Kylie Deberg stepped to the endline.
In a back-and-forth first set, the highly favored, and No. 21, Missouri volleyball team was letting UMKC hang around with a 15-10 lead in the first set.
Deberg tossed up her serve and sent a rocket over the net that crashed into the floor for an ace.
Two points later Deberg gave the fans at Hearnes Center déjà vu with another ace that forced a Roos timeout. Deberg then had another ace after both teams returned to the court.
Deberg’s three aces in five points spearheaded a 13-3 run that finished off a 25-12 victory in the first set before Missouri (8-0) beat UMKC (2-5) three sets to none on Saturday.
“When you get one or two aces in a row you’re doing good things, and it boosts morale and it lowers morale on the other side,” coach Joshua Taylor said. “I thought it was beneficial for us to pull away when she got that little run going.”
After struggling with her serve last season, Deberg gave the team a boost with a team-high three aces. She also tallied a team-high 14 kills.
“My toss is a big thing that has improved,” Deberg said. “It’s inconsistent sometimes but I’m getting it really high so I can hit the ball harder.”
The Missouri offense dominated the first two sets with a hitting percentage of .732, which was on pace to break the school record, but the offense sputtered in the third set and Missouri finished with a mark of .526.
Redshirt sophomore setter Andrea Fuentes was the offense’s engine with a team-high 44 assists, she added a dig and two blocks as well. After her performance tonight, Fuentes is up to 288 assists on the season, averaging 11.52 per set.
“She’s making good choices and not to often are you seeing her set a ball that one of our attackers can’t kill,” Taylor said. “I’ve been really impressed with her setting. She also did some really good things on defense as well.”
Fuentes set up two-straight kills for junior outside hitter Leketor Member-Meneh to finish off a 25-19 win in the second set.
Missouri hit only .297 in the third set and had multiple errors, but Fuentes ran down a ball and made a cross-court set to junior middle blocker Tyanna Omazic, who finished off the match with a kill that gave Missouri a 25-23 win in the third set.
“I think there were a couple of times where we didn’t make UMKC earn its points,” Taylor said. “But a win is a win, so we’re pretty excited about getting another one of those.”
Next, Missouri finishes the Mizzou Invitational with a matchup against Boise State at noon on Sunday at Hearnes Center.