-- The Temple volleyball team will host a pair of key American Athletic Conference matches this week. The Owls (21-7, 14-4 American) will welcome league-leading SMU on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. in a match that will air nationally on the American Digital Network, and will then close the regular season at home on Friday, hosting Tulsa at 1:00 p.m.
Temple is third in the American Athletic Conference standings, one game behind SMU and two behind Cincinnati. Temple holds the tiebreaker with Cincinnati and already has a head-to-head victory over SMU this season. If the Owls do not earn the conference's automatic qualifying spot to the NCAA Tournament by finishing atop the league standings, they still have a chance at an at-large bid.
OWLS' ON ADN AGAIN
Temple is set to make its second appearance of the season on the American Digital Network. The Owls won a game on ADN on Friday at UCF, and their match-up against SMU will also be broadcast by the network. ADN is covering a total of three volleyball matches this fall.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS WELCOME
With much of the campus home for Thanksgiving break, the Owls are reaching out to all international students who are on campus during the holiday. Temple will give away free foam fingers to all fans in attendance for the Wednesday match-up. Temple volleyball has four international students on the roster, juniors Irem Asci
(Turkey) and Dara Peric
(Serbia) and sophomores Carla Guennewig
(Germany) and Iva Deak
On Friday, Temple will honor its seniors who will be playing in their last match at McGonigle Hall. After the match, Temple will recognize Tyler Davis
, Caroline Grattan
, and Kirsten Overton
LAST TIME OUT: TEMPLE 3, USF 0 (AMERICAN)
Facing a standing-room only crowd at the Corral at USF, Temple swept the Bulls 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-17) on their home court. The Owls hit .316 as a team, taking the large crowd out of play by not allowing USF to take a lead later than 2-0 in any set.
Junior Irem Asci
tallied a double-double with 15 kills and 10 digs, while junior Kyra Coundourides
also doubled up with 46 assists and 10 digs. Junior Izzy Rapacz
notched 12 kills with seven digs, while senior Tyler Davis
had 11 kills and six digs. In the middle, senior Kirsten Overton
had six kills with two blocks, while junior Janine Simmons
tallied five kills, hitting .714. Sophomore Mia Heirakuji
aided the defense with eight digs in the sweep.
LAST TIME OUT: TEMPLE 3, UCF 2 (AMERICAN)
Temple rallied from a 2-1 deficit on the road at UCF, topping the Knights, 3-2 (25-22, 21-25, 21-25, 25-22, 15-13) on their home court.
The Owls got a double-double of 21 kills and 14 digs from junior Irem Asci
, while classmate Kyra Coundourides
also recorded a double-double with 44 assists and 12 digs. Senior Tyler Davis
notched 14 kills with just one error, while junior Izzy Rapacz
added 12 kills and seven digs. Sophomore Iva Deak
notched seven kills, Kirsten Overton
tallied six, and sophomore Carla Guennewig
added five to aid the attack.
DAVIS NAMED TO HONOR ROLL
was named to the American Athletic Conference Weekly Honor Roll for the period ending November 20, 2016.
In two matches, Davis recorded just three errors on 57 total swings. She averaged 3.12 kills per set, hitting .389, as the Owls went 2-0 on their last road trip of the season. Davis opened the week with 14 kills and just one error, hitting .382 as Temple defeated UCF, 3-2. On Sunday, the senior recorded 11 kills with a .391 attack in a 3-0 sweep at USF. For the week, Davis added four total blocks and seven kills in the Temple wins.
SCOUTING THE OWLS
Junior Irem Asci
leads the Temple offense, racking up 4.46 kills per set, ranking her second in the conference and 18th in the nation. Junior Izzy Rapacz
(2.91 kills/set) and senior Tyler Davis
(2.15 kills/set) attack from the outside for Temple, while senior Kirsten Overton
(1.64 kill/set), sophomore Iva Deak
(1.56 kills/set) shore up the middle. Overton's .350 attack is second in the conference and 69th in the nation. Junior Kyra Coundourides
is Temple's top setter, averaging 10.80 assists per set, putting her second in The American and 39th in the nation.
Defensively, Temple is led by sophomore Mia Heirakuji
, who averages 3.41 digs per set. Asci (2.93 digs/set), Rapacz (2.55 digs/set), and Coundourides (2.36 digs/set) beef up the back row for the Owls. At the net, Temple is led by Overton's 108 blocks, while Rapacz has 98 and Deak has 81.
As a team, Temple hits .247 and holds opponents to a .195 attack. The Owls rank first in the American in team hitting and third in assists and kills per set.
SMU, last season's conference champions, stand at 23-7 overall, 16-2 in The American. The Mustangs have swept five-straight matches, most recently topping Tulsa and Memphis.
Katie Hegarty leads the Mustangs' offense with 3.77 kills per set, while Lauren Mills (2.48 kills/set), Janelle Giordano (2.30 kills/set), and Kristen Stehling (2.13 kills/set) all aid the SMU attack. Kendall Patterson handles setting duties, averaging 10.87 assists per frame, while also leading the team with 33 aces.
Defensively, Morgan Heise leads the Mustangs and the conference with 5.18 digs per set, while Mills (2.88 digs/set) and Patterson (2.61 digs/set) are also solid back-row players. At the net, Giordano leads the team with 142 total blocks, ranking first in the conference with a 1.38 block per set average.
SMU leads The American with 2.25 blocks per set, holding opponents to a .162 attack. As a team, the Mustangs hit .223.
OWLS VS. THE MUSTANGS
Temple holds a 4-2 lead in the all-time series, including splitting the conference series in both 2015 and 2014. The Owls won the earlier meeting between the program's, a 3-2 win at SMU.
Tulsa is 18-12 overall with a 7-11 mark in the American Athletic Conference. The Hurricane have lost three-straight conference matches, including a 3-2 match against Memphis their last time out.
Tulsa's offense is led by Erica Bohannon's 3.76 kills per set. Rebecca Reeve plays all-around to the tune of 2.73 kills and 3.09 digs per set, while Trinity Alualu averages 2.16 kills per frame. Tulsa runs a 6-2 offense with Ashton Anderson (6.36 assists/set) and Mariah Pardo (4.48 assists/set) handling setting duties.
Brooke Berryhill captains the defense with 5.12 digs per set, a number that ranks her second in The American. Tulsa has four players with 50 or more blocks, led by Rachel Moore's 109.
Tulsa leads the conference with 18.34 digs per set and 39.60 attacks per set.
OWLS VS. THE HURRICANE
Temple leads the all-time series with Tulsa, 4-1, taking both matches in 2015. This season, Temple won the earlier meeting, a 3-0 win at Tulsa.
Match Notes (PDF)