Temple drops back-to-back games against East Carolina

Temple lost six straight sets in two games and fell to 3-5 in the AAC.

Temple Volleyball lost six straight sets this weekend in its double-header with East Carolina. | LILLIAN PRIETO / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple Volleyball (12-7, 3-5 American Athletic Conference) fell to East Carolina (16-4, 7-2 American Athletic Conference) twice in its weekend double-header. 

Friday, the Owls lost their 2-0 lead and dropped game one 3-2, their first loss in a five-set match this season. Saturday, the Pirates dominated, taking game two 3-0.


Temple started the game off hot. In set one, outside hitter Taylor Davenport earned the final kill, as Temple won the set 25-21. Davenport had 13 in the game. In the second set, Temple outside hitter/middle blocker Olivia Vance led a comeback, and the Owls closed on a 6-1 run to win 25-22, giving them a 2-0 lead in the match.

In the third set, the Owls began to struggle moving to the ball, which gave the Pirates the upper hand. With the score tied at 21, ECU took four of the last five points and won set three 25-22. 

Temple’s service errors were a big reason the team put together a comeback. The Owls had 16 service errors, but it did not bother head coach Linda Hampton-Keith, who felt the team had other issues that needed more focus.

“We’re okay with some [service errors] because we were serving pretty tough,” Hampton-Keith said. “We’re not overly obsessed with it.”

The fourth set went back-and-forth. Despite an early Temple 4-0 run, a bounce back 4-0 ECU run killed Temple’s momentum and sealed a 25-22 victory, forcing a fifth set. 

The Pirates took over In the fifth set. Their 5-0 run gave them an 8-3 lead, but the Owls did not back down, cutting the deficit to 12-8. ECU locked down and scored the final three points to win the final set 15-8 and the match 3-2.

“Our blockers did a great job, they really locked in on their assignments,” said defensive specialist Nikki Shimao. “We had Checli [Banks] and Taylor [Davenport] putting down blocks right after another, they did their job and we were really feeding off that.” 


East Carolina continued its momentum through the second game of the series.

In the first set, East Carolina went on multiple runs, allowing them to break away from Temple. Despite tying the score at 19, the Owls couldn’t come any closer, as East Carolina answered back with a 4-0 run before outside hitter Angeles Alderete ended the set at 25-22.

“It was a really good battle,” Shimao said. “We know what we can do, and we’re still growing and learning as a team.”

In the second set, things got out of hand quickly. The Pirates started the set on a 9-1 run, including six kills. Though Temple was able to get on the board, East Carolina scored 10 of the last 13 points in set three and secured an emphatic 25-10 win, giving them a 2-0 lead. 

Shimao put on the libero jersey in set three to try and spark the comeback. The energy seemed to change on the court for Temple, opening with a 8-1 run. However, Temple’s momentum did not last, as an East Carolina 5-0 run forced Temple to call a timeout. 

“We came out really strong in that third set,” Hampton-Keith said. “We just couldn’t maintain through the middle and the end.”

Both teams played scrappy, fighting for every point. An East Carolina ace by right side hitter Fran McBride ended the set 25-19 and the match 3-0. 

“[Friday] we walked out of there hopeful, it was a really close game.” Hampton-Keith said. “Obviously I think we’re pretty disappointed with our performance today because I feel like we could have pushed it further than we did and we just weren’t quite there today.”

East Carolina had 43 kills to Temple’s 23. The Owls hit .148 percent on Friday and .038 percent on Saturday. Temple had six blocks in this match.

The Owls will look to bounce back when they face Rider (5-12, 4-5 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) Oct. 18 at 6 p.m.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.