With the volleyball season roughly a month away, the team will get ready to embark upon a series of weekend tournaments before the conference schedule begins Sep. 24 in Storrs against Conneticut.
Temple will play four tournaments before their American Athletic Conference opener, the first of which is the Syracuse tournament Aug. 30 and 31. The following weekend, the Owls will host the Temple tournament before playing the Long Island University-Brooklyn and Big 5 tournaments during next two weekends, respectively.
Coach Bakeer Ganes said one thing in particular stands out in regard to his team’s starting the season with four consecutive tournaments.
“Travel,” Ganes, entering his fourth year as Temple volleyball coach in 2014, said. “It’s much easier on the student-athletes.”
With several long trips on the horizon once American Athletic Conference play kicks off, the Owls’ early fixtures in the region allow Ganes’ team a chance to play without the usual dose of wear and tear. However, the early weekends involve three matches in two days, which can take its toll.
“It would be more ideal to play one match a day,” Ganes said, discussing the schedule’s opening portion.
However, the consistent play early on gives Ganes a chance to get a feel for what he has on the roster and the best way to utilize his players before facing American foes.
“We have four weekends to get ready for conference play,” Ganes said. “It’s 12 matches, so we want to take advantage of ever match and figure out the best lineup and just take care of the fine-tuning.”
The Owls’ early schedule is similar to that of other schools in The American, though Ganes noted Central Florida hosted two tournaments before conference play started last season.
One may think a volleyball team playing three matches in two weekend days would cause fatigue issues. Ganes downplayed that potential concern, noting a deep roster helps him figure things out early in the season and avoid players becoming fatigued early.
“We try to have a good-sized squad so we can rotate kids through,” Ganes said. “It also allows us to find the best starting six we need when we start conference play.”