WVU Earns Another Sweep as they Down Temple; NIVC Second Round

  0 Derek Johnson | November 29th, 2017 | Big 12, College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, News


WEST VIRGINIA DEF. TEMPLE 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-12)

  • West Virginia improves to 20-12; Temple falls to 20-10
  • Attendance: 349
  • Box Score

West Virginia advanced to the NIVC Quarterfinals by sweeping Temple as they have won all six of their sets in the tournament thus far. Their hot streak dates back to the regular season finale too when they took down a ranked Kansas squad on senior day.

Two things were prevalent for the Mountaineers in the victory, as the offense and serve game was clicking all match. In total, they hit .321 for the day to go with seven serve aces (opposed to just four serve errors).

Setter Emma Anderson (34 assists, six digs) facilitated the offense by finding plenty of openings for Payton Caffrey (12 kills, .267, eight digs) and Morgan Montgomery (12 kills, .370), while Caffrey (one ace) and Lindsay Proctor (five digs, two aces) came up big in the aggressive serving department.

Temple countered with three top options of their own in Katerina Papazoglou (nine kills, .316), Dana Westfield (nine kills, .381) and Janine Simmons (eight kills, .357). However, no one else could establish themselves, limiting their offensive output to a .202 mark.

Both sides were working in the first set, as 13 ties and three lead changes occurred. After Temple caused the final tie at 23-23, West Virginia netted the final two in the set. From there, only four ties and one lead change happened in the final two sets as the Owls could never recover.

As the first member of the NIVC Quarterfinals, West Virginia is now one win away against either Colgate, Towson, Syracuse or Albany from making the NIVC Final Four. That match will take place between December 3-5 as West Virginia looks to continue playing in their first postseason tournament in 26 years.

Press Releases

Courtesy of West Virginia:

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Notching its second sweep in two days, the West Virginia University volleyball team downed Temple, 3-0, in the second round of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) on Wednesday evening at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown. WVU (20-12, 6-10) earned its fourth consecutive win, taking the victory in set scores of 25-23, 25-18 and 25-12.

The Mountaineers will host the third round of the NIVC Tournament on Monday, Dec. 4, at 6 p.m. inside the WVU Coliseum. West Virginia’s opponent has yet to be determined, as the Mountaineers will square off against Albany, Syracuse, Colgate or Towson.

WVU has now won 20 matches in a season for the first time since a 20-13 campaign in 2013. West Virginia is just one victory shy of reaching 21 wins for the first time since 1991, a season in which the Mountaineers made the NIVC Tournament for the first time in program history. With 20 wins this year, third-year coach Reed Sunahara has earned his highest win total with the Mountaineers.

“I thought that was a very good win for us against a very good team,” Sunahara said. “Temple’s well coached. Bakeer’s [Ganesharathnam] a great coach, but I thought we played well. After the first set, I thought we got a lot better. I thought we were lucky to win the first, but we played well enough to win, and I’m proud of our girls.”

Sophomore outside hitter Payton Caffrey and senior outside hitter Morgan Montgomery led the Mountaineers with 12 kills each, as Montgomery hit a team-high .370 in the match. Sophomore right side hitter Natania Levak added nine, while senior middle blocker Mia Swanegan had five kills in the win.

Senior libero Gianna Gotterba led the floor defensively with 13 digs. Caffrey and freshman defensive specialist Alexa Hasting added eight digs apiece, while senior setter Emma Anderson dished out 34 assists.

The Mountaineers finished the match hitting .321 with 45 kills on 109 swings to go along with seven service aces and seven team blocks. Katerina Papazoglou led the Owls with nine kills, as Temple hit .202 with 37 kills and six team blocks.

Temple came out strong in the first set, using a pair of early scoring runs to take a 7-4 lead over West Virginia. The squads continued to exchange points down the stretch, as Caffrey found the middle of the floor to tie the set at 15-15. An attacking error from Temple gave West Virginia the one-point edge, but the set was later tied once again at 20-20 following a kill from Temple’s Dana Westfield. Freshman middle blocker Briana Lynchthrew down a kill, followed by Caffrey, as the Mountaineers then took the 23-21 advantage. Temple did not back down, though, as Papazoglou notched back-to-back kills to tie the set for the 12th time at 23-23. West Virginia took a timeout and scored two straight points out of the stoppage for the 25-23 win and the 1-0 match lead.

West Virginia had 13 kills, hitting .333 for a 25-18 win in set two behind five kills from Montgomery. The Owls capitalized on several Mountaineer miscues for a 5-2 lead. However, Montgomery put down a pair of kills, followed by Levak, as the Mountaineers scored three straight points to take a 11-9 advantage. Sophomore defensive specialist Gabrielle Cuckovich added a service ace, while Caffrey put one through the pins to push West Virginia ahead, 17-13. Temple later cut its deficit to two with back-to-back kills, down 20-18, forcing WVU to take its first timeout of the stanza. Out of the stoppage, the Mountaineers racked up three straight points before a Gotterba ace put WVU at set point. Levak then ended the frame with a kill for the 25-18 win and a 2-0 match lead.

With just three errors in the third set, WVU hit .371 with 16 kills for a 25-12 victory. The Mountaineers started off with a 10-4 lead, but the Owls used a trio of kills to cut their deficit to three at 10-7. West Virginia then used a pair of 3-0 scoring runs for a 21-11 advantage before Temple took its second and final timeout of the stanza. Papazoglou notched her ninth kill of the match following the timeout, but West Virginia ended the Owls’ hopes, registering four consecutive kills to seal the 25-12 win.

With tonight’s victory, West Virginia topped Temple for the first time since 1991, knotting the all-time series at 16-16.

Of note, the semifinals will take place from Dec. 4-6. The Championship match is slated for Dec. 12, hosted at one of the two remaining schools, with a live broadcast available through WatchESPN and the ESPN app.

Courtesy of Temple:

MORGANTOWN, W.V. — The Temple volleyball team closed out the 2017 season with a loss at West Virginia in the second round of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship. Temple fell 25-23, 25-18, and 25-12, to end the season with a 20-10 mark. WVU improves to 20-12 and moves on to the third round.

> The first set featured 13 ties and four lead changes, but in the end West Virginia grabbed set one, and with it, the momentum.
> The Mountaineers hit .321 for the match, holding the Owls to a .202 attack.
> Team blocks (WVU 7-6) and digs (WVU 45-44) were close, but Temple’s unforced errors were the difference in the match.

QUOTABLE: Head Coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam
> “I thought we performed really well in the first set, our transition work was good, especially in the front row. We controlled the first touch on serve-receive and on defense which helped us.”
> “In the second set, I thought we made too many unforced errors, which allowed West Virginia to separate themselves from us, and we just couldn’t recover.”
> “The third set, I thought our willingness to compete was there, I’m not sure if we just got too tight, or wanted it too much, or if it was our inexperience with postseason, play but whatever it was, we couldn’t control the match like we did before. We allowed them to go on too many runs and basically put it away.”
> “I have to give West Virginia a lot of credit. They played really well, especially in the second and definitely the third set.”

> Freshmen Dana Westfield and Katerina Papazoglou both tallied nine kills to lead the Owls.
> Senior Janine Simmons had eight kills, hitting .357.
> Senior Izzy Rapacz tallied six kills with nine digs and two blocks.
> Junior Iva Deak finished with five kills and a match-high five blocks.
> Senior Kyra Coundourides tallied 31 assists with seven digs and two blocks.
> Junior Mia Heirakuji led the Owls with 12 digs, while freshman Averi Salvador added eight.

SET ONE: West Virginia 25, Temple 23
> Both teams scored three unanswered points on tough serving to start the match.
> The Owls surged ahead 7-4, but WVU responded to tie it at 7-7.
> West Virginia took over the lead 14-11, before Temple answered with four in a row to go up 15-14.
> From there, the teams traded sideouts with seven more ties, until WVU took a 22-20 advantage.
> Temple went on a 3-1 run to tie it up at 23-23, but West Virginia scored back-to-back to take set one.

SET TWO: West Virginia 25, Temple 18
> The Owls opened set two with a 5-2 advantage, but WVU quickly tied things up at 6-6.
> The Mountaineers took their first lead of the frame, 10-9, and later pushed it to 17-13.
> Temple cut the lead down to 20-18, but WVU scored five straight to win it, 25-18.

SET THREE: West Virginia 25, Temple 12
> West Virginia continued their run into the third set, going up 5-0 and pushing it to 8-2 later in the frame.
> The Owls cut the lead to 10-7 on two Westfield winners and a Simmons kill, but the Mountaineers answered with a 3-1 surge to go up 13-8.
> West Virginia then rattled off an 11-4 run to finish out the sweep.

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