Temple Volleyball Falls in Four to Lehigh at Blackbird Invitational

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Gabriella Matautia

BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Despite double-doubles from Collin Wallace and Tiffany Connatser, along with a match-high 14 kills from Gabriella Matautia, the Temple volleyball team suffered a four-set loss to Lehigh (4-2) in its opening match of the Long Island Blackbird Invitational. 

The Owls (3-4) fell 25-15 and 25-19 in the first two sets, but rallied back to take the third, 25-22 before falling in the fourth set, 25-14. 

Lehigh was led by Amanda Clark with 13 kills, and the Mountain Hawks got 16 digs apiece from Angelika Kopacz and Rachel Charles.

Temple had a rough start to the match with just seven kills to Lehigh's 14 in the first set, but began to find a rhythm and nearly doubled their kill total in the second set. The Owls cut a six-point second-set deficit down to three at 21-18, but Lehigh finished out the set scoring four of the final five points.

Matautia knocked down five kills with zero errors in the third set which saw Temple out-hit Lehigh, .222 to .079. There were six early ties before the Owls pulled away, but the Mountain Hawks made a run near the end to cut the margin to one, 23-22. Connatser and Alex Schmitt came up with a big block for set point, and an error on Lehigh ended the set in favor of the Owls.

The momentum did not stay with Temple in the fourth set as the Owls found themselves down early and could not recover. Lehigh displayed its best hitting of the match with 13 kills and just three errors as a team.

Tournament play continues on Saturday as the Owls face Syracuse at 12:30 p.m. and host Long Island at 5:30 p.m.