Temple (17-11, 7-9 American Athletic Conference) beat UAB (4-25, 2-15 American Athletic Conference) in back-to-back matches, winning 3-2 Friday and 3-0 Saturday. Friday’s match snapped the Owls’ four-game losing streak, and Saturday’s Senior Day win was their first in-conference sweep of the season.
“I saw us really kind of buckle down and stay focused and keep pushing forward no matter what was thrown our way,” said head coach Linda Hampton-Keith “I’m really proud of them for that.”
In her second-to-last game in Cherry and White, outside hitter/middle blocker Olivia Vance tallied her 1000th career kill, joining outside hitter Taylor Davenport and 20 other Owls.
FRIDAY: TEMPLE WINS 3-2
In the first set, the Owls controlled the game until the Blazers went on a 4-0 run to tie the game at 13. The Owls could not get their momentum back after a second 4-0 Blazer run. Opposite hitter Jorda Crook secured the Blazers’ 25-23 win.
The second set was a fight on both sides of the court until the Owls broke away on a 5-0 run to take a 13-9 lead. Temple scored the final four points of the set with three kills and an ace, winning 25-20 and tying the match at one set each.
UAB took a timeout in the third set after a 3-0 run by Temple. The timeout did not slow the Owls down, as Davenport tallied a kill and outside hitter Jaaliyah Evans earned a block. Temple won the set 25-15, taking a 2-1 lead.
In the fourth set, UAB retaliated against Temple’s lead with a 9-1 run. The Blazers kept this momentum and forced a fifth set, earning the 25-23 victory.
Starting off the fifth set, the Blazers went on a 7-1 run. Temple took a timeout and rallied back from a five-point deficit to tie the score at nine. A second 5-0 run put Temple at match point. Both teams continued to fight for the win until Vance’s kill ended the set 15-13 and the match 3-2.
“That was a great show of solidarity and confidence in ourselves,” Hampton-Keith said. “We had been kind of battling that up and down so I’m just so proud of them for really hanging in there and fighting through all of those moments.”
SATURDAY: TEMPLE WINS 3-0
The Owls started the first set strong and scored seven points before UAB was able to get its first. Later, the Blazers went on a 5-0 run to make the score 22-20. The Owls came out of a timeout with a 3-0 run and won 25-20.
In set two, Temple took an early lead and kept it through the whole set. The Blazers went on a 5-0 run to cut the deficit to 18-15 but could not catch up. The Owls won the set 25-19.
“When you play free, you’re aggressive,” Davenport said. “You’re going after it regardless of what’s happening, we just stayed in the present moment. That’s what helped the energy be top tier. It was electric.”
The Owls continued their strong starts with a 7-0 run in the third. UAB could not compete with Temple’s offense, and Evans’ kill won the set 25-12 and the match 3-0.
The Owls had 44 kills to UAB’s 26 kills. Davenport led with 14 kills, and Davenport and middle blocker Chelci Banks led their team with three blocks each.
The Owls will look to continue their winning streak on the road against Memphis (8-20, 4-12 American Athletic Conference) in a doubleheader Nov. 17 at 7 p.m and Nov. 18 at 2 p.m.