AU Volleyball loses to Temple
American Volleyball Classic tournament run finishes at 1-2 for the Eagles
AU volleyball lost its final match against Temple, concluding the team’s up and down weekend at the American Volleyball Classic on Saturday.
The Eagles opened the weekend with a 3-2 win over Winthrop (3-3) followed by a 3-2 loss to Ohio (3-4). The third and final match for the Eagles was against the Temple Owls (6-0). The first set felt relatively decisive early on, but senior outside hitter Aleksandra Sochacka slowed down the opposition with a critical kill to stop a 5-0 run. The Owls, however, got hot near the last 6 points and won the set 25-19, and AU lost the final point on an error.
Barry Goldberg, who is now in his 31st year as head coach, had lots to say on the team’s .500 start, and he stayed positive on the team’s ability to progress together:
“I hope it doesn’t get too bad into our head when we take a beating and that’s part of the risk of playing these kinds of teams,” he said. “This is just this growing period for us where we have five, six new players and how they all work together and how they’re all getting to know each other. That’s why these first four weeks are so important.”
The second set was back and forth, with Temple winning 25-23 despite some late drama. Goldberg successfully used his third and final challenge of the match to keep the score at a tie of 23-23, but AU lost the final point on another error. Temple sent the crowd home early with a 25-20 third set to win 3-0.
Sochacka was the only Eagle on the all-tournament team, and she proved to be efficient in her attacks with a .316 hitting percentage. She said she believes the team knows there is real improvement that can be made.
“We definitely need to work on block and defense coordination cause we had some good touches but didn’t execute well enough until the end,” Sochacka said, “so I feel like if we figure that out, we’ll save way more.”
Junior setter Olivia Wassner was impressive in her first weekend as setter for the team, and she finished strong in her final match, scoring a double-double, along with 25 assists of the team’s total 32. Wassner said she was proud of the team’s offensive work but believes that Sochacka’s comments are correct.
“We found what we have to work on,” Wassner said.
Volleyball travels to face Norfolk State on Sep. 11 and then to North Carolina for the Duke Invitational Tournament on Sep. 13 and 14.