Temple opened its season tonight with a 3-0 loss to Buffalo at the University of Buffalo Invite.
The first two sets were rather routine, as Buffalo dispatched the Owls 25-17 in both sets. However, the Owls played better in the third set, hanging with Buffalo the whole way, only to fall 26-24.
The Owls were led by sophomore Alyssa Drachslin, who had 20 digs. Seniors Emily Carlin and Gabriella Matautia contributed eight kills in the losing effort.
“We were hoping the outcome would be different, but it’s always tough to play your first game,” coach Bakeer Ganes said. “Considering it was our first game, it helped us see where we are and see where we stand.”
Ganes also stressed that there is a learning curve that comes with games like this, and he thinks his team can rebound.
“I feel like this is probably the most talented team at Temple since I’ve been here,” Ganes said.
Ganes is entering his third season as coach. In 2010, the season before he arrived, the Owls won four games. In 2011 he doubled that to eight, but the team was still well under .500 with an 8-20 record. Last season, Ganes and company began to rack up more victories going 19-11, and he believes this team is better than last year’s.
Ganes pointed to the third set as reason to take away some positives from the game, noting that they tried out some new things in the third set and had success in doing so. He believes this momentum can translate to tomorrow.
“This is the first match, we’re not panicking.” Ganes said.
He also noted that they are trying to use this first month to prepare for conference play. The Owls’ first conference game falls on Sept. 27 against Cincinnati.
Temple takes on Niagara tomorrow in the final game of the tournament at 3 p.m.
Greg Frank can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @illbFRANKwithu.