Temple swept by South Florida

The Owls lost 3-2 Thursday and 3-0 Friday at home and have lost their last four games.

The Owls could not capitalize on any momentum and lost back-to-back games to South Florida. | LILLIAN PRIETO / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple Volleyball (15-11, 5-9 American Athletic Conference) fell to South Florida (15-10, 9-5 American Athletic Conference) in back-to-back matches, losing 3-2 Thursday and Friday 3-0 

The Owls were unable to find the offensive opportunities they needed to defeat the Bulls and have now lost four straight games. They are sitting at 5-9 in conference play with just five games left in the season.

“We were doing some good things, it was just like a roller coaster,” said Temple head coach Linda Hampton-Keith. “We need to be a little bit more aggressive and not be afraid to take some risks.”

THURSDAY: USF wins 3-2

Temple started strong in match one, getting out to a 13-7 lead in set one thanks to a kill by outside hitter Olivia Vance. She finished tied for a team-high 10 kills.

Temple continued to play strong defense, holding USF to a .147 hitting percentage in the first set and winning 25-20 to take a 1-0 lead.

The second set was a precursor to the rest of the match. Temple jumped out to an early 6-2 lead, but USF battled back, tying the score at 23. Both teams pushed the score to 27-each, but USF earned back-to-back points to win the set 29-27.

This stole the momentum from the Owls. In the third set, USF held Temple to a .000 hitting percentage. The Owls could not keep up, and the Bulls ran with the 25-18 win. 

Temple’s defense put them back in the game. The Owls racked up four blocks in the set, and Vance earned two aces to seal a 25-21 win and push the game to a fifth set. It was not enough though, as the Bulls hit .667 percent and never let go of the lead, taking the fifth and final set 15-5 and winning the match 3-2. 

FRIDAY USF Wins 3-0 

Friday’s match produced a different result, as the Owls could not capitalize on their opportunities.

Temple struggled on defense in the first set, which plagued them throughout the match. USF got out to a 17-12 lead that forced Temple to call a timeout. USF kept its lead after the timeout, finding the floor for the set-sealing kill at 25-21. 

The Owls had the second set tied at 22, but they allowed three straight points, including an attack error from outside hitter Avery Luoma, that allowed the Bulls to win 25-22. Temple had 13 errors in the match, which was less than USF’s 22, but they came at costly points.

USF went up 24-20 in the third set and earned match point, but Temple went on a 4-0 run and tied the score at 24. However, the Owls’ defensive struggles continued, and the Bulls had back-to-back kills to steal the 26-24 win and sweep the match. 

“It’s crazy because we actually played well,” Hampton-Keith said. “We just didn’t play well enough. They were really really aggressive, and we were not.” 

The Owls look to bounce back with just five games left as they take on UAB (3-22, 1-12 AAC) Nov. 10 at 6 p.m.

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