Temple University Volleyball (6-5, 0-0 American Athletic Conference) opened up the Sheraton University City Invitational with a win against Providence College (8-4, 0-0 Big East Conference) in a 3-2 set victory. The Owls lost their first game of the second day against George Washington University, (6-7, 0-0 Atlantic 10 Conference) but bounced back to defeat the University of Pennsylvania (1-8, 0-0 Ivy League) in a 3-1 set victory.
The first match was the Owls’ fourth five set match of the season. Temple played a strong first set, going back and forth with Providence’s front hitters, but the Owls lost after sophomore outside hitter Shaliyah Rhoden attacked the back of the court to give the Friars the set win 26-24.
Temple took the second and fourth sets to push the game even at 2-2. Back-to-back service aces by freshman middle blocker Samantha Jo Mikosky pushed the Owls’ lead to 17-13 in the fourth set, and they were able to close the set with a kill from sophomore middle hitter Taylor Davenport, her 19th kill out of the 21 she collected in the game to win 25-22.
The Owls beat the Friars 15-11 in the final set to win 3-2, collecting their fifth win of the season and improving their record to 4-0 in five set games this season. This is Temple’s first game one victory of any tournament they have played all season.
Temple would move on to play George Washington University on the second day of the tournament, looking to continue their success. The Owls opened up slowly against the Colonials in the first set. They were unwilling to swing and opted to tap the ball over the net instead, giving George Washington an opportunity to return the ball and set up an assist for their hitters to attack. The Colonials hit .214 percent in the first set compared to the Owls hitting at .029.
The Owls started to turn it around in the second set, hitting .391 percent, a drastic improvement from their first set. They also limited their errors in the second set to 4 compared to 10 in the first set. They would win the second set 25-16 but it was their only set win of the game. Temple dropped the next two sets losing 3-1.
The Owls’ final game was against the University of Pennsylvania, who had struggled all tournament to find any momentum. The Owls opened up the first set slowly, unwilling to swing on attempts at the net. Attack errors also contributed to them going down 13-5 early to start the set. Temple fought back, rallying behind four aces and seven attack errors by the Quakers. They won the set 25-22.
Jaaliyah Evans has been important to the team all weekend and recorded six kills and three blocks through two sets against the Quakers.
“I think their coaching is helping me grow as a player and do great this weekend,” Evans said.
The Owls would go on to close out the fourth and final set to defeat the Quakers 3-1. Overall, Temple hit .125 percent compared to the Quakers’ .189 percent.
“We play for the long game here,” said Owls head coach Linda Hampton-Keith. “The season is long so we might need to manage some things along the way.”
The Owls begin conference play against the Wichita State University Shockers (5-6, 0-0 American Athletic Conference) on Sept. 23 at 8 p.m. in Wichita, Kansas.