Temple University women’s volleyball (10-10, 1-8 The American Athletic Conference) lost its fourth straight match against Tulsa (13-9, 6-3 The AAC) at McGonigle Hall on Friday.
The Owls have dropped ten out of their last 11 matches.
While the Owls did not win a set, each loss was close. The match featured 47 ties and 23 lead changes and every set came within two points.
The Owls had opportunities to get on the board, leading 23-19 in the first set, and leading 19-15 in the third set. In both sets, the Golden Hurricane rattled off 6-1 runs and captured the sets.
“It was a really long match, and really close,” junior libero Averi Salvador said. “It would have been nice to take at least one set or all three because we could have. I just think we got a little complacent, we just need that killer instinct to get over the hump and start winning games.”
Temple was missing a key piece in sophomore setter Tyler Lindgren, who was out with an illness. Lindgren averages 9.34 assists per set. Junior setter Selina Merfol made her first start at Temple to replace Lindgren. Merfol finished with 37 assists.
“Losing your starting setter is a big hump you have to overcome,” coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam said. “She gives us a lot on the court based on the performance but also from a leadership standpoint. I think Selina did a tremendous job stepping in. The team really rallied around her and did the best they could to support her on the court.”
Both teams had strong defensive showings. Temple’s team hitting percentage was just .158, while Tulsa hit .194.
“I think we played really good defense today,” Salvador said. “We were picking balls up, we just couldn’t kill the ball in important points when we needed to, and we kind of lost focus.”
Three Owls finished with double-digit kills. Salvador led the way with 23, followed by sophomore outside hitter Gem Grimshaw and sophomore right side hitter Peyton Boyd. They both finished with 10. Boyd was also tied with a team-high 12 kills on a .286 hitting percentage to earn her first career double-double. Sophomore outside hitter Miray Bolukbasi also finished with 12 kills.
Tulsa freshman outside hitter Diara Gedikoglu also posted a double-double, with a match-high 17 kills on a .196 percentage and 11 digs.
The Owls return to McGonigle on Sunday at 1 p.m. to take on Wichita State (6-15, 3-6 The AAC).