PHILADELPHIA – Despite double-doubles from senior Kourtney Clark and juniors Samantha Tulskie and Kelly Scanlon, the Explorers fell to city rival Temple, 3-1 (25-17, 24-26, 25-19, 25-20) on Thursday evening at Tom Gola Arena.
Clark posted 39 assists and 11 digs, Tulskie had 15 kills and a match-high 24 digs and Scanlon added 12 kills and 10 digs.
Down 2-1 and in a must-win fourth set, La Salle came out strong. The team put together a 5-2 lead on a kill by Scanlon, three straight winners from Tulskie and a Temple attack error.
The Owls worked back into the game, tying the score at 7-all. It was a tight back and forth contest until Temple used a 3-0 run to go up 20-16 and close it out from there.
Dropping the first set 25-17, La Salle worked to an early 11-5 lead to start the second set. The Explorers maintained at least a four point lead down the stretch.
The Explorers looked to have just about closed out the set, leading 23-17, but Temple earned four straight points to narrow the margin to 23-21. A kill by Scanlon gave the Blue and Gold set point, however it would take La Salle five more tries before it took the set 26-24.
In the third set, it was the Explorers who held off the Owls at set point. Trailing, 24-15, La Salle added four points on kills by Scanlon and Mitrovich and two Temple errors. However, Gabriella Matautia won the set for the Owls off a kill.
Freshman setter Rachel Melich saw her first collegiate action tonight.
This is the second loss to Temple that La Salle recorded this season after also falling to the Owls at the Big 5 Invitational in September.
The Explorers will have the weekend off before returning to action on the road at Duquesne and Saint Louis next week.