Temple stays hot with win against Tulane

The Owls’ attack made the lowest amount of errors in a game since 2012 in their straight-sets victory against Tulane on Sunday in New Orleans.

Temple outscored Tulane 76-50 in its three-set victory on Sunday in New Orleans. The Owls’ win means the season series with Tulane ends tied at one match apiece and extends the team’s winning streak to six games.

Temple (18-6, 11-3 American Athletic Conference) never trailed in the second frame and led most of the final set.

In the first set Temple had a match-high 19 kills. Two straight kills from junior outside hitter Irem Asci ended the set to give the Owls a 26-24 win.

The Owls trailed 10-6 early in the set after a 6-0 run by the Green Wave.

“Tulane is a very athletic team,” coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam said. “We had to really catch up in the first set, but we battle back and finished it off.”

In the second set, Temple did not commit any attack errors and hit 72.2 percent as a team. The Owls jumped out to a 9-1 lead and eventually got up by 14 points to win the set 25-11.

“The second set was an extreme example for us and we need to know how hard it will be to replicate something like that,” Ganesharatnam said. “But the lack of unforced errors really allowed us to play our game.”

In the third set, Tulane scored the first point, but it would be the last lead the Green Wave had for the remainder of the match. Temple won the set 25-15 and continued its hot offensive play. The Owls hit 44.8 percent in the third set to finish off the match hitting 43.2 percent, the most efficient output in the season.

Temple only made six errors in the match, the lowest total in a game since September 7th, 2012 against Cleveland State University.

The Owls finished with seven blocks. Junior outside hitter Izzy Rapacz led the team with four blocks. Junior middle blocker Janine Simmons added two more blocks.

“We’ve really emphasized our block in practices over the last 14 days,” Ganesharatnam said. “Since then we’ve taken a big step forward with our block and have been working to be a great defensive team.”

The Owls finished ahead of the Green Wave in almost every statistical category. Temple finished with more kills, aces, blocks, assists and digs. Asci finished with a team high 19 kills and Rapacz added 11 kills. Junior outside hitter Dara Peric had two aces and junior setter Kyra Coundourides finished with 40 assists.

Temple’s next game is Friday against Cincinnati at 7 p.m. in McGonigle Hall. Temple beat Cincinnati in straight sets on Oct. 23. The Bearcats and Owls are tied for second place in the American Athletic Conference standings with 11-3 records in conference play.

Kevin Schaeffer can be reached at kevinschaeffer@temple.edu or on Twitter @_kevinschaeffer.

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