Abbie Booth had a hot serving hand Wednesday in Missouri’s 30-20, 30-24, 30-16 win against Iowa State in both team’s Big 12 Conference season openers at the Hearnes Center.
“I don’t really know what was going on,” Booth, a junior defensive specialist, said. “I was concerned because I had errors toward the beginning. I had two service errors in a row. I was just focusing on my toss. I wasn’t really thinking about serving it tough, more focusing on how to serve.”
Booth’s six aces were part of a season-high 11 aces for the Tigers (7-0, 1-0 Big 12).
“I just wanted to get the ball in,” Booth said.
Booth said that her aces were the most she has ever had playing volleyball. Her previous collegiate career-high was three.
In the second game of the match, Booth had three of her aces during a 6-0 run that gave the MU a 16-11 lead. She said getting an ace doesn’t change her mind-set.
“I don’t really think about it,” Booth said. “I’m like ‘OK, next point.’”
Coach Wayne Kreklow complimented Booth after the game for recovering after her early errors.
“Abbie really came through in Game 2 and 3,” Kreklow said. “I thought she really settled down and started to serve well. That’s been the story for us so far. We have been a pretty good serving and passing club, and I think when we really started to get in to a rhythm and pull away, it was because we were serving tougher and passing better.”
Booth said she mostly serves the same way.
“Usually I try to serve away from the libero, where ever she is,” she said. “Other than that I don’t really try to place it,”
Senior outside hitter Shen Danru had two of the team’s other aces. She is four aces away from becoming the all-time ace leader at MU.
Shen and junior middle blocker Nicole Wilson, who each had 12 kills, led the team offensively. Sophomore libero Tatum Ailes led the team defensively with 12 digs.
“We noticed they were cheating and gambling to the outside a little so we knew that the middle would be open,” Wilson said. “We tied them (the Iowa State middle blockers) down a couple of times with the middle and they were use to us not getting sets so they were going out.”
Lindsey Hunter, a senior setter, also saw the Cyclone middle blockers leaving for the outside.