By: Ben Medland
Friday, September 22, 2017, vs. Wichita State, L 1-3
The Temple Owls had a tough matchup against Wichita State, on September 22, who is ranked 24th in the nation. They managed to steal a set from the Shockers, and kept the first and third sets very close. Unfortunately, the Owls could not get ahead in this one and fell to 4-5 on the season and 0-1 in the conference. Izzy Rapacz had a career high of 21 kills and added three blocks to her column. Irem Asci also had a stellar performance with a double-double in this match, totalling for 14 kills and 13 digs. Additionally, Kyra Coundourides had led both teams in assists in the game with 59. Despite the dominating performances by the Owls, it wasn’t enough to pull them in front of the nationally ranked Shockers.
Sunday, September 24, 2017, vs. Memphis, W 3-0
The Owls looked to bounce back two days later with a Sunday afternoon showdown against Memphis. Sitting at 0-1 in the conference ahead of the game, they hoped to get their first conference win. The Owls got out to an early dominate lead, winning the first set 25-17. The women easily took the next two sets from the Tigers with the scores of 25-16 and 25-15. The Owls coasted their way to their first conference win of the season. Another great game by Coundourides, who put in a double-double with 38 assists and 17 digs. Irem Asci continued her recent success with a double-double of her own for the second game in a row, with 11 kills and 13 digs. Izzy Rapacz hit .350 and led both teams in blocks with six in the game. This crucial win put the team at .500 for the season in both their overall record and conference record. At 5-5 on the season, the team looks for this moment to be a turning point in the season.
Weekend Star- Kyra Coundourides
Kyra Coundourides has been dominating the court recently. In the two games she had a combined 97 assists and 25 digs. She recorded a double-double on September 24, making that her fourth on the season. Her recent dominance has not been unnoticed, as her and Izzy Rapacz, were both named to the weekly honor roll for the American Athletic Conference on September 25. Kyra is in her last year at Temple after transferring from Virginia Tech in her junior year, and looks to finish off her collegiate career with the best year yet. So far, Coundourides sits in first on the team in assists with 264. She also sits in third on the team in digs with 81. With her recent dominance in assists, she looks to top last year’s total of 1253 assists.
Sitting at a record of 5-5, the team looks ahead to the beginning of October with two key matches. They play East Carolina on Friday, October 6, and then face off against Cincinnati, two days later on Sunday, October 8. Both of these matches will be played at McGonigle Hall. East Carolina currently sit at a record of 9-5, and are coming off of a win against South Florida. This game should be an evenly contested game for the team, despite their records. Temple has played up to their competition pretty well. They gave a nationally ranked team a run for their money and took one set from them. The Owls have also beat a great Memphis team three sets to none. East Carolina beat a South Florida team who is 4-7 and still dropped one set.
The Owls will then host the Cincinnati Bears on Sunday, October 8 at 1 pm. The Bears are coming off of two straight wins, but have a season record of 4-10. This match should not be taken lightly for the Owls, as anything can happen in conference games. If the Owls can just continue on their great team work and play as a unified team like they have been, then this game should not be a problem.
The Owls need to get out to a couple wins in the near future and start a good winning streak if they want to make a run for the playoffs. At this point in the season, wins are crucial and very necessary in this tough conference.