Owls drop Louisville match

Temple volleyball (10-4, 1-1) lost on Sunday against American Athletic Conference preseason favorite Louisville (6-6, 2-0), in four sets by scores of 25-21, 18-25, 16-25 and 16-25.

The Owls won the first set but couldn’t hold the momentum as they lost the next three. The match had a crowd of 2,565 on hand, the largest crowd Temple has played in front of since hosting Penn State in 2009.

Senior Gabriella Matautia led Temple with 13 kills, while sophomore Alyssa Drachslin was the team leader in digs with 16. Freshman Halle McCullough recorded a team-best five blocks for Temple.

Louisville got a lot of their points on block plays (15.5 on the day) which Temple could not rebound from.

Louisville picked up strength in the second set, as Temple fell behind in each and was unable to close the gaps against the Cardinals who advanced to the NCAA Second Round a season ago and finished at 30-4 overall.

Temple will be back at home next weekend against Memphis on Friday, Oct. 4 at 7:00 p.m.

Owls to host Sacred Heart

Down 1-0 to Rutgers on Friday afternoon, No. 17 Temple came back and won 2-1 to improve its record to 7-2 this season.

Freshman forward Katie Foran scored both of the Owls’ goals in a breakout performance and is likely to get the start on Sunday against Sacred Heart, according to coach Amanda Janney.

Rutgers scored eight and a half minutes into the game on Friday, but Temple’s defense and goalkeeping continued their success by keeping Rutgers off the board for the rest of the game.

Redshirt junior goalkeeper Lizzy Millen made two saves on Friday, with her and the Owls’ defense now holding opponents to below two goals per game in 2013.

Temple will be facing a Sacred Heart team that has dropped its last three games, with its last defeat being a 9-0 shutout from No. 11 Albany on Friday.

The Pioneers (3-5) lost the two games prior to Holy Cross and Fairfield by one-goal deficits.

This will be the first ever matchup between Temple and Sacred Heart.

Youtz injured, Theobald attends game

Junior forward Amber Youtz is out for two to three weeks with a right forearm injury.

Youtz currently leads the team in scoring with eight goals and four assists for 20 points. She is also third in the nation in goals per game with 1.25 and second in points per game with 3.13

The 2012 Atlantic 10 Conference Offensive Player of the Year suffered the injury during the Owls 4-1 win at Villanova on Sept. 20. The ball hit Youtz in the arm when senior midfielder/defender Molly Doyle tried clear the ball out of the defensive zone.

Youtz left the game to get her arm checked out, but came back in shortly after and played the rest of the way, scoring two goals in the second half.

She also played in the team’s next game against Longwood on Sept. 22, but sat out the second half.

Youtz was not on the sidelines for Friday afternoon’s 2-1 win over Rutgers, as she was recovering from her injury.

Temple has been getting more and more attention as the team progresses further into its first Big East season.

Now it has President Neil Theobald’s attention.

Theobald was in attendance for Temple’s 2-1 win against Rutgers on Friday afternoon. It was his first field hockey game and he liked what he saw.

“I had a great time, it’s very exciting,” Theobald said. “It’s a really fast game and about late in the first half I started to begin to understand the rules and boy, the speed with which they play…they are incredibly quick.”

Theobald also had the chance to meet the 17th best team in the country and thinks highly of them.

“They’re really good students,” Theobald said.  “I talked to them before the game, really great kids.”

“There is nothing that wasn’t enjoyable here today,” Theobald added.

Conference schedule begins for Owls

The Owls plays their first conference game against No. 18 Louisville on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Cardinal Park.

After playing eight non-conference games, the Owls finally get to test their skills against tougher ranked opponents.

The Owls are 6-2-0 this season while Louisville is 5-2-0. Louisville is 3-2-0 at home this season.

Louisville bounced back from recent back-to-back losses and is currently on a three game winning streak, having already won its first conference game against UCF 3-0.

The Owls won two straight games, after losing two straight, and they look to carry that momentum into the Louisville game. Although Temple is 1-2 on the road this season, their defense has held its own on numerous occasions and will look to replicate that success.

This will be a tough game for the Owls as Louisville has already scored 12 goals in seven matches while the Owls have given up just three goals in eight matches.

Temple has a tough two game stretch having to play two straight ranked conference teams in a row, Saturday against Louisville and Wednesday against UConn.

Tennis fall season continues

After two weeks off, the men’s tennis team will begin play at home for the first time this season, hosting  Buffalo on Friday in the Penn Invitational.

As a result of the abundance of teams and lack of space at Penn, Temple will play at least two matches of the flighted tournament at home.

Going into Friday’s play, Sophomore Hicham Belkssir will put his singles record, 6-0, to the test starting with Buffalo, while teammates and sophomores Santiago Canete and Sam Rundle tries to improve their singles record. Two tournaments into the season, and Canete has produced a solid 4-2 record. Rundle has only suffered one loss, as he holds a 4-1 record.

In doubles action, the duo of Canete and Sophomore hopes to better their 2-2 record, while teammates Rundle and junior Hernan Vasconez also seek to turn their 2-2 record around.

The Owls will begin their play at 9 a.m. Friday morning. The Owls will resume action at 2. p.m. going head to head with either the loser of Lehigh and Brown. This weekend will be the first and last time Temple will play at home in the fall.

Field Hockey faces conference rival Rutgers at home

The No. 17 ranked Owls (6-2) will play in their second conference game of the season this afternoon.

Rutgers (3-4) will visit Geasey Field for the first of Temple’s two home games this weekend.

The Owls won both of their games last weekend, with a 4-1 win at Villanova –the program’s first Big East conference game—on Friday night and then a thrilling 3-2 win in double overtime against Longwood on Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Rutgers has dropped its last two games with back-to-back shutout losses to Albany on Sept. 15 and the No. 3 ranked University of Connecticut on Sept. 22.

Temple beat Rutgers in overtime in the last matchup 3-2 back in September of last year. The Rutgers has the advantage all-time however, with a 22-11-2 record against the Owls.

Women’s tennis heading to St. Joe’s

The women’s tennis team is set to compete at the Saint Joseph’s Invitational this weekend
Temple, Loyola (Maryland), Fairfield, Delaware, Saint Francis, and Lafayette along with the host school Saint Joseph’s will take to the court at the SJU Tennis Complex at the Maguire Campus (outdoors) starting on Friday. Nine women will represent the cherry and white including seniors Jordan Batey, Yana Mavrina, Alicia Doms and Carly Bohman, junior Rebecca Breland, and sophomores Minami Okajima and Jasmine Merali, as well as freshmen Anais Nussaume and Dina Karina.

Beginning on Friday, three Owls will be competing against three different women from Fairfield in the openning round of the singles bracket. At the first flight Mavrina will go head to head with Monica Yajima starting at 8:30 a.m. Also at 8:30 a.m. Okajima will take on Yajima’s teammate Allison Radde at the second flight. Merali will face Stephanie Ziegler later in the morning at the fourth flight at 11:30 a.m.

Also active at the first flight is Doms, as she will be battling Loyola’s Megan Hahn at 8:30 a.m. Breland and Nussaume will be playing at second flight. Nussaume will take on Saint Francis’ Lucy Jassco at 8:30 a.m. After a bye in the opening round, Breland will face the winner of SFU’s Alex Sachs and SJU’s Devi Jadeja at 1 p.m. While Batey and Karina will both be playing at third flight, Batey will play against Catherine Senopolous from Lafayette and Karina will go head to head with Danielle Gryckiewicz from Saint Francis, both matches will start at 10 a.m. In the opening round, Bohman will face the Hawk’s Michele Vona from the host school Saint Joseph’s at the fourth flight at 11:30 a.m.

In doubles play, Owls will have four teams in action, Batey and Karina, Okajima and Bohman, Doms and Nussaume,and lastly Mavrina and Breland. At the first flight, the pair of Mavrina and Breland will face Radde and Sharissa Ryan from Fairfield at 1:30 p.m. Also at the first flight, Doms and Nussaume, who has a bye, will face a pair from either Fairfield or Saint Joseph’s at 3 p.m in the second round.

Also in the action is the duo of Okajima and Bohman who will play against Loyola’s Alexandra Billups and Meredith Dwyer. Batey and Karina will then face Lafayette’s Tori Almeida and Lauren Tracy at 2:30 p.m.

The tournament will continue throughout the weekend.

Owls to face Houston, SMU

The  Owls will begin conference competition when they host the Houston Cougars and Southern Methodist Mustangs at the Ambler Sports Complex this week.

Temple will face American Athletic Conference opponent Houston (1-2-3) on Thursday at 4 p.m. and it will play its second conference game against SMU on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Though it has earned a winning non-conference record, after their 2-1 loss to Delaware, Temple (5-3-1) has gone 1-3 at home this season. Temple has yet to allow a goal on the road, but in their first four home games, the Owls have allowed four total goals and been shutout twice.

Freshman midfielder Ingrid Melo has scored the Owls’ lone goal in the past two weeks and leads the team with three scores this year. Sophomore midfielder Kelly Farrell has recorded a team-high three assist this season.

Sophomore Shauni Kerkhoff and the defense will try to rebound from their first game allowing multiple goals since 2012. In 2012, Temple registered a 0-12-1 record when allowing at least one goal, and in 2013, the Owls are 0-3 in such games.

The Owls’ weekend opponents present contrasting obstacles, with Houston boasting one of the nation’s top defenses and SMU ranking at the top of the American on offense.

In six games, the Cougars have recorded a conference-low three goals but have allowed five goals which is second in the conference behind Temple and USF. The Houston player to watch will be senior goalkeeper Cami Koski who is third in the nation in save percentage (.952), fourth in saves per game (10), and has recorded two shutouts.

For SMU, the Mustangs’ offense has averaged 2.62 goals per game which is the most in the conference. Redshirt junior forward Shelby Redman has led the team in scoring, recording six goals and two assists. Senior defender Courtney Smith’s seven assists leads the conference and also ranks second in the nation. SMU will open conference play against UConn on Thursday previous to their matchup with the Owls.

Temple will be facing Houston and SMU for the first time in program history.

Owls to host Fordham

The Owls are back to winning again after securing a victory against Villanova  last Saturday.

On Wednesday, Temple will face a Fordham team that has not had much success on the road this season.

Temple, meanwhile, is undefeated at home and has yet to concede a goal at home in four games. The Owls will rely on their sturdy defense to make it five in a row at home without conceding a goal, but at the same time, try and get a crucial victory. Temple will need every non-conference win they can get because the team starts playing conference teams on Saturday.

The Owls will be looking for improvement as they have not been very convincing finishing out games.

Fordham has only scored one goal in their three away game losses. In fact, the team has yet to score more than three goals in a single game, and are currently in a three game losing streak as well. Temple will try to use that to their advantage to win two straight games before heading into conference play.

The Owls are 5-2-0 this season while Fordham is 2-4.

Gabriella Matautia honored

Senior Gabriella Matautia has been named the Under Armour OwlSports.com Athlete of the Week for the week of Sept. 16. Matautia was also named to the American Athletic Conference Weekly Honor Roll.

After three solid matches this past weekend, Matautia was named to the Temple Invitational All-Tournament Team. She recorded her 1,000th career kill last week against Penn and has now totaled 1,051 career kills.

“Being able to get 1,000 kills in my four years is awesome, I am really glad I was able to break 1,000 kills,” Matautia said. “Yes, all the kills is nice, but I think the most important thing is that we are coming together as a team. The group that we have been playing with has been working, it helps that we have such a big block. Sandra [Sydlik] has been doing really well, and if we continue to work and get better it’s going to be great.”

Matautia, who has been the offensive leader in Temple’s 9-3 start to the season, recorded ten or more kills in all three matches for the week as Temple went 2-1 at its own tournament. Mautatia is averaging 3.90 kills per set which is tops in the American Athletic conference.

As conference games kickoff this weekend against Cincinnati (0-13) on Friday and Louisville (6-4) on Saturday, Mautatia knows her and the teams play needs to get even better.

“We are up and down too much, we need to stay at one level, as well as reducing errors and executing what we need to get done,” Matautia said. “We are excited for the challenge of conference play to see where our team is at.”