Temple volleyball looks toward hopes of spring championship

The Owls are hoping the NCAA and Temple can work together to ensure a spring championship.

Sophomore middle blocker Kayla Spells attempts to tip the ball during the Owls' game against USF at McGonigle Hall on Nov. 16, 2019. | ISAAC SCHEIN / FILE

Despite no game time yet, sophomore middle blocker Kayla Spells is just happy to be working on “all the stuff you can’t do in your backyard,” she said. 

Although their fall season is postponed, Temple University volleyball has been “working hard” training the last six weeks in preparation for their season in the spring, said head coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam.

The team looks at the additional time as an opportunity to train with incoming freshmen and get the team’s chemistry to a higher level than they would have in a regular season, Spells said.

“When I was at home there wasn’t much opportunity to actually get out there and play volleyball with the team,” Spells said. 

Temple’s season was postponed after The American announced on Aug. 25 the seasons for men’s and women’s soccer as well as women’s volleyball would be moved to Spring 2021, The Temple News reported.  Last season, the Owls finished 12-15 overall and 3-13 in the conference. 

As much as the team wanted to participate in this upcoming season, the safety of the players and staff is the main priority, Ganesharatnam said.

“We’re responsible for our student-athletes,” added Ganesharatnam. “I’m responsible for my staff and the support staff. If there’s any doubt that we can’t do this safely, then we shouldn’t do it.”

In training, coaches are required to wear masks and players are in huddles, but not on court, Ganesharatnam said.

The team’s practices are on hold due to the university suspending in-person learning until Sept. 11, The Temple News reported

While the team has more time for practice, the hope is the NCAA, The American and Temple’s Athletic Department will work together in order to ensure a championship in the spring, Ganesharatnam said.

The American said they would release championship formats after the NCAA Division I Council releases the revised season schedule, according to a press release on Aug 25

“We as coaches from all different conferences are working together in order to make a suggestion on possible schedule proposals,” Ganeshartnam said. “We have some ideas and put some things on paper and have been providing that information to our administrations.”

Football is the only sport planning to play this fall, The Temple News reported. Temple will have the majority of the fall sports competing in the spring on top of the winter and spring sports, Ganesharatnam said. 

“We are going to have a lot of sports competing at once, so we gotta figure out not just the schedule, but facility usage and how we can share time, facility and support staff,” Ganesharatnam added.

The team wants to compete, but at the end of the day there is not much flexibility amid a pandemic, Ganesharatnam said.

“We have to see what’s going on around us,” Ganesharatnam added. “In this country alone, how many people are losing their life on a daily basis, when you put that all into perspective I think sports take a small role at the end of the day.” 


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