Tigers top Miami in season-opener

Missouri’s Kylie Deberg reeled in a double-double in a win against the Miami Hurricanes.

Missouri opened its 2019 season with a win on Friday night over Miami University. Originally scheduled to take place in Puerto Rico, the game was moved to Florida due to Hurricane Dorian. This stands as interim head coach Joshua Taylor’s first career win at the helm of Missouri.

Missouri hit only .036 collectively in the first set before coming out stronger in sets two through four. The Tigers produced 14 kills on .429 hitting in set two. They improved in set three with 16 kills on .324 hitting and finished off with13 kills on .348 hitting in set four. Though it dropped the first set 13-25, Missouri responded with three straight wins (25-20, 25-18, 25-17) for a 3-1 victory.

“I was very pleased with how we rebounded after the opening set,” Taylor said in a press release. “I think we showed a lot of depth too this evening, as a lot of individuals stepped up in key situations.”

The Tigers’ serving was consistent against the Hurricanes, with juniors Leketor Member-Meneh, Dariana Hollingsworth-Santana, sophomores Kylie Deberg and Tyanna Omazic combined for nine total aces.

“Both our offense and defense really buckled down in sets two through four. [Omazic] showed a lot of resiliency tonight after being sick much of the day.”

Omazic and sophomore Kayla Caffey were standout performers for the Tigers. The middle blocking duo combined to produce 19 kills on .548 hitting. Separately, Caffey produced one solo block and three blocks in total. Omazic pulled in two aces and two total blocks.

2019 Preseason All-SEC honoree Deberg opened her season with a double-double reeling in 14 kills and ten digs. Along with that she produced two aces and two total blocks.

Missouri improved to 3-1 all-time against Miami following Friday’s victory. The Tigers claim three consecutive wins overall against the Hurricanes. Missouri has now won 12 consecutive season openers.

Missouri’s next matchup will take place next weekend in Dayton, Ohio, for the Dayton Invitational. This non-conference tournament has the Tigers competing in three matches over a two-day stretch, beginning with a doubleheader Friday, Sept. 6 against No. 15 Michigan. This matchup is followed by the Dayton Flyers. On Saturday afternoon, Missouri wraps up the weekend with a matchup against Northern Illinois.

Edited by Emily Leiker | eleiker@themaneater.com

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