It took just over an hour for the Owls to dispose of Chicago State to open the Miami (OH) Invitational, thanks to an offensive explosion.
In its 3-0 sweep of the Cougars, Temple connected on nearly half of its kill attempts, hitting at a .457 clip. The barrage helped the team win 25-13, 25-14 and 25-20 while surrendering the lead twice, in the final set. The sweep brought the Owls to 5-3 on the season.
Junior outside hitter Elyse Burkert led the team with 16 kills on 27 attempts, as one of two players to hit above .500. Sophomore outside hitter Jennifer Iacobini was the other, with eight kills and one error on 14 attempts.
Temple opened up the match with 17 kills and one error. Midway through the set the squad went on a 9-1 run, all but sealing the first victory with a 22-11 lead.
The Owls used another 6-1 run in the second set to jump to a 22-13 lead. The team tallied a .333 hitting percentage with 14 kills and four errors. Iacobini finished off the set with one of her eight kills.
In the final set, the team went 16 of 28 and never committed an error. After taking an 11-7 lead the team was never up by fewer than four points.
Despite the offensive display, only Burkert posted a double-double with 16 kills and 11 digs. Fellow outside hitter Gabriella Matautia was the only other player to reach double-digit kills, knocking down 12 on .370 hitting.
Sophomore setter Tiffany Connatser once again commanded the offense well with 43 assists, and also had one of the team’s five aces.
Defensively, senior outside hitter Jingyu Zhang led the match with 13 digs while senior libero Chelsea Tupuola tallied 12 of her own. The Owls recorded three blocks on the evening and held the Cougars to just .133 hitting and 15 errors.
Next up for the Owls is a 1 p.m. matchup with Indiana State before they take on Miami (OH) at 7:30 p.m. to cap off the tournament.
Jake Adams can be reached at email@example.com.