Unbeaten Volleyball Team Heads to LIU Brooklyn Blackbird Invitational
Caroline Grattan

Unbeaten Volleyball Team Heads to LIU Brooklyn Blackbird Invitational

Live Webcasts l Live Stats l Tournament Notes l Video Preview with Coach Ganes

- With an undefeated record of 6-0 so far this season, Temple volleyball heads to the LIU Brooklyn Blackbird Invitational looking for its third team title in as many tournaments. The Owls will face Boston College (3-3) on Friday, Sept. 12 at 4:30 p.m. before taking on Northern Kentucky (5-1) and LIU Brooklyn (4-3) on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., respectively. 

Temple's 6-0 start is the program's best in 31 years, since the 1983 team started at 7-0 and then 17-1. The 1982 team's 9-0 start is the best on record. The Owls are coming off wins at both the Temple Invitational and Syracuse Invitational, and three of their six wins have been sweeps. 

•     The Owls are a perfect 6-0 to start the season and have now captured team titles at both the Syracuse Invitational and their own Temple Invitational.
•     Temple is one of 30 Division I teams still undefeated for the 2014 season.
•     The Owls are ranked 29th in Division I with 14.26 kills per set, and are 19th in the nation with 13.43 assists per set thanks to the efforts of setters Sandra Sydlik and Tiffany Connatser.
•     Senior libero Alyssa Drachslin was named the Tournament MVP of the Temple Invitational, and was joined on the All-Tournament Team by senior Jennifer Iacobini and freshman Dara Peric.
•     Drachslin was also named to The American Weekly Honor Roll, and was named the Under Armour OwlSports.com Athlete of the Week.
•     With 4.43 digs per set, Drachslin ranks sixth in The American...She upped that average to 4.75 during the Temple Invitational, and tied her career high with 28 digs in the win vs. Princeton.
•     Sophomore Kirsten Overton was named the Tournament MVP of the Syracuse Invitational, and was also named to the All-Tournament Team and the American Athletic Conference Weekly Honor Roll.
•     Sophomore Caroline Grattan joined Overton on the Syracuse Invitational All-Tournament Team.
•     Overton committed only two hitting errors in Temple's first three matches of the year, and knocked down a career-high 15 kills in the Owls' five-set win at Syracuse while also hitting a career-best .652...For that weekend she recorded a league-best hitting percentage of .592.
•     Grattan leads the Owls with 95 kills so far (4.13 per set), which ranks third in The American.
•     Temple was picked to finish ninth in the 2014 Preseason American Athletic Conference Coaches  Poll, out of the 11 teams in the league this year.
•     There are six true freshmen on the Owls' 16-person roster this season, including five from out of state and one from overseas (Dara Peric/Serbia)...The Owls have another international player in junior Sandra Sydlik (Germany).
•     Temple finished at 18-12 in 2013, marking the Owls' second-straight season with a winning percentage of .600 or better.
•     Head Coach Bakeer Ganes is now in his fourth year at the helm of the program, with an overall record of 51-43...His record for the last two seasons (2012 and 2013) was 37-23.

For the second week in a row to start the season, Temple earned a team title by going 3-0 at its own Temple Invitational on Sept. 5-6. The Owls needed mental toughness all weekend, particularly in their first two matches. They dropped set one vs. Charlotte before coming back to win the next three, and they traded sets with Princeton before winning a five-set thriller despite trailing 7-3 in the final set. 

Junior libero Alyssa Drachslin was named the Temple Invitational MVP, and was joined on the All-Tournament Team by senior Jennifer Iacobini and freshman Dara Peric.

With a 3-0 sweep of Delaware State on Sunday, Aug. 31, Temple volleyball finished the weekend with a perfect record of 3-0 to win the team title at the Syracuse Invitational. The Owls took down the Hornets on the final day by scores of 25-12, 25-8 and 25-18. 

On the opening day, Aug. 30, Temple also swept Niagara by scores of 25-17, 25-21 and 25-21. Later that day, it was a five-set thriller vs. host Syracuse. The teams traded sets back and forth, but ultimately it was Temple coming out on top in the fifth and final set by a score of 15-13.

Sophomore middle blocker Kirsten Overton notched a .652 hitting percentage in Temple's five-set win at Syracuse, the best by a player from The American so far in 2014. She also knocked down a career-high 15 kills in that contest. For the weekend, Overton hit a conference-leading .592.

Overton's efforts led to her being named the Syracuse Invitational Tournament MVP, and she was also named to The American's Weekly Honor Roll.

Sophomore Caroline Grattan came into the year as the leader among returning players for kills from 2013, and she has only put up even stronger numbers so far. Grattan averaged 4.18 kills per set over Temple's three matches (all wins) at the Syracuse Invitational, totaling 46 kills overall. She recorded 15 kills against both Niagara and Delaware State (three-set sweeps) and tallied 16 kills in the five-set win against Syracuse. Grattan, along with Overton, was named to the Syracuse Invitational All-Tournament Team.

Grattan knocked down a career-high 30 kills in Temple's five-set win vs. Princeton at the Temple Invitational, which is the most kills by any player in The American in a single match so far this season. She currently ranks third in the league with 4.13 kills per set.

American Weekly Honor Roll
Sept. 1 - Kirsten Overton
Sept. 8 - Alyssa Drachslin

Under Armour OwlSports.com Athlete of the Week
Sept. 8 - Alyssa Drachslin

Syracuse Invitational All-Tournament Team
Kirsten Overton, MVP
Caroline Grattan

Temple Invitational All-Tournament Team
Alyssa Drachslin, MVP
Jennifer Iacobini
Dara Peric
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