Matthews leads Princeton Individual after opening day

Day One of the two-day Princeton Invitational took place Saturday afternoon at the Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square. Junior Brandon Matthews stayed hot, posting a 2-under-par 68 to lead the tournament at the halfway point.  Matthews and Cornell’s Mike Graboyes were the only players to shoot under par on Saturday, as Graboyes posted a 69.

Temple sits in second place on the team leaderboard with a combined score of plus-15, four shots off Yale for the top spot. Senior Matt Teesdale had the second-best round for Temple with a 3-over 73. Freshman Evan Thornton was next with a 6-over. Senior Pat Ross, sophomore Evan Notaro and junior Liam Fahey rounded out the leaderboard for the Owls with rounds of 78, 79 and 83, respectively.

The tournament concludes Sunday afternoon in Ardmore at the Merion Golf Club, beginning at 11 a.m.

Matthews named American Golfer of the Week

After what coach Brian Quinn called one of “the biggest wins in Temple University golf history” at the Furman Intercollegiate March 27-29, junior Brandon Matthews followed it up with a win at the Met Intercollegiate in Purchase, New York. He was then honored with the American Athletic Conference Golfer of the Week award for his efforts.

The win in New York last weekend was the seventh of Matthews’ Temple career. Back-to-back victories for Matthews has his ranking up to No. 39, which is the highest ranking of any golfer in The American. His average score per round sits at a 71.

Temple will be back in action this weekend at the Princeton Invitational.

Murphy suspended, investigation pending

Temple Athletic Director Kevin Clark announced via press release on Tuesday night that women’s gymnastics coach Aaron Murphy has been suspended as a result of a pending investigation involving violations of athletic department policy.

Murphy’s suspension will last through the duration of the university’s investigation.  Assistant coach Deirdre Mattocks Bertotti will take over coaching duties on an interim basis, as the investigation is ongoing.

The 2015 season is Murphy’s ninth as Temple’s coach. The team’s next meet is on Saturday afternoon, when the Owls host the Ken Anderson Memorial Invitational.

Athletics hires new Olympic strength & conditioning coach

Senior Associate Director of Athletics Joe Giunta announced the hire of Tim Teefy as Temple’s head Olympic strength and conditioning coach Monday afternoon.

Teefy comes to Temple after spending three years at Villanova in the same role.  At Villanova, Teefy was in charge of administering all aspects of the strength and conditioning department involving all of its 19 Division I sports. Temple now funds 19 Division I sports following the elimination of five programs last summer.

Prior to working at Villanova, Teefy spent three years at High Point University in North Carolina, and made stops on the strength and conditioning staffs at George Washington University and Georgetown University.

Teefy is a graduate of West Virginia University with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and sports management. He went on to earn a master’s degree at West Chester University in kinesiology and exercise physiology, and is certified as a strength and conditioning specialist.

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.

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.

Davis earns conference honors

Tyler Davis’ productive weekend helped earn her a spot on the American Athletic Conference weekly honor roll, the conference announced Monday.

The sophomore outside hitter led the way in both of Temple’s home conference matches during the weekend. Davis hit a season-high 46.9 percent in the Owls’ 3-0 win against Cincinnati on Friday, and also led the team with 16 kills in the 3-1 loss to Memphis.

She finished the weekend with a 35.5 hitting percentage.

Sydlik named to conference honor roll

After earning the Big 5 Invitational MVP award this past weekend, junior setter Sandra Sydlik was named to the American Athletic Conference honor roll Tuesday.

Sydlik averaged 11.75 assists per set, 3.38 digs per set, as the Owls did not drop a set over the weekend improving their record to 9-3.

Temple opens American Athletic Conference play this week with matches against Connecticut and East Carolina.

Early tournaments help lessen travel burden for volleyball

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.”

Men’s tennis tops UConn

The men’s tennis team opened its conference schedule on Saturday with a 5-1 victory against Connecticut.

Scheduling was complicated for coach Steve Mauro with the team’s move into the American Athletic Conference.  As a result, the UConn match was the only conference match Temple will play in the regular season.

“I thought we played extremely well in singles and everyone just fought hard,” Mauro said.

With the conference tournament less than three weeks from now, set to begin on April 17th in Memphis, Tenn., Mauro said he hopes the win will serve as a first step in propelling his team toward the postseason.

“We wanted to get a good start in the conference,” Mauro said.

“We were just able to get one conference match before the tournament but we were happy we played it,” Mauro added. “It really validates all the hard work that we’ve done to beat a conference opponent.”

Temple’s record now sits at 7-10 on the season.  Sunday’s match against Quinnipiac was canceled so Temple will next be in action on Thursday against city rival La Salle.