Temple volleyball team lost its fourth consecutive match of the season to Tulane on Sunday.
After a 25-16 Green Wave win in the first set, the match was tightly contested. Tulane escaped with the second and fourth sets 25-23 despite trailing, while the Owls got their lone victory in the third set 25-22.
Despite the result, coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam praised the team’s improvement after their loss to Connecticut on Friday.
“The performances couldn’t be more different from each other,” Ganesharatnam said. “I thought Friday’s match was arguably one of our worst performances, the way we played, the way we conducted ourselves on the court. I thought today’s performance was one of the best of the season, if not the best.”
Ganesharatnam credited the turnaround, in part, to a group session with a sports psychologist on Saturday.
“This is a very young team. As much as we had a long run with multiple years of success, this team doesn’t really know that,” Ganesharatnam said. “So we really exercised who we are and what we stand for, and why we recruited them.”
Sophomore right side hitter Peyton Boyd led Temple in kills with 12 and digs with 22. She also had 4 block assists. Tulane junior outside hitter Lexie Douglas put up a match-high 14 kills on a .222 hitting percentage.
Temple had a significant advantage upfront, out blocking the Green Wave 15 to 8, thanks in large part to freshman middle blocker Kayla Spells with seven block assists and junior middle hitter Baleigh Jean-Philippe with six block assists and two solo.
“There was a lot of pressure on the middle, we really talked to them, had sessions with them in practices,” Ganesharatnam said. They really really showed up and performed at a very high level which really helped us today.”
The Owls had opportunities to make more of a dent in the final score but were unable to hold onto 18-13 and 10-4 leads in the second and fourth sets.
“We needed to clean up some stuff on serve receive,” Ganesharatnam said. “I think we could have gotten at least one more set. I don’t want to nit-pick on these things because I really think we took a big step forward in our development, and we’re very excited to get back and keep working. We’re looking at this as an opportunity for us to grow and get better so we can be more prepared next year.”
Temple will finish the season at home against Central Florida on Thursday and South Florida on Saturday. Both teams beat the Owls three sets to none in previous matches.
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