Women’s basketball picked fourth in coaches poll

Temple is expected to finish fourth in the American Athletic Conference, based on a preseason coaches poll compiled at The American’s media day Thursday at the New York Athletic Club.

The Owls are tied for the fourth spot with Tulane, as both teams received 67 points in the poll.

Sophomore guard Feyonda Fitzgerald was also named as a preseason All-Conference selection by American coaches, after averaging 12.9 points and 3.9 assists per game in her freshman season.

UConn, which will be starting the 2014-15 season at No. 1 in the Associated Press Top-25 poll, is the favorite to win the conference, receiving 10 of 11 first-place votes in the poll.

East Carolina came in third with 72 points, and USF in second with 91 points.

Temple finished the 2013-14 campaign at 14-16, and lost to USF, 72-44, in the quarterfinals of the conference championship.

The Owls will open up their season with a Big 5 matchup Nov. 14 at home against La Salle.

Men’s basketball voted to finish sixth

The men’s basketball team was picked to finish sixth out of 11 American Athletic Conference teams this season.

The poll results were announced at the conference media day at the New York Athletic Club Wednesday. Defending national champion Connecticut edged the top spot in the poll, while Southern Methodist were picked by The American’s coaches to finish second in the conference.

Memphis, led by All-Conference first-team selections Shaq Goodwin and Austin Nichols, were picked to finish third in the conference, while Cincinnati, Tulsa, Temple, Houston, South Florida, Central Florida East Carolina and Tulane rounded out the remainder of the poll.

The Owls’ backcourt duo of senior Will Cummings and junior Quenton DeCosey were selected as second team all-conference in a coaches vote. Cummings ranked sixth in the conference with 16.8 points per game in 29 contests last season, while DeCosey posted an eighth-best 15.4 ppg. in 31 games.

UConn senior guard Ryan Boatright was tabbed as The American’s preseason Player of the Year, while Huskies freshman Daniel Hamilton was voted preseason Rookie of the Year.

The Owls will kick off their season against American University at the Liacouras Center on Nov. 14. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.

2014-15 Preseason Coaches’ Poll
Rank, Team (First-Place Votes)
1. UConn (6)
2. SMU (5)
3. Memphis
4. Cincinnati
5. Tulsa
6. Temple
7. Houston
8. USF
9. UCF
10. East Carolina
11. Tulane

Owls remain No. 16

The eighth Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I National Coaches Poll has the Owls in the No. 16 spot for the third straight week, while remaining at No. 13 in the NCAA’s RPI (ratings percentage index) rankings.

Temple (13-5, 3-1 Big East conference) beat Georgetown and Lafayette last weekend via back-to-back 4-0 shutouts. The team’s last game before postseason play will be at home against No. 4 UConn Saturday at 1 p.m.

UConn (13-2 overall) is 4-0 in conference play and winner of it last seven. The Owls, meanwhile, have gone on a 6-2 run since conference play opened back on Oct. 3, and have won their last three contests.

Temple will be seeded no lower than third in the Big East tournament, regardless of what happens on Saturday. But a win against the Huskies could make them the top seed heading into the postseason.

Overton earns conference honor roll selection

Sophomore middle blocker Kirsten Overton was named to this week’s American Athletic Conference honor roll.

Overton hit 48.8 percent during the weekend in wins against Tulsa and Southern Methodist, and also posted nine blocks against SMU. The two wins saw Temple (16-6, 7-3 The American) move into sole possession of third place in the conference. The Owls will travel to Cincinnati and Memphis this coming weekend.

Freshmen pair join cross country

Two freshmen have joined the men’s cross country team as walk-ons, coach James Snyder confirmed Tuesday.

Freshman Cody Cameron joined the team during the summer, while Chris Miller was added to the roster in mid-September. Both runners have redshirted for the season.

Also planning to redshirt is freshman Katie Hayes, Snyder said. Hayes suffered an ankle injury in high school that has yet to fully heal. Hayes ran in the beginning of the season, but spent most of her season recovering from the injury.

The team also looks to take advantage of the new signing period for cross country runners from Nov. 12-19.

This is the first year that the NCAA is opening up an early signing period. In the past, the signing period has started in February.

“They pushed the later period back into April and opened up a one-week window in November where we are able to sign prospective student athletes,” Snyder said.

For the Owls, Snyder feels that this can be beneficial as he thinks the coaching staff “does their homework.”

“In a program like we are, where we are kind of in a building process, trying to find out our identity, I think of it as a real distinct advantage,” Snyder said. “I like to think that between me, coach [Steve] Fuelling, coach [Elvis] Forde and coach [Shameka] Marshall, we do our homework on the front end of recruiting and identifying young men and women who we think are going to be really successful.”

“We kind of have the ability to swoop in and sign those kids early,” Snyder added, “before they end up being what we project them to be, where big school X says ‘Why don’t you come run for our school?’”

-Ed LeFurge III

Crew competes in Princeton Chase

For the second time this weekend, the men’s crew team took to the river, this time to race in the Princeton Chase in Princeton, New Jersey on Sunday.

The top rowers on the team raced against some of the country’s top rowing programs as the men’s heavyweight varsity eight boats and the heavyweight varsity four boats rowed on Lake Carnegie’s three-mile race course.

On a crowded race course two varsity heavyweight eight boats were a part of 63 boats. Coxswained by junior Truman Levine, the “A” boat finished in 37th place with a time of 14 minutes, 4 seconds. While the “B”  boat led by coxswain  junior Julia Wolanski finished 53th in a time of 14:38 seconds.

Two heavyweight varsity 4 boats competed against the likes of Boston, Cornell, Wisconsin  Navy and much more as the “A” boat finished in 28th place in a time of 15:37 seconds. Temple’s “B” boat led by coxswain Samuel Vecchione finished 47th out of a field of 52 boats.

The Princeton Chase was hosted by Princeton University and Carnegie Lake Rowing Association.

Last Saturday, the Owls also competed in the Head of the Schuylkill as the freshman four boat won its race on the Schuylkill.

Now with two weeks until  the Owls next competitive race, assistant coach Brian Perkins said the team will work on lineups and they continue to make switches in boats to see the improvements each boat makes.

The Owls will return to the river in November as they compete in the Frostbite Regatta.

Two second-half goals doom Owls

After scoring two unanswered tallies in the second half, Connecticut defeated the Owls 3-1 at the Huskies’ Monroe Field on Wednesday night.

Temple (2-11-2), which has one win since Sept. 5, scored its lone goal when sophomore defender Stefan Mueller scored his first goal of the season off a feed from senior midfielder Willie Chalfant to tie the game at one apiece in the 50th minute.

The Huskies (6-6-1) soon scored twice in eight minutes to effectively put the game out of reach, though, the first of which came from sophomore forward Cyle Larin in the 56th minute. Sophomore forward Ethan Vanacore-Decker capped the scoring in the 65th minute.

UConn led the count in shots on target, 8-4, while the Huskies amassed 10 corner kicks on the night, compared to Temple’s three. Owls senior goalie Dan Scheck stopped five shots in net.

With the loss, the Owls dropped their fourth consecutive contest. They’ll play the last game at home of the season when Tulsa pays a visit Saturday at 2 p.m.

Delp named to conference honor roll

Junior forward/midfielder Alyssa Delp was named to the Big East Conference Field Hockey Weekly Honor Roll after tallying a goal and an assist in Temple’s loss to Old Dominion on Friday.

After falling into a 2-0 hole, Delp provided the helper on a goal by Youtz that got the Owls on the board in the 20th minute. She then came back about three minutes later, and scored the tying goal to make it a 2-2 game heading into halftime.

Delp has four goals, two assists and 10 points in 13 starts this season.

Temple stays put at No. 16

Temple stayed at No. 16 in this week’s Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I National Coaches Poll, and sit at No. 13 in the NCAA’s ratings percentage index rankings.

The Owls (11-5, 2-1 Big East) split this past weekend with a 3-2 loss to conference foe Old Dominion (now No. 17) Friday and a 4-1 win against William and Mary on Saturday.

There are three games left on the regular season schedule. Two of them are conference matchups against Georgetown (5-9, 0-3 Big East) on the road Oct. 24 and No. 5 UConn (11-2, 3-0 Big East) at home on Nov. 1.

The Owls will have one more non-conference game against Lafayette (5-9) on Oct. 26 at home.

As the regular season begins to come to a close, senior forward Amber Youtz has found herself at the top of the nation’s stat sheets. Her 1.31 goals per game is the best in the NCAA and her 2.81 points per game is second in the nation.

With 21 goals and 45 points, Youtz leads the Big East in both categories by a wide margin, and is a goal and nine points away from tying her career-high 22 goals and 54 points set in 2012.

Youtz is also closing in on third all-time in goals and points for the program, improving her career totals to 63 goals and 148 points after recording another three goals and 11 points during the weekend. She needs five more goals and 16 more points to tie Monica Mills (1981-84) for third in each category.

Redshirt senior goalkeeper Lizzy Millen has also put up a productive season to this point, posting a 79.5 save percentage that is seventh in the nation, and a 1.55 goals against average that ranks 20th.

Sydlik earns honor roll nod

After road wins at Houston and Tulane during the weekend, Temple setter Sandra Sydlik was named to the American Athletic Conference weekly honor roll Monday.

Sydlik averaged 11.71 assists per set during the weekend and amassed 41 assists against Houston and another 41 against Tulane.

The Owls dropped just one set in both conference matches over the weekend improving to 14-6 overall and 5-3 in The American.