Dayan leaving Temple

Sophomore May Dayan will leave the team and return to her hometown of Ashdod Israel, athletic communications announced Friday. The sophomore said personal reasons ultimately led to her departure.

The 5-foot-7 guard hasn’t played in Temple’s four games this season after seeing action in 30 contests a season ago with six starts and 1.7 points-per-game as a freshman.

“After a year-and-a-half at Temple University and due to personal issues, I have to return to Israel,” Dayan said to “I would like to thank all the people that helped me along the way, my coaches, my academic advisor, compliance, and especially my teammates. I would also like to thank Temple University for giving me this great opportunity. Temple was my home for the last year-and-a-half and will always have a special place in my heart. I wish the Owls good luck and know they will have a great season.”

Dayan joins a growing list of absentees for the Owls this season, as would-be sophomore Sally Kabengano didn’t return this season after a productive freshman year. Junior guard Rateska Brown and sophomore forward Jacquilyn Jackson also were key contributors to the team a year ago, and have both been sidelined due to indefinite suspensions.

Tennis stays busy off the court with volunteering

Although the men’s and women’s tennis teams are not playing on the court, they found a way to team up off the court.

This past Saturday the Owls partnered up with SquashSmarts, a non-profit academic and athletic mentoring program, which is geared towards helping children attain success. Temple volunteered in helping fifth – 12th grade students in different ways including academics/enrichment, squash/fitness, or general service.

SquashSmarts has two different locations in Philadelphia; the Lenfest Center (North Philadelphia) and Drexel’s Daskalakis Athletic Center (West Philadelphia) where students attend practices three days each week focusing on SquashSmarts’ Five Pillars: (1) Academic Support, (2) Squash Instruction, (3) Fitness and Nutrition, (4) Personal Achievement, and (5) Leadership. Students also participate in competitive squash opportunities, community service projects, cultural outings, and special events.

Youtz, Doyle selected to All-Region Team

The accolades keep coming in for junior forward Amber Youtz and senior defender Molly Doyle, as Youtz has been named to the Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-Region First Team and Doyle the second team.

Youtz led the way for the Owls, offensively, recording 16 goals and seven assists for 39 points. She also led the Big East in points and goals per game, with an average of 2.44 points per game that ranks second in the nation and a goal per game average that is fifth in the nation.

In her final season with the Owls, Doyle had a career year. She scored eight goals and three assists for 19 points and, as one of the team’s co-captains, led a defense that held opponents to 1.60 goals per game.

Both Youtz and Doyle were named to the Big East All-Tournament Team.

Youtz was also named to the Big East First Team and the Preseason All-Big East Team.

Doyle, meanwhile, was named to the Big East Second Team and was selected to play in the NFCHA Senior Game.

Youtz was named Big East Offensive Player of the Week two times this season and Doyle once to combine for three of four times the weekly award has been given to an Owl in 2013.

Williams, Fitzgerald earn weekly honors

Temple’s starting backcourt of junior guard Tyonna Williams and freshman guard Feyonda Fitzgerald were both recognized in this week’s American Athletic Conference awards.

After recording 39 total points in victories against Delaware and Auburn, Williams was named to this week’s The American Honor Roll. The junior guard was also named Philadelphia Big 5 player of the week.

Fitzgerald, the late game hero against Auburn, was named this week’s The American Freshman of the Week. The freshman guard made four three point field goals against Auburn, including the go-ahead three in the closing seconds of Temple’s 78–74 win.

For both Williams and Fitzgerald, their best outings of the week were in a comeback victory against Auburn which saw both players recording career-highs. Williams’ 29 point outing was the best of her career, while Fitzgerald recorded a career-high 18 points.

Owls sign four players

The Owls came away with four signees on signing day, the team announced Thursday.

Tanaya Atkinson, Khadijah Berger, Wendion Bibbins and Alliya Butts all signed their National Letters of Intent with the team on the first signing day, and will likely round out Temple’s 2014 recruiting class.

Atkinson is a 5-foot-9 guard from Hill Regional Career High School in New Haven, Conn. who averaged 20.4 points and 8.1 rebounds in her junior year last year en route to All-Southern Connecticut Conference and All-Connecticut High School Coaches Association honors.

Berger, a 5-foot-10 guard, posted 17.1 PPG as a junior for Hampton High School in Virginia last year and earned a 2013 USA Today honorable mention. Per Owlsports, she played AAU ball with Temple freshman guard Feyonda Fitzgerald.

Bibbins is a 6-foot-1 power forward who could help supplement the loss of redshirt-senior forward Natasha Thames next year. The Helgen Cox High School senior was a 2012 LSWA Class 4A Honorable Mention All-State selection.

Butts, a local kid from Holy Cross High School in Edgewater Park, N.J., stands at a mere 5-foot-4 at the point guard position.

The height disadvantage clearly is no problem, as the current high school senior led all of Burlington County with 25.2 PPG last season for Holy Cross and was named to the Elite 100 Watch List. She has Philadelphia ties, as she played her AAU ball with the Philadelphia Freedom.

Shipp named to honor rolls

Senior guard Shi-Heria Shipp graced the floor during her Temple debut with a jump in her step Friday at La Salle, and it earned her a spot on the American Athletic Conference and Big 5 honor rolls for week one, it was announced Monday.

The George Washington transfer dropped a career-high 18 points in her Temple debut against the Explorers, and scored nine amid an Owls’ 19-0 run in the second half. Shipp also led Temple with an 8-for-8 performance from the free throw line, and swiped five steals en route to a 60-47 Owls win in the season opener.

Women’s basketball to take on Delaware

Heading into their matchup against a very different Delaware team from a year ago, the Owls at least know who they don’t have to worry about.

Temple (1-0) will take on Delaware at the Blue Hens’ Bob Carpenter Center Tuesday night at 7 p.m., and will at least know who they don’t have to worry about.

The Blue Hens (1-0) return three starters from last year, and will be missing the reigning WNBA Rookie of the Year in Elena Delle Donne. Delle Donne was the No. 2 selection in the WNBA draft in 2013 after a four-year career at Delaware in which she averaged 26.4 points per game and led Delaware to back-to-back Colonial Athletic Association championships in her final two years.

Still, Blue Hens seniors Courtni Green and Kelsey Buchanan each put up 15 points on Rhode Island Friday in a 63-47 win. Buchanan, a 6’3” center, could be the Owls first challenge up front this season as the 6’0” redshirt-senior forward Natasha Thames is expected to start at center for the second consecutive game.

Temple senior guard Shi-Heria Shipp scored a game-high 18 points in the Owls’ 60-47 opening win against La Salle Friday night and is again expected to start, as coach Tonya Cardoza will likely go with the same relatively small four-guard lineup of Thames, Shipp, junior Tyonna Williams, sophomore Erica Covile and freshman Feyonda Fitzgerald.

Tuesday marks the first matchup between the two teams since Temple downed Delaware, 72-54, at McGonigle Hall in 1997.

Owls host Kent State

Coming off of a victory against Penn last weekend, Temple (1-0) will host Kent State (1-0) in the home opener at the Liacouras Center on Monday at 7 p.m.

In the Penn game, senior Dalton Pepper and junior Will Cummings posted career scoring highs, while junior Anthony Lee posted the sixth double-double of his career.

The Owls are 11-5 in home openers at the Liacouras Center, having won their last four.

Kent State began its season on Nov. 8 with an 84-48 victory over Ohio Northern.

Doyle, Youtz named to Big East All-Tournament team

Senior defender Molly Doyle and junior forward Amber Youtz have been named to the 2013 Big East All-Tournament Team.

The roster was announced Sunday following the end of the conference tournament.

Youtz tallied 16 goals and 7 assists for 39 points to lead the team in scoring for the regular season, despite missing three games with an arm injury along the way. Youtz also led the NCAA with an averaged 2.60 goals per game and finished second in the nation in goals per game with an average of 1.07.

Doyle, one of the team’s co-captains, finished second on the team in scoring with eight goals and three assists for 19 points. She also led a defense that held opponents to 1.60 goals per game.

Both Youtz and Doyle recorded hat tricks in 2013. Doyle earned the first of her career in a 3-1 win over Bucknell back on Oct. 6 and Youtz recorded the fourth of her career in another 3-1 win, this time over Providence on Oct. 11. It was her first game back from her injury.

Temple was eliminated from the Big East Tournament by top-seed and No. 7 ranked Connecticut in a 3-0 loss. UConn moved on to beat No. 5 Old Dominion 1-0 in overtime, clinching the Big East Championship.

Youtz was also named to the Big East First Team, while Doyle and redshirt junior goalkeeper Lizzy Millen were named to the Big East Second Team on Thursday night at the conference’s awards banquet.

Men’s basketball to open season at Penn

The men’s basketball team will kick off the 2013-14 season with a game against Penn at the Palestra on Saturday at 5 p.m.

The Owls have won the past six match-ups against coach Fran Dunphy’s former team, but are without their leading scorer from last year in Khalif Wyatt. Juniors Will Cummings and Anthony Lee will be looked upon to replace the lost offensive production.

This will be the 68th meeting between the two teams, as Temple holds an overall record of 45-22 against Penn.