After a rough weekend for Temple in American Athletic Conference play. The Owls bounced back on the road against East Carolina to move to 6-3 in conference games.
It took Temple four sets to finish off East Carolina Friday night. The first set was controlled by the Owls throughout, with their lead as much as 10 before they won the set 25-15.
“We were consistently controlling the ball and had a really good serve receive game,” coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam said. “We had a really good offensive game as well and when you have control both sides the game is a lot easier.”
The second and third sets went back and forth, with neither team taking control at any time in the set. Temple pulled away in the second set winning it 25-22. The third set went over the 25 point threshold, with East Carolina ending the set to win it 28-26.
“The second and third sets really could have gone either way,” Ganesharatnam said. “East Carolina played well in the third set and they controlled the court and were able to to take the set.”
Temple finished off the match in the fourth set, leading the entire way after the first point of the set. The match ended on a kill from sophomore middle blocker Carla Guennewig to win the set 25-17.
Junior outside hitter Irem Asci led the team in kills with 17 and also finished with a double-double, adding 10 digs. Junior setter Kyra Coundourides ended the match with a team high 51 assists. Junior middle blocker Janine Simmons also finished with a notable performance. Simmons had nine kills three blocks and hit 57.1 percent during the match.
“Janine has been practicing well the last couple of weeks,” Ganesharatnam said. “So it is no surprise to see her performing so well the past few games.”
The win for Temple ended the team’s two game losing streak from last weekend. As well as notching the sixth conference win of the season for the Owls, they are now 13-6 overall on the season. Temple remains in the half of the conference standings, sitting in fourth place.
“We’ll take any win on the road that we can,” Ganesharatnam said. “It is such a tough conference and whenever we win we’ll take it.”
Temple finishes off the short road trip Sunday against Cincinnati at 1 p.m. The Bearcats were the preseason favorites to win the American.
Kevin Schaeffer can be reached at email@example.com or @_kevinschaeffer