PHILADELPHIA -- The Temple volleyball team opened the Philadelphia Big 5 Tournament with a 3-0 sweep over La Salle at the Palestra on Friday afternoon. The Owls hit .288 as a team, holding the Explorers to just a .024 attack, taking the match, 25-7, 25-20, 25-16. Temple moves to 8-2 with the win, while La Salle drops to 5-8.
Junior Kirsten Overton
led the charge for Temple hitting .750 in the match, while recording an Owls' season high of seven blocks. The middle hammered nine kills on 12 swings, without recording an error. Junior Tyler Davis
also recorded nine kills for the Owls, while sophomore Irem Asci
added eight. Sophomore Izzy Rapacz
also added to the box score with five kills, while also adding a five blocks. As a team, Temple out-blocked La Salle, 12-3, a season-high for the Owls.
Senior Sandra Sydlik
had a solid all-around game with 26 assists, eight digs, and three blocks, while classmate Alyssa Drachslin
tallied a team-high 11 digs and added a pair of aces. Rounding out the Temple numbers, sophomore Dara Peric
had a team-high three aces, while senior Kayla Yingling
added eight digs.
La Salle grabbed two of the first three points, but a 6-0 run put the Owls in front, 7-2. Temple went ahead 14-6, including three kills from Asci, and that was as close as the Explorers would get. The Owls closed the frame on an 11-1 surge to earn the first set victory. Temple hit .333 in the stanza, holding La Salle to a negative attack at -.263.
Set two was a tight battle with La Salle maintaining a slim lead through much of the set. The Explorers led by as much as three points, before the Owls battled back to tie the match at 16-16, 18-18, and 19-19. A kill by Overton and a pair of La Salle errors shifted the momentum to Temple. La Salle scored to make it 23-20, but the Owls closed out the set with a Davis kill and a Sydlik ace.
Temple fell behind early, 6-4, before a 9-1 run put the Owls out front, 13-7. Drachslin had two aces during the long serving run that gave the cherry and white the advantage. Temple extended its lead to 19-11, the largest of the set, on an ace from Dara Peric
. The Owls went up 23-15 on a block from Sydlik, before closing out the set, 25-16, on a Davis kill.
"It was a good group effort," said head coach Bakeer Ganesharathnam following the match. "We had some adjustments to make after the second set, but I think we bounced back well."
The Big 5 Tournament continues tomorrow with four matches at Temple. The Owls will play Penn in the 10:00 a.m. opener at McGonigle Hall, and then return to action at 7:00 p.m. against Villanova. Box Score (PDF)