Volleyball struggles in tournament finale

Hofstra defeated Temple in the final game of this weekend’s tournament.

A quick start by the women’s volleyball team was thwarted when the visiting Hofstra Pride won the final match of the Temple Invitational, 3-1.

“Did you watch this game? We need to improve on everything,” coach Bakeer Ganes said. “We just didn’t pass the ball very well.  We couldn’t execute the offense well,” Gaines said.  “We couldn’t put the ball down, and finish the point.”

Ganes pointed out that his team’s fast start was stopped mainly because the Owls failed to mix up their offense.

“I think in the first set we did a good job of changing the speed of the offense,” Ganes said. “In the second and the fourth set, we didn’t do that well.”

Senior Gabriella Matautia, an offensive threat for Temple, thinks that the Owls made too many mistakes.

“We’re beating ourselves up in the game,” Matautia said.  “I really just think we need to focus on what we need to stay intense the whole time.  We just have to learn how to be consistent.”

One of the positives of the night occurred when Matautia made the all-tournament team.  She led the Owls with an impressive 39 kills in the three-game tournament.

“I wanna do whatever I can,” Matautia said.  “It’s not just me, the girls have to pass the ball, and [Sophomore Sandra Sydlik] just sets me up.  So even though I get the credit, they all helped me get there.  I couldn’t do it without my team, there’s no way.”

Matautia also emphasized how important it is for the Owls to move on from this loss.

“We are gonna work hard in practice,” Matautia said.  “Whenever we have games like this, it really opens up what we need to work on, so this next week we’re gonna work really hard on it.”

Sophomore Alyssa Drachslin was another highlight of the tournament, as the defensive specialist collected 40 digs during the three games.

“Our setup had very few holes in it,” Drachslin said.  “We didn’t give them too much, which sets it up right for me.  So the hitters have no choice but to hit it right to me.”

Draschlin thought that the Owls were flat after the first set, particularly during the longer rallies.

“The biggest thing for us was our mentality coming out,” she said.  “When we rally both and forth the points, and you don’t execute, it’s really hard to dig out of the holes we get ourselves into.”

Hofstra did offer the Owls what they should expect in the American conference moving forward.

“Hofstra’s a good tall team, and I know a lot of teams in our conference are tall,” Draschlin said.  “So we know exactly what we need to work on and then execute in practice, and then come out strong against Cincinnati.”

Ganes is also looking towards the “new season” that the start of conference play offers, even after a strong 9-3 start.

“Once conference play starts, it starts over, and that’s how we look at it,” Ganes said.  “Our next opponent is Cincinnati, so we are gonna bear down and get ready for that match so we can compete.”

Steve Bohnel can be reached at sbohnel@gmail.com or on Twitter @SteveSportsGuy1.

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