The GW volleyball team came one point away from exorcising its Temple Owl demons on Halloween night at McGonigle Hall in Philadelphia. But, somehow and someway, Temple extended its dominance over the heartbroken Colonials winning Tuesday’s five-game thriller 15-11, 10-15, 11-15, 15-13, 16-14. The loss dropped GW (19-5, 10-2 Atlantic 10) into a second-place tie with Temple (14-8, 10-2 A-10), which holds the tie-breaker advantage having swept the Colonials in the regular season. Both teams find themselves half a game behind first-place Xavier (19-6,11-2 A-10), which will face the Colonials Friday at the Smith Center.
Throughout the match it didn’t seem to phase the competitive Colonials that that they had only defeated the Lady Owls once in their last 11 meetings dating back to 1995. In fact, not until GW found itself ahead 14-12 in the final game did past ghosts comeback to haunt the Colonials. Temple went on to score four unanswered points and pull out the victory. Temple had nine kills in the game and GW committed six costly errors, including an attack attempt that hit the antenna to end the match.
Fifth games against Temple have been a problem for the Colonials. In Temple’s five-game win at the Smith Center in September, the Lady Owls had 11 kills and did not commit an error. GW fell flat in the final game with just two kills.
Once again, Temple’s Alma Kovaci caused horrors for GW’s defense as she pounded a match-high 32 kills. Kovaci had 35 kills against the Colonials in the last meeting.
Kovaci’s counterpart, A-10 Player of the Week Tracee Brown, nailed 28 kills for the Colonials, but committed a match-high 14 errors. GW received double-doubles from seniors Renee Arnold (24 kills, 13 digs) and Suzana Manole (15 kills, 17 digs), while senior Jill Levey posted 65 assists.
Statistically, both teams were nearly identical in every area, as the Lady Owls had a total attack percentage of .241 (79 kills, 28 errors in 212 total attempts) and the Colonials averaged a .239 percentage (82 kills, 32 errors in 209 total attempts).
The Colonials can clinch a playoff berth with a win Friday and can jump ahead of Xavier in the conference standings. But GW needs a Temple loss in the next two weekends to have a shot at the No. 1 seed in the four-team Atlantic 10 Tournament at Dayton Nov. 18-19.