Seniors keep Owls from avoid back-to-back losses

The Owls beat the Memphis 3-1 Saturday night at Elma Roane Fieldhouse in Memphis, Tennessee.

Temple rebounded after its loss to Cincinnati Friday by defeating Memphis 3-1 Sunday at Elma Roane Fieldhouse in Memphis, Tennessee.

The Owls (17-7, 8-4 American Athletic Conference) have not to lost back-to-back games in 2015.

The team remained second in the American Athletic Conference with the win. Coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam contributes the Owls’ success to leadership.

“We are very fortunate to have great leaders on this team,” Ganesharatnam said. “They always step up and lead by example.”

The two captains for the Owls are senior libero/defensive specialist Alyssa Drachslin and senior setter Sandra Sydlik.

“Alyssa does a great job leading and producing on the court,” Ganesharatnam said. “They all lead in their way try to better themselves.”

Drachslin earned 21 digs and five assists in the defeat of the Tigers. She currently leads the team with 383 digs, averaging 4.85 per set.

The Munster, Germany finished the day with 51 assists along with four kills. Sydlik ranks 39 in the country for assists per set with 10.88.

Although Temple rebounds after every defeat this season, The Owls’ last win streak came Oct. 4, 2015, defeating Cincinnati in McGonigle Hall to move to 4-0 in conference play.

Memphis won the second set 25-23, tying the game at one.  The Owls won their next two sets, 25-16 and 25-12.

Memphis completed 21 attack errors, eight service errors and four block errors.  Ganesharatnam is proud Temple’s leaders stressed consistency in this match.

“That is the game of volleyball and the team that makes the most errors is usually the team who loses,” Ganesharatnam said. “I think we put a lot of pressure on their serve and on ball control, we were able to control the ball on our side and play really good defense.”

Eight American games remain for Temple, still having to face Houston, UConn and SMU, the three teams who beat Temple in the first half of play.

“It is a dog fight every time we play a conference game, the only team who has really separated themselves is SMU,”

After being more than halfway through conference play, Ganesharatnam is happy with the way the weekend turned out.

“If you can split on the road, that is good,” Ganesharatnam said. “Cincinnati is a very good team and we beat a very tough Memphis team.”

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