‘Cats edge out Temple in riveting five-set match

Patrick Griffin

On Tuesday night, the women’s volleyball team showed Temple and everyone else what they are made of when they defeated the Owls in a five set war, coming back after dropping the first two sets.

The Wildcats won 3-2 to improve to 3-5 overall, with final game scores of 29-31, 26-30, 30-19, 30-26 and 15-13.

The ‘Cats showed great effort right off the bat in the first game but were beaten by some untimely mistakes and key capitalizations by Temple. Down 10-18, the Wildcats mounted a comeback and tied it up at 27 only to just barely lose it 29-31.

But the game was definitely not a loss for the fans as it was highlighted by some tremendous spikes by sophomore Kerri Sullivan and a great rally at 28-28.

The second game was the most heart breaking of all. The game became an all-out battle that was emotionally draining and packed full of remarkable rallies in which it seemed one side would have to die before the point could end because of both teams’ unwillingness to give up. Both sophomore Jenny Badran-Grycan and senior Leah Matthews made diving plays and remarkable saves to continually keep the Wildcats in the point.

The game was tense all throughout, as it seemed either team could win, but finally the Owls edged out the ‘Cats, 26-30.

In the third game of the match ‘Nova finally showed it knew how to win. They led the whole game, as the Owls made plenty of errors and the Wildcats made them pay time after time in quick short points as the game turned into the antithesis of Game two. There were a multitude of spikes with very few long rallies as the ‘Cats held a three-point lead most of the game and pulled away at the end with six straight points to win, 30-19.

The fourth set was solid for the Wildcats as they led the entire game. The Owls mounted their own comeback to come within 25-24, but the Wildcats showed resolve and rebounded to close that set 30-26 and push for a fifth and deciding game.

The fifth set was encompassed in a tense and exciting feeling as the lead went back and forth, with the two teams neck and neck the whole way. There were many great rallies, an ace to put ‘Nova up 7-6 and some monster blocks to make it 12-11. One ‘Nova player ran well out of bounds, crashing into chairs to save a miss hit that set up the match-winning point.

The Wildcats celebrated, as they were able to get their home opening win with a dramatic match against a cross-town rival. “I was proud of the team,” junior Jen Edwards said. “We tend to lose focus and coming back has been tough for us.”

Sullivan echoed her teammate’s sentiments.

“This was a big game, really exciting and with a big fan turnout,” Sullivan said. “We’ve never beaten Temple before. This is a good win to go into the season with. We will turn heads this season.”

Coach Allison Keeley closed out the big win by expressing appreciation for her team’s play.

“They played very well, they played to their strengths, they made [Temple] make mistakes.”

Keeley acknowledged how it felt to get the win.

“It was great,” she said. “They had to earn it and they are learning how to win.”