PHILADELPHIA – The Temple volleyball team swept visiting St. John's, 3-0 (25-17, 25-10, 25-14) in the final match of the 2015 Crowne Plaza Philadelphia West Temple Invitational. The Owls finished as the tournament runner-up, behind only #13 Oregon, who went 3-0 at the event.
The Owls were nearly unstoppable, hitting a combined .557 to move to 2-1 on the season. Temple had no more than three errors in any set, hitting over .480 in each stanza. All of Temple's players who made an attack attempt finished with over a .400 hitting percentage in the match
. Additionally, Temple held St. John's to just a .172 clip, which included a .088 hitting percentage in the final two sets.
Individually, sophomore Izzy Rapacz
and junior Tyler Davis
each recorded 14 kills on just one error. Rapacz finished the night with a .684 attack percentage and also added a team-high six blocks at the net. Sophomore Irem Asci
tallied 14 kills, hitting .407, while junior Kirsten Overton
knocked down nine kills, while hitting .538.
Sophomore Janine Simmons
and senior Sandra Sydlik
rounded out Temple's precision attack, combining for five kills on six attempts between them. Sydlik captained the offense, dishing out a match-high 45 assists, while also adding six digs. Senior Alyssa Drachslin
led Temple's defense, tallying 18 digs, while Asci added seven.
The first set was the closest of the night, as both teams were firing on offense. Temple hit .679 in the set to St. John's .400, and the Owls took over momentum midway through the action. St. John's kept their deficit to around three through much of the set, closing it to a 17-15 score on a Danisha Moss block. The Owls, however, used three Rapacz kills and two from Asci, closing the set on an 8-2 run, to win 25-17.
St. John's was unable to recover, as the Owls' attack remained relentless. Temple opened up leads of 4-0, 7-1, and 12-3 early in the second set, forcing St. John's to burn both timeouts early. Temple refused to slow down, as Asci notched three kills to help the Owls extend the lead to 19-6. The blocking tandem of Rapacz and Overton got hot down the stretch, and Temple cruised to a 25-10 win and a 2-0 match lead.
Set three was more of the same, as the Owls broke an early 4-4 tie with a 9-3 run, punctuated by an Overton kill at 13-7. St. John's cut it to a five-point lead on a Julia Cast point, but it was all Temple in the set, as the Owls hit .517, sailing to a 25-14 win to wrap up the sweep.
Oregon was paced by Yaidy Santiago's eight kills, while Pelin Aroguz added seven.
Following the action, six players were announced as All-Tournament selections. Temple was represented on the team by Sydlik and Asci. Sydlik averaged 12.4 assists and 2.11 digs per set, while Asci racked up a team-best 4.78 kills per set in the tournament.
Temple volleyball returns to action at next weekend's Seton Hall Invitational. The Owls open play with a 4:30 p.m. match on Friday night, taking on Hofstra. Box Score (PDF)2015 Crowne Plaza Philadelphia West Temple Invitational
St. John's, 1-2Fourth:
Amanda Benson, OregonAll-Tournament Team:
Kacey Nady, Oregon
Martenne Bettendorf, OregonSandra Sydlik
, TempleIrem Asci
Margherita Bianchin, St. John's
Tara Dotzauer, Navy