It was a funky night at McGonnigle Hall, as Temple volleyball defeated Rhode Island 3-0 last Friday.
The game was designated as 80’s night and some in attendance watched the Owls play in varied neon and leather apparel, in addition to sparkled heels and glittered faces. Friday was one of the first theme nights and many students seemed very open to the idea.
Senior and Cherry Crusader Lindsey Bitler was in full support of the 80’s theme night, sporting a side ponytail, pink headband, and tie dye shirt.
“Temple had a great win tonight in straight sets and it was a lot of fun,” Bitler said. “The whole theme night idea is a lot of fun and I was just really happy to be a part of it.”
While fans were enjoying the 80’s theme, Temple still had a volleyball game to be played. The Owls won in three sets with a season-high .258 attack percentage.
The second set posed a challenge and they had to dig deep, as Rhode Island forced seven Temple errors and had a late 24-23 lead. The Rams nearly erased the Owls’ 1-0 set score, which would have allowed Rhode Island to gain momentum going nto the third set.
But coach Bakeer Ganes remained confident in his team.
“In the second set we made a lot of mistakes and unforced errors, but our team stuck to the game plan, and we believed 100 percent that we could pull it out and we did,” Ganes said.
The team’s morale has been something that Ganes and the whole team want to keep improving throughout the season.
“We did a good job of communicating with each other and working as a team,” senior outside hitter Collin Wallace said. “We went for the win, and with hard work, we got it.”
“We definitely had more errors than we would have wanted because we were starting to give them momentum late,” Wallace added, referring to the second set. “But we stuck to our game plan and pulled it out.”
Wallace finished with a double-double in the game with 12 digs and 16 of her team’s 47 kills. Sophomore outside hitters Elyse Burkert and Gabriella Matautia combined for 24 kills.
Defensively, junior libero Chelsea Tupuola covered the floor with a game-high 25 digs.
“Every game we go into, we believe we can win,” Ganes said. “This is only one win in the [Atlantic Ten Conference], which is very difficult. So we just need to stay focused and keep it up.”
Chris Williams can be reached at email@example.com.