Temple sweeps Rider 3-0 in non-conference game

Temple’s strong offense leads the Owls to their first straight sets win in eight games.

Temple volleyball swept Rider 3-0 to improve to 13-5 overall. | LILLIAN PRIETO / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple (13-7, 3-5 American Athletic Conference) swept Rider (5-14, 4-6 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) 3-0 Wednesday night in McGonigle Hall. The Owls’ win bounced the team back from two straight losses to ECU this past weekend.

“We were excited to play at home against a non-conference opponent today,” said head coach Linda Hampton-Keith. “We were really excited to come away with a win first of all, but most importantly to play well and like we knew we could.”

The Owls gained momentum early on with a 7-1 run. Sparked by three Rider errors, Temple then went on a  4-0 run, giving the Owls a 21-12 lead. Temple scored the final four points of the first set, and the run consisted of two Broncs errors, which led the Owls to win the first set 25-14. 

“In October it can get kind of hard,” said outside hitter/middle blocker Olivia Vance. “Most teams find themselves in a little bit of a lull. We talked about really just bringing your all as an individual. We are all on the same page, and we’re just ready to compete.”

The Owls’ momentum carried into the second set, as outside hitter Taylor Davenport got a kill and right-side hitter Avery Luoma got an ace. The Broncs fought back with two kills but could not stop the Owls, who went on a 4-0 run immediately after. 

Temple continued the set by going on another 5-0 run to gain a nine-point lead. Both teams were fighting to gain an edge, with hard hits and long rallies on both sides of the court. The end of the set was back-and-forth, but Temple was able to use its early rallies to win 25-15 and take a 2-0 lead. 

Temple, wanting to secure a 3-0 win, started the third set with a 5-0 run, consisting of two aces by Vance. The Broncs were unable to take a lead when the Owls went on a 7-0 run. Temple won the set 25-13 and the match 3-0. 

“The teams that can be really good and clean in October really set themselves up for success in November,” Hampton-Keith said. “That’s really what we’re trying to do, is just play clean with low error moving into the rest of October just to set ourselves up for success down the stretch.” 

The Broncs could not compete with the Owls’ offense. Freshman setter Lexi Yoza had three of Temple’s nine aces. Temple got nine more kills and eight more blocks than Rider. The Owls were converting .312 percent of their hits into kills, while the Broncs hit -.057 percent. 

“We had a tough weekend last week, and I think we’re ready to bounce back,” Vance said. “We got to experiment a little bit here tonight and also just prove to ourselves that we can be consistent and in control of a match through its entirety.” 

The Owls will look to keep their momentum going as they face Charlotte (9-11, 2-6 American Athletic Conference) in a doubleheader at Halton Arena Oct. 20 at 6 p.m. and Oct. 21 at 2 p.m.

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