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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Sports

Volleyball to face Temple, seek first conference win


Volleyball will be looking for their first conference victory when they welcome the Temple University Owls to the Athletics/Alumni Center Friday night. | Justin Cross/The Cougar

Volleyball will look for their first conference victory when they welcome the Temple University Owls to the Athletics/Alumni Center Friday night. | Justin Cross/The Cougar

After three straight matches on the road, volleyball will welcome Temple University to the Athletics/Alumni Center Friday night.

The Cougars (5-18, 0-12) will try to stop the Owls, a team that is currently third overall in the American Athletic Conference and has won four straight, including a 3-0 win over second place Cincinnati.

The Owls are one of the most well-rounded teams in the conference, ranking highly in both offensive and defensive categories. They currently rank third in the conference in hitting percentage, assists and kills; second in blocks and aces.

Volleyball will have to contend with keeping outside hitter Irem Asci in check after she recorded 26 kills on .388 hitting in the first match. The junior is currently second in the conference with 4.38 kills per set and third with 0.35 aces per set.

In the first meeting between the two teams this season, the Owls (16-6, 9-3) got the best of the Cougars 3-1 (25-23, 21-25, 17-25, 17-25) in a September contest at McGonigle Hall in Philadelphia.

Owl junior setter Kyla Coundourides added a double-double with 40 assists and 10 digs. Sophomore libero Mia Heirakuji and junior outside hitter Dara Peric each picked up double-digit digs that lead to a 58-43 Temple advantage in the category.

Junior outside hitter Sarah Afflerbaugh led the Cougars with 14 kills while junior setter Keandra McCardell added 33 assists and eight digs in the previous matchup.

The Cougars opened the match strong, taking the first set 25-23, breaking a streak of nine straight-set losses.

After keeping the next three sets close to start, the Cougars were unable to stop Owl runs in each, ending the final two sets on 7-0 and 8-1 runs.

The Cougars are 3-5 all-time against the Owls and have lost two straight after going 1-1 against them last season.

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