the Owls’ 25-17 victory in the second set.

“I think we were very solid on serve receive, our transition as on point,” Ganesharatnam said. “We never allowed UCF to go on big runs.”

Senior libero Alyssa Drachslin finished the sweep with her first service of the night as the Owls won the third set, 25-12. Temple scored nine kills in the set as Central Florida committed 10 attack errors for a zero hitting percentage.

Ganesharatnam said he had no complaints with the Owls’ road wins against Central Florida and South Florida this weekend.

“I have to point out we beat two top teams on the road and in this conference, it is very hard to do,” Ganesharatnam said. “This was a huge success for the start of the conference. We have to make sure we stay focused and take one game at a time.”

Connor Northrup can be reached at connor.northrup@temple.edu

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