Women’s Volleyball continues to win as their season comes to a close

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The Temple Women’s Volleyball team continues to prove that they are one of the top teams in the conference with another weekend sweep.  The Owls faced off against SMU and Tulsa, winning both games on the road.  The Owls currently sit at an overall record of 16-8, and 12-4 in the conference.  The Owls bounced back from the heartbreaking losses against Memphis and Wichita State, with two more wins, to start another win streak.  The Owls look to close out the season in late November, with a few matches ahead of them.

 

Thursday, November 9, 2017, @ SMU, W 3-2

The Owls traveled to Texas, to start an early weekend with an eight o’clock meeting with SMU.  The girls trailed early in the game, dropping the first two sets to SMU.  The Owls battled all game long, and climbed out of the two set deficit.  The Owls took the next three sets in a dominant team performance.  The comeback was in large part due to the Owls offense, but the game was very close.  The teams traded the lead many times throughout the last three sets, but Temple walked away the victors.

Stellar performances were given by the entire team, as everyone contributed in the comeback win.  Izzy Rapacz flirted with a triple-double in this game with 20 digs, 14 kills and eight blocks.  Kyra Coundourides again had another double-double with 54 assists and 16 digs.  Junior Iva Deak ended with 14 kills while hitting .407 on the night, while Dana Westfield led the team in kills with 15.  The great performances by the girls helped lift them out of the early hole, and get the win.

 

Saturday, November 11, 2017, @ Tulsa, W 3-2

The team looked to carry their momentum over into Saturday night, when they played against Tulsa, in Oklahoma.  After a close match on Thursday, the team looked to create a little more breathing room for themselves.  The Owls did just that, by getting to a two set lead early on.  The women quickly dropped the next two sets and had to gut it out in the final set, in what was another close victory for the Owls.  The team moves to 16-8 on the year after that win, and notches their twelfth conference victory.

Once again, a few more Owls with a double-double in this match.  Izzy Rapacz, Dara Peric, and Kyra Coundourides all ended the night with a double-double.  Rapacz had a career high 21 digs, 12 kills and seven blocks.  Peric had a great night with 14 digs and 11 kills.  Coundourides had another big game with 53 assists, 15 digs and a pair of blocks.  Other notable performances were turned in by Janine Simmons who had six blocks and six kills, and Dana Westfield who had another 15 kill game.  

 

Weekend Star: Kyra Coundourides

Senior Kyra Coundourides has been playing exceptionally well all season, and has led this offense to big wins.  Over the weekend, she led the team on a comeback against SMU, and helped the team gain back control against Tulsa.  The team played as whole and Kyra was a big part in leading them, and keeping confidence throughout.  She totalled for 107 assists and 31 digs in both games, and truly impacted the outcome of both games.  So far this season, Coundourides has been a double-double machine.

 

Looking Ahead

The Owls wrap up their season with two back to back matches against conference opponent, the University of Connecticut.  The two teams have not yet faced off, but will see each other twice in the matter of days.  The first matchup between the teams comes on November 22, and the second two days later on the 24th.  Currently, UCONN sits at 11-17, and 4-12 in the conference.  The Owls look to close out the season with two wins against the Huskies.  Right now, the Owls sit in third in the AAC, trailing only SMU (13-3) and Wichita State (16-0).

Women’s Volleyball Hitting its Groove

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Temple’s Women’s Volleyball team has been playing exceptionally well since conference play has started.  The Owls are coming off of two huge wins on October 27, and October 29.  The team won both matches without dropping a single set.  Exceptional team play has been coasting them through their winning streak.  The winning streak is currently seven games long and the team has had no problem with any teams during this win streak.  This winning streak and recent success could not have come at a better time, as the team is chasing Wichita State as the only team ahead of them in the AAC Women’s Volleyball standings.

Friday, October 27 vs. Houston, W 3-0

The Owls faced off against Houston on Friday, October 27, at home.  They took this win without dropping a set to Houston.  Temple out hit Houston .278 to Houston’s .184.  The team did not trail at all during the first and third set, and everyone was doing their part to get the team their sixth straight win.

Kyra Coundourides is in the midst of a stellar senior campaign (Cred:// Temple News)

Kyra Coundourides continued her dominant senior year, with a great game on Friday, totaling for 42 assists and 12 digs in another double-double.  Junior Mia Heirakuji had a great performance as well, with 13 digs to help the Owls defensive approach.  Additionally, freshman Averi Salvador led the Owls in digs with 15, making that her career best.  These women certainly dominated the court and all hit double digits in digs, helping the team outdig the Cougars, 61-55. 

WIth the win, the Owls moved to a demanding 13-6 on the year, and 8-2 in conference play.  Houston however, fell to 8-11 on the year and 4-7 within the conference.

Sunday, October 29 vs. Tulane, W 3-0

After the easy win on Friday night, the Owls returned to McGonigle Hall on Sunday afternoon at 1 pm, to face off against Tulane.  The Owls took the first match between the schools on September 29, with a score of 3-1.  The Owls improved on their game plan against Tulane this time around, as they did not drop a set in the showdown.  The Owls won three sets to none, which led them to their tenth conference win of the season.

The Owls had another great turn out by Kyra Coundourides who had 36 assists and a team high 12 digs, giving her yet another double-double.  She had help from redshirt freshman Dana Westfield, who hit .444 and had 13 kills.  Izzy Rapacz had a double-double of her own, with 12 kills, 10 digs, and five blocks.  Tulane could not handle the Owls in this game, but especially in the second set, where the Owls won 25-12.  The Owls hit .500 in the set and Tulane just could not get their game established in the second set. 

With this win, the Owls have won seven straight and move to 14-6 on the season.  The Owls have not lost a game since October 6, and currently sit at 10-2 in AAC play.  With the loss for Tulane, they drop to 13-12 on the season and 2-10 in the conference.

Weekend Star- Kyra Coundourides

Kyra played exceptionally well in both games and truly led the team to the weekend sweep.  She had a double-double in both games and helped get everyone involved, with a total of 78 assists in the weekend.  She has been having a great senior year, and she has been helping this team to victory recently.  Her play has boosted everyones play and she certainly is one of the leaders of this team.  

Looking Ahead

The Owls have two matches coming up that are both on the road.  They travel to Dallas to play SMU on November 9, on a Thursday night, and then they will travel to Tulsa on November 11 for a Saturday afternoon match in Oklahoma.  The Owls have played both of these teams once before.  They beat both of the team’s 3-1.  SMU currently has the same conference record as Temple, so this would be a great point to pull ahead of them.  Tulsa currently is 11-13, and can be an easily won match for the Owls.  Both matches are crucial wins for the team.

Temple Volleyball Continues To Roll Through Conference Play

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The Women’s Volleyball team has been tearing up conference play this season, as they notched another two wins on October 20 and 22.  These wins came against Tulsa and a tough SMU team.  The team has been playing exceptionally well since conference play started, po

Courtesy Temple News

sting a 8-2 record and recently have won five straight games.  The Owls look to keep their record this high as they start the second half of conference play.

 

October 20, vs. Tulsa, W 3-1

The Owls walked away with the win on Friday, October 20, as they hosted the then 9-11 Tulsa team.  Temple dropped the first set but won the final three, improving their record to 11-6.  The Owls set their season high for digs with 95 as a team.  The Owls played a great match and Izzy Rapacz, Kyra Coundourides and Katerina Papazoglou all finished with double-doubles in this game.  Kyra Coundourides however, was three kills away from getting her first triple-double of her career.  She posted 46 assists, 19 digs, and seven kills.  Everyone played their part and got involved.  Janine Simmons led the team with five blocks, as Dana Westfield added two blocks, five digs and 11 kills of her own.  Temple played as a team in this match as they coasted to the victory on Friday night.

 

October 22, vs. SMU, W 3-1

On the following Sunday, the Owls hosted the defending AAC Champions.  The SMU Mustangs have been playing very well this season, and sat at a conference record of 8-1, prior to the matchup with the Owls.  The game was close in every set and could have went either way.  The Owls took the first set, and dropped the second set to the Mustangs but closed the game out, winning the next two sets to improve to a season record of 12-6 and more importantly, a conference record of 8-2.  The Mustangs fell to 8-2 in the conference this year.  The Owls and Mustangs both now chase Wichita State, as the frontrunners to win the conference.  The Owls had great performances from Izzy Rapacz who continued her dominance this season, with a near triple-double, allotting for 19 kills, 11 digs, and eight blocks.  Freshman Katerina Papazoglou played another great game, with another double-double in this one.  Junior Mia Heirakuji played an exceptional game as well, ending with the game’s best, 23 digs.  The team performed at a high level against a very tough SMU team, and improved their winning streak to five games.

Weekend Star: Katerina Papazoglou

Katerina Papazoglou is the Weekend Star, due to her recent success in crucial matches.  Katerina is a freshman from Greece, but she does not look like a freshman when she is playing in big games.  Papazoglou performed at a high level against both Tulsa and SMU, as she finished with a double-double in each match.  Katerina played in all four sets in both games and ended with 13 digs and 13 kills against Tulsa and 10 digs and 13 kills against SMU.  She helped the team get the wins and certainly did her job.  Look for Katerina to be a driving force in coming games and certainly for years to come, as she is just getting started at Temple.

 

Looking Ahead

Next up, the Owls will be playing away against Memphis on Friday, November 3, at 8 pm.  Two days later they will travel to Kansas to play Wichita State on Sunday, November 5, at 1 pm.  Both of these games are crucial as the end of the year is rapidly approaching, but the game against Wichita State is a must win for the Owls.  Memphis currently sits at a record of 8-14, and lost the first showing against Temple, three sets to none.  Wichita State however, has been playing exceptionally well this year.  They currently are undefeated in conference play at a record of 10-0 and they are 18-3 on the season.  They beat Temple in the first meeting this season, three sets to one.  Both of these upcoming games are crucial if the Owls look to derail Wichita State’s hope to win the conference this year.

The Women’s Volleyball Gains Momentum Winning Three Straight Games

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The Owls have been on a midseason roll as of late.  The women have recently moved to a record of 10-6 on the season and have dominated conference play, only losing two of the eight conference matches they have played so far.  The team has won a total of three straight games and looks to continue the success in the coming games.

October 13, @ USF, W 3-0

The Owls traveled to Florida to play the USF Bulls, and left there without dropping a single set.  Once again, Izzy Rapacz led Temple’s offense in this game with 12 kills.  The team hit .284 and played great defense as well, holding USF to a hitting percentage of .186.  This was in big part of Janine Simmons who led both teams in blocks in the game with four.  Rapacz had three blocks and Dana Westfield had a block of her own.  During this game, a big milestone was achieved by Dara Peric, who notched her 1,000 career dig.  This win took the Owls to a record of 9-6 on the year, and dropped the USF Bulls to a total of 7-10.

 

October 15, @ UCF, W 3-2

After beating USF the Owls traveled to Orlando just two days later to play UCF.  The Owls needed all five sets to get the weekend sweep.  The Owls quickly fell behind by losing the first two sets to the Knights but quickly rebounded, taking the final three sets and getting the win.  The momentum was shifted in this one, due to the dominant performance by Izzy Rapacz once again.  She hit .537, and led all players in kills with 25.  Additionally, she had six digs and two blocks.  Senior Kyra Coundourides, had another double-double, with 48 assists and 16 digs.  Redshirt freshman, Dana Westfield also played well with 11 kills and five digs.  The team dug themselves out of an early hole, by playing as a team and it certainly showed how quickly this team can shift the momentum of any game.  However, the team did have a little trouble closing out the match in the final set, down 12-9 in the closing points of the match.  They once again shifted the momentum and went on a 6-1 run giving them their 10th win on the season.  The Knights fell to 10-10 on the season and 3-5 in conference play.

 

Weekend Star- Izzy Rapacz

For the second week in a row, the Weekend Star is Izzy Rapacz.  Izzy has been showing that she is one of the best outside hitters in the conference.  She had a total of 37 kills over the weekend, and has been tearing it up in the month of October.  She is showing that she is the sole leader of this Temple team.  She is looking to lead this team up in the standings as the Owls prepare for their final month of play in November.

 

Looking Ahead

The Owls have their last two games of October at home on October 27 and 29.  On Friday, October 27, the Owls will host Houston at 7 pm.  That following Sunday, October 29, they play against Tulane.  Houston currently sits at a record of 6-10 and should be a winnable game for the Owls, as they took the first meeting of the two schools, 3-2.  Additionally, Houston has lost three straight and their season is slipping from them.  Tulane however is 12-9 on the season.  Tulane’s record can be deceiving as they have yet to win one game since they played Temple the first time on September 29.  Tulane is 1-7 in conference play and has lost six straight games.  They lost the first game to Temple 3-1, and the Owls look to repeat that success.

The Owls are currently tied for third in the conference standings.  The still trail SMU who is 7-1 in conference play, and Wichita State who is 8-0 in conference play.  The championship is certainly still obtainable for the Owls as they play both of those teams once more before the year ends.

Women’s Volleyball Sits at a Steady 8-6

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Friday, October 6, 2017 vs. ECU, L 1-3

The Owls lost a hard fought game against ECU at home on October 6.  They lost the match 3-1, and fell to a record of 7-6.  The ladies played a great match but the ECU Pirates just outplayed them in the end. The Pirates hit a percentage of .259, compared to the Owls .177.  The Owls had good turnouts by Izzy Rapacz, who has been playing exceptionally well this season.  In this game, Rapacz recorded a double-double with 18 kills and 14 digs.  Additionally, Iva Deak had 11 kills, and hit at an amazing .450.  Kyra Coundourides had a big game to show for with 39 assists and 9 digs.  The team played well and got everyone involved, but it was not enough to slow down the ECU Pirates as they coast to a record of 11-6 after this match.

 

Sunday, October 8, 2017 vs. Cincinnati, W 3-1

The Owls hosted Cincinnati on October 8, at home for their Dig Pink for Breast Cancer game.  The game against Cincinnati was the complete opposite of the first game of the weekend against ECU.  This time the Owls had the better hitting percentage, hitting .247 while holding the Bearcats to .160.  The team played as a whole through every rotation this time and came out the victors in this match, 3-1.  Another great performance was turned in by Izzy Rapacz as she was one of three Owls to have a double-double.  Senior Kyra Coundourides, and freshman Katerina Papazoglou had the other two double-doubles.  Coundourides had a crucial role in this win, with another huge game, totalling 55 assists, 15 digs and a career high 6 blocks.  Additionally, the team had four players who hit double digits in kills in this match.  The Bearcats drop to a record of 6-12 on the year and the Owls move to a season record of 8-6 after this win, and are steadily above .500 at this point in the season.

 

Weekend Star- Izzy Rapacz

Senior Izzy Rapacz has been playing her best brand of volleyball this season.  She has 157 kills, 56 blocks, and 92 digs as of now.  She played two great games during both the loss against ECU and the win against Cincinnati.  Against ECU she hit the ball well at a percent of .235, and got her fifth double-double of the year.  Following that match, she notched her fourth straight double-double and sixth on the year, against Cincinnati.  During the game against the Bearcats, she totalled 17 kills and 13 digs while hitting .182 through four sets.  She turned in a great weekend and is truly leading this team to important wins.

 

Looking Ahead

Around the midseason mark, the team looks to truly break out and get into a playoff spot.  The Owls have two crucial conference matches coming up on October 20, and 22.  They play Tulsa at home on Friday, October 20, at 7 pm.  Following this game, they host SMU at home on Sunday, October 22, at noon.  Currently, Tulsa sits two games below .500, at a record of 8-10. Tulsa is 2-4 in conference play, so this match looks like it is in favor of the Owls.  SMU however, has won six straight games and sits at a record of 12-5.  The Owls need to play both of these teams confidently and as a team.  They are both beatable and important games if the Owls look to get a win streak of their own established.  SMU is currently undefeated in conference play and is additionally 4-0 in away matches.  This should be something the Owls are aware of, but should not fear the Mustangs, as anything can happen in conference play.  The Owls need to limit their mistakes early in this one if they want a shot at derailing the SMU Mustangs.

Both of these games are must wins as the team only has ten remaining games following this weekend at home.  Currently the team sits in fourth place in the AAC Conference standings.  They trail Wichita State, SMU, and ECU.  The Owls need to continue their conference success, and a win against SMU would be huge.