-- Hawaiian night brought a touch of extra magic for Temple volleyball, as the Owls rallied for a 3-2 victory over Memphis, including a thrilling 20-18 win in the fifth set. Final set scores were 17-25, 25-13, 25-23, 16-25, 20-18, as Temple moved to 16-6 overall, 9-3 in The American. Memphis meanwhile, falls to 11-12, 3-8 in conference play.
After a slow offensive start in a set one loss, Temple rebounded to win the second and third sets. Memphis countered with fourth-set win to force a fifth, and then opened up a 6-2 lead in the final frame. The Owls tied things up at 8-8 in the fifth, but again fell behind, 13-11. From there, the lead changed hands four more times before Temple closed out the match on back-to-back kills from sophomore Iva Deak
and senior Tyler Davis
Juniors Izzy Rapacz
and Irem Asci
combined for 35 kills for the Owls, with Rapacz racking up 17 kills, 18 digs, and seven blocks, while Asci ended her night with 17 kills, 15 digs and a pair of aces. Senior Kirsten Overton
racked up nine kills and six blocks, hitting .350, while classmate Tyler Davis
put down eight kills. Junior Janine Simmons
finished with six kill and four blocks, while Deak made her presence known, racking up six kills on seven attempts (.857), including four in the deciding frame.
Junior setter Kyra Coundourides
racked up a career-best 59 assists to pace Temple's offense, also adding seven digs. Hawaiian native Mia Heirakuji
had a match-best 23 digs in the win, while junior Dara Peric
chipped in with 11.
Temple struggled mightily in the first set, attacking at a -.091 clip with 13 errors. Memphis opened up a 9-6 lead early in the frame before Temple cut it to 10-9 on a huge Overton winner. Memphis surged forward, taking a 17-12 advantage, and Temple could get no closer than an six point deficit the rest of the way.
The Owls turned the table in the second set, hitting a massive .361 with 18 kills and just five errors. Temple opened up a 5-1 advantage and didn't look back. A Dara Peric
ace made it 15-8 midway through the frame, and the Owls ended it on a huge kill from Rapacz tmake it 25-13.
Set three was back-and-forth throughout. Tied at 9-9, Temple surged to three-straight points to go up 12-9, but Memphis closed the gap, tying the match at 17-17. Two more ties ensued before Memphis took a slim 21-20 lead. The Owls countered with kills from Rapacz and a block from Rapacz and Simmons to up up 24-22, but Memphis kill spoiled set point. The next serve, however, hit the net for Memphis, giving the Owls a 25-23 win.
Memphis had its best hitting effort of the night in the fourth set, attacking .323 to tie the match at 2-2. The Tigers led bell-to-bell, opening a 16-9 lead before Temple battled back to within four on Davis and Rapacz kills. However, Memphis was able to close out the set, winning 25-16.
In the fifth and final frame, Temple battled Memphis through nine ties and six lead changes. Hot hitting from the Tigers forced the Owls to play from behind, but tied 8-8, the Owls gained momentum. Deak provided a spark off the bench, putting down four kills on four attempts in the set, while Davis notched the set and match-winner, as Temple took it 20-18.
Special thanks to Gabby Matautia '14 and her Mom, Shelly, for donating much of the Hawaiian-themed giveaways for the night.
Temple will return to action on Friday, November 4 at 8:00 p.m. at Houston.
Box Score (PDF)
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