The Temple women’s volleyball team is on the threshold of failing to qualify for the Atlantic 10 Tournament this season.
With two must-win matches against conference leader and soon-to-be-champion Dayton Flyer’s and the probable runner-up Xavier Musketeers, the Owls (16-8, 8-7) responded with consecutive losses.
What is ironic is how up until this past weekend the Owls have yet to lose consecutive games at home. They’ve lost consecutive road games three times this season.
What’s not ironic is the possibility of missing the postseason for the first time in five years.
The team knows they have to get into the postseason. They followed the losses with aggressive play against a woeful La Salle who has yet to win a conference game.
Now is the most critical time for this team.
“We have to win every match from here on out,” Coach Bob Bertucci said.
The Owls will also need Duquesne (9-5 A-10) to lose some matches. Duquense moved into fourth place and is sitting in the last seat for a ride to Massachusetts for the conference tournament. Their remaining schedule includes Dayton, Rhode Island and UMass.
The Owls will finish out their conference play with matches against Fordham on Friday and George Washington on Tuesday. Temple needs to win both.
Every team headed to the tournament has already beaten and exposed the Owls’ weaknesses. If the team wants to make the playoffs — and be a contender instead of a doormat — they will have to make some more changes, which are uncertain at the present time to Bertucci.
“We’re going to have to find some type of change, or some adjustment that we’re going to have to make, that’s going to make a difference,” Bertucci said after the win over LaSalle. “Because if we go back to the games the same as we have, then obviously [that’s] not good enough.”