After a win at Memphis last Friday night, the Owls traveled to Southern Methodist in search of their third straight victory. Temple had beaten SMU earlier in the season but did not have the same success the second time around. The Owls lost 3-0 and fell to 17-8 overall and 8-5 in the conference.
The Owls failed to muster up a lot of offense during the first two sets. SMU got the better of Temple in the first set 25-19 and 25-16 in the second set. In the first two sets Temple had a total of 16 errors to SMU’s five. Coach Bakeer Ganes pointed to the unforced errors as a reason for the defeat.
“We made some unforced errors that really hurt us tonight and SMU did a good job capitalizing,” Ganes said. “They kept their unforced errors to a minimum.
The third set was better for Temple as they tallied 14 kills to only four errors but ultimately it wasn’t enough as SMU would win the set 27-25 to close out the match.
The Owls get a chance to redeem themselves on Sunday against Houston, which Ganes said could help them out.
“I think it’s actually an advantage,” Ganes said. “We don’t have to wait a week to have an opportunity. We can fix this. It’s not so much what the opponent did it’s what we did.”
While the Owls are 8-5 in the American Athletic Conference, they’ve seen some mixed results against some opponents, as tonight’s loss to SMU marked a season spilt with the Mustangs.
“We knew it was going to be a tough task and every match was going to be a battle,” Ganes said. “The main thing is we’re competitive.”
The Owls were certainly more competitive in the third set of Friday’s loss to SMU, but overall, Ganes said the season has given them reason for optimism moving forward.
“It’s really encouraging,” Ganes said. “We have a lot of underclassmen playing and that’s very encouraging for the future that we are competitive with the roster we have. So far this season has been great for the program. We are very optimistic for the future.”
The near future holds a tilt with Houston on Sunday. Earlier this season the Owls defeated Houston three sets to one.
Greg Frank can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @g_frank6.