Temple Wins Big Five Volleyball Tournament

PHILADELPHIA, PA. 9/1/2012 – The sports community in the city of Philadelphia has enjoyed a close relationship with one another. This has been especially true within the Division I colleges in our town. It started in basketball, and now has grown to other sports such as women’s basketball, baseball, lacrosse, and soccer. The volleyball community has come together. The Philadelphia Big Five Volleyball Tournament took place at the Palestra on Friday and Saturday. The four volleyball playing schools played a round robin format. The host school coach Kerry Carr of Penn explained how important this tournament is to Penn, Temple, Villanova, and LaSalle.

“I think it’s huge because in all of the other sports there is a Big Five,” said Carr. “It has been fed off the hoops. We are a family here. Why not play it (the tournament) in one place and have a city championship. Saint Joseph’s doesn’t have volleyball, but most tournaments are a four team format, so it worked out perfectly.”

Photo Courtesy of Temple University

The Temple Owls won the tournament by tie-breakers. Temple, Penn, and Villanova had 2 – 1 records. LaSalle went 0 – 3. Temple won 8 sets and got the title. Penn took 7 and Villanova won 6 sets.

“This is incredible,” said Temple coach Bakeer Ganes. “This is really great for the girls because they worked so hard this weekend. Nothing was given to us and we really had to work for every point. I’m so glad it paid off and they were rewarded, not just with the wins but to say we won the Big Five is really great.”

The games were played at the historic Palestra. The games demonstrated the spirit and camaraderie of the schools involved, and also showed the parity that exists in Philadelphia Volleyball.

“We talk about parity in the Ivy League all of the time,” Carr said. “In Philadelphia Temple was down but came back under new coach Bakeer Ganes. The Temple team had a great run and won the championship. Villanova and Penn always battle. For us to be on the same level despite some schools have scholarships and others do not says a lot for Philadelphia.”

Chelsea Tupuola of Temple was named the Tournament MVP. She was joined by teammate Tiffany Connatser on the All-Tournament team. Penn placed Ronnie Bither and Emma White on the team. Mariah Henley of Villanova made the team along with Breanna Mazalewski of LaSalle.


Villanova 3 LaSalle 0

Set 1 Villanova 25 LaSalle 22 – Villanova closed out the first set with an 8 – 5 run breaking a 17 – 17 tie.

Set 2 Villanova 25 LaSalle 19 – Villanova used a 9 – 1 run to take a 14 – 6 lead. LaSalle fought back to cut the lead to 18 – 14, but Villanova got the 4 points to move in front 22 – 14.

Set 3 Villanova 25 LaSalle 12 – Villanova led throughout the game. The lead was 16 – 9 when the Wildcats used a 9 – 3 run to the end and earn a win 25 – 12.

Krista Anderson had 11 kills while Allie DiBernardo handed out 21 assists and Emma Pettit registered 14 assists. Mariah Henley was credited with 23 digs for Villanova. Rachel Melich led LaSalle with 17 assists while Kelly Perillo and Kelly Scanlon scored 8 kills each.

Temple 3 Penn 1

Set 1 Penn 25 Temple 20 – With the score tied at 8 Penn went on an 11 – 4 run to take a 19 – 12 advantage. Temple got the lead down to 19 – 15, but would get no closer.

Set 2 Temple 25 Penn 23 – The game was close throughout. The score was tied at 18 when Temple scored the next 2 points. From that point on Temple led, but the lead alternated between 2 and 1 for the remainder of the contest.

Set 3 Temple 25 Penn 23 – Temple held a lead, but Penn would get to within 17 – 26. Temple responded scoring 5 of the next 6 points to lead 22 – 17. Penn fought back cutting the gap to 24 – 13, but Temple got the last point to win 25 – 23.

Set 4 Temple 25 Penn 21 – Another tight contest that Temple was in front by 20 – 14. Penn got back to within 1 at 22 – 21, but Temple closed out the game scoring the next 3 points to get the win and the match.

Chelsea Tupuola led Temple with 8 digs. Gabriella Matautia and Elyse Burkert each had 3 kills while Tiffany Connatser registered 8 assists. Penn Kristen Etterbeek had 6 kills and 6 digs for Penn, while Ronnie Bither handed out 15 assists.

Penn 3 LaSalle 1

Set 1 – Penn 25 LaSalle 13 – Penn got out to an early 7 – 2 lead and extended the advantage to 20 – 11, their largest lead. Penn ended the contest scoring 5 of the last 7 points.

Set 2 LaSalle 25 Penn 7 – Penn scored the first 2 points of the game. LaSalle scored 11 of the next 15 to lead 11 – 6. The Explorers ended the contest scoring the next 13 points ending the contest with a 14 – 1 run.

Set 3 Penn 25 LaSalle 22 – Penn broke a tie at 9 and never trailed again. LaSalle got the game even again at 22, but Penn tallied the final 3 points to get a 2 – 1 lead in sets.

Set 4 Penn 25 La Salle 19 – Penn broke a tie at 10 getting 10 of the next 15 points to move in front 20 – 15. LaSalle would get no closer than 3 as Penn closed out the game and the match.

Ronnie Bither had 35 assists in the four games along with 11 digs. Jasmine DeSilva was credited with 12 kills, Kristen Etterbeek had 9. Emma White had 14 digs and Dani Shepherd 11. LaSalle’s Samantha Tulskie had 14 kills and 17 digs. Jennifer Whelan registered 10 kills while Breanna Mazalewski had 15.

Villanova 3 Temple 2

Set 1 Temple 25 Villanova 23 – The game was tied at 17 when Temple scored 4 of the next 5 en route to a 21 – 18 lead they never relinquished. Villanova did close to within 1 three different times, but never overtook the Owls who won set number one.

Set 2 Villanova 25 Temple 21 – The score was tied at 15 when Villanova scored the next 2 points. From there the lead alternated between 1 and 2 until the game stood at 21 – 19 Villanova in front. The Wildcats got the next point to move ahead by 3. Temple would get no closer than 2 before Villanova evened the sets at one apiece.

Set 3 Villanova 25 Temple 19 – Villanova led throughout with their largest advantage at 18 – 11. Temple did not go quietly getting to within 2 at 20 – 18, but Villanova ended the set on a 5 – 1 run. The Wildcats led 2 sets to 1.

Set 4 Temple 26 Villanova 24 – The closest game of the match saw the score even at 21. Temple got the next 3 points to move in front 24 – 21, but Villanova tied the game at 24. Temple got the next 2 to win and send the match to a deciding 5th set.

Set 5 Villanova 15 Temple 6 – Villanova broke a 5 – 5 tie by scoring the next 5 points taking a commanding 10 – 5 lead. The Wildcats ended the game with a 5 – 1 run to win the match 3 sets to 2.

Across the five games Villanova’s Emma Pettit had 48 assists and 22 digs. Lauren Carpenter had 11 kills and 15 digs. Krista Anderson had 20 kills and Mariah Henley came up with 23 digs. For Temple Elyse Burkert recorded 21 kills and 14 digs. Gabriella Matautia got 20 digs and 14 kills. Jingyu Zhang was credited with 25 digs, one ahead of Chelsea Tupuola.

Temple 3 LaSalle 0

Set 1 Temple 25 LaSalle 22 – It was a close game that featured 9 ties and 3 lead changes. The last tie was at 20 when Temple 5 of the next 7 points to take the set, scoring the last 3 in succession.

Set 2 Temple 25 LaSalle 20 – Temple trailed 18 – 17 before scoring 6 straight points taking a 23 – 18 lead. The Owls and Explorers alternated points, but Temple got to 25 first to earn the first two sets.

Set 3 Temple 25 LaSalle 12 – Temple scored 7 straight points to break a tie at 5. The commanding lead propelled Temple to a 25 – 12 win and a three set victory.

Temple’s Tiffany Connatser had 36 assists and 13 digs to lead the Owls. Elyse Burkert had 12 kills and digs while Chelsea Tupuola got to 11 digs. Samantha Tulskie had a team-high 15 digs for LaSalle. Michelle Healy had 14 assists and Rachel Melich 13.

Penn 3 Villanova 0

Set 1 Penn 25 Villanova 14 – Penn took command breaking a tie at 9 by going on a 10- 3 run and a 19 – 12 lead. The Red and Blue ended the game with a 6 – 2 run ending the first set.

Set 2 Penn 25 Villanova 22 – Penn used a 12 – 5 run with the score tied at 10 taking a 22 – 15 lead. Villanova answered with a 7 – 1 run to pull to within 1 at 23 – 22. Penn scored the next 2 to hang on and get the 25 – 22 win.

Set 3 Penn 25 Villanova 23 – Villanova could still win the tournament, but would have to win the remaining three sets to do that. Penn was behind Temple as the Owls won the head to head matchup. Villanova played with urgency, but Penn had the lead. The Red and Blue broke a tie at 17 to lead 20 -17. Villanova climbed to within 1,

but Penn got the key points to stay in front and get the win and 3 set victory.

Ronnie Bither recorded 34 assists and 16 digs in the match. Emma White had 10 kills and 18 digs for the Red and Blue while Lauren Martin had a team-high 11 kills. Villanova got 21 assists from Allie DiBernardo along with 14 digs. Michelle Adams had 15 digs and Mariah Henley recorded 14 digs.

Written By: Glenn Papazian

Contact at Glenn@phillycollegesports.com

Twitter: @Phillycolsports




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