Temple volleyball loses third consecutive match

Temple’s offense started slow and could not catch up to Memphis’ scoring rate.

Temple University volleyball’s (10-9, 1-7 The American Athletic Conference) lost three consecutive sets to Memphis (13-7, 2-6 The AAC) on Sunday. 

This marks the Owls’ third-consecutive loss.

Temple managed a hitting percentage of .212, compared to Memphis’ .404. That was enough for Memphis to comfortably win each set, beating the Owls by eight, seven, and five points, respectively. 

“Today I didn’t feel like we had a chance from the get-go,” coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam said. “On offense we really had a tough time, and contrary to that we couldn’t really stop their offense… No matter how we look at this we just didn’t perform well today.”

Memphis was 1-6 in The AAC before Sunday’s matchup. Temple’s previous two losses came in matches against teams with winning conference records. 

“[The players] are all aware that we need to perform better no matter who the opponent is,” Ganesharatnam said. “This league is tough, so we need to have the same intensity with every team we play.”

The Owls had their best stretch of the match in the final set, closing an 18-10 gap to within four points, but it was too little to late as Memphis won 25-20.

Memphis got contributions from junior right side hitter Hannah Flowers who put up a match-high 14 kills on just 17 attempts for a .824 hitting percentage. She also had three block assists and five digs. 

Sophomore setter Sabrina Bianco added 43 kill sets and eight digs. 

Sophomore outside hitter Gem Grimshaw garnered eight kills with a .300 hitting percentage, two block assists and four digs to lead Temple.

“Memphis played some really good defense, but I also think we could have been more aggressively attacking them,” Ganesharatnam said. “I think our offense not being aggressive enough, and them really playing great defense explain the numbers.”

Ganesharatnam chalks up some of his squad’s slump to their mentality.

“I do think a lot has to do with doubting yourself and a lack of confidence,” Ganesharatnam said. “It also has to do with youth and inexperience, but we’ve got to find solutions.”

Temple currently sits tied for last place with South Florida in the AAC Eastern Division. The Owls will return home when they take on Tulsa (12-9, 5-3 The AAC) on Friday and Wichita State (5-15, 2-6 The AAC) on Sunday.

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