Volleyball’s 7-game winning streak ends in Memphis

The Owls recorded their lowest hitting percentage in conference play in their five-set loss to Memphis on Friday in Tennessee.

Senior middle blocker Janine Simmons (center) attempts to block an attack during the Owls’ 3-1 loss to East Carolina at McGonigle Hall on Oct. 6. | MIKE NGUYEN / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Entering Friday’s match against Memphis, Temple had a seven-game winning streak.

The Owls were coming off a weekend where they swept Houston and Tulane at McGonigle Hall. Friday’s match in Tennessee took all five sets.

Temple (17-4, 10-3 American Athletic Conference) lost, 3-2, to Memphis and dropped to third place in The American’s standings. Memphis (9-16, 2-11 The American) broke a four-match losing streak and earned a split in its season series with the Owls. Temple swept the Tigers on Sept. 24 at McGonigle Hall.

The Tigers hit 63.2 percent in the final set. The set was tied at 13 but consecutive kills from Memphis sophomore middle blocker Brianna Kadiku and freshman outside hitter Kate Hoerdemann gave Memphis the victory.

Memphis hit 24.1 percent, its best hitting percentage in conference play and the highest percentage since its match against the University of Tennessee at Martin on Sept. 16. Temple recorded its lowest hitting percentage in conference play at 17.2 percent.

The Owls trailed the entire third set and hit a match-low 2.8 percent before they won the fourth. Temple also had problems with hitting efficiency in the fourth set.

The Owls hit 10 percent, but they held Memphis to the same percentage. Back-to-back kills from junior middle blocker Iva Deak and redshirt-freshman outside hitter Dana Westfield gave Temple a 25-22 win.

The Owls started strong by winning the first set, but they struggled for the rest of the match.

The Owls hit an efficient 32.3 percent and won 25-17. They held Memphis to 10 kills.The Tigers hit 5.4 percent with eight attack errors on 37 total attacks in the opening set.

Memphis hit 37.8 percent and beat Temple, 25-16, in the second set. With the Owls trailing, 13-11, senior middle blocker Janine Simmons committed a block error and Hoerdemann received credit for the kill. After the play, Simmons received a yellow card.

Memphis took a 16-11 lead after Temple committed two attack errors. The Owls only scored five more points for the rest of the set.

The Owls continue their road trip against Wichita State on Sunday. The Shockers are first in The American with an undefeated conference record and are No. 21 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll. It will be Temple’s first match in school history at Wichita State.

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