Grace’s Maiden NAIA Trip Ended by Westmont

December 1st, 2015

Pictured is Kristen Bellinger in the midfield against Westmont; photo credit to Jeff Nycz of Mid-South Images

Grace’s first appearance at the NAIA National Championships ended on Monday, falling to No. 8 Westmont 2-0.

The five-time NAIA champions netted twice in 40 seconds to take down the Lady Lancers in the “Sweet Sixteen” of the tournament.

Westmont started stronger offensively in the first half. The Warriors (16-3-2) had a shot and two corner kicks over the first seven minutes of play, and the Lady Lancers (15-3-3) were unable to wrestle control back from Westmont.

The Warriors struck first when Jackie Lopez finished off a cross in the 21st minute. Grace found itself in a 2-0 hole when Kelsey Steck capitalized on a defensive miscue to score less than a minute later.

Grace had a handful of chances in the first half, including a breakaway from Meredith Hollar and a fastbreak from Mallory Rondeau. But Westmont denied Grace from taking a shot over the first 30 minutes of the half.

Abby Schue made four saves in the opening half, including a leaping one-hander in the 37th minute to prevent Westmont’s third goal.

Kristen Bellinger came off the bench to give Grace a spark in the midfield, and the Lady Lancers began to find their composure midway into the half. Although Grace ended the half with better play, the squad was unable to pierce Westmont’s net before halftime.

Grace was outshot 9-2 in the first 45 minutes with Hollar and Jordan Hairgrove the only Lady Lancers to take an attempt.

The second half started much better for Grace, outshooting Westmont 3-0 over the first 15 minutes. Two minutes into the second half, Hollar fired off Grace’s best attempt. The junior unleashed a 24-yard blast that sailed above the crossbar.

Grace continued to find space to shoot in the second half, but the Lady Lancers struggled to direct their shots on target. Although Grace tallied six shots after halftime — compared to four for Westmont — none of Grace’s attempts were on goal.

The match ended without Grace mounting another serious challenge at Westmont’s goal. Westmont had a 13-8 advantage in shots for the match and 8-0 advantage in corner kicks.

The loss ends the sterling careers of seniors Rondeau, Hairgrove, Erica Manchess, Faith Voehringer, Heather Martin, Darcy Johnston, Jerusalem Groves and Meghan Wiles. The class graduates with a four-year mark of 62-20-11, earning the most wins in a four-year period in program history.

The Lady Lancers earned their highest NAIA ranking, No. 8, and first trip to NAIA Nationals in program history during the 2015 campaign. Grace also won its first NAIA Tournament match, defeating Park 2-1 in the opening round.

Night Market at Grace College & Seminary to Take Place Dec. 4

November 30th, 2015

Night Market 2014

Grace College and Seminary students welcome the public to join them at “Night Market” on Friday, Dec. 4 from 2 p.m. – 9 p.m. at Winona Heritage Room, (formerly Rodeheaver Auditorium) 901 Park Ave, Winona Lake.  Night Market is an alternative Christmas shopping experience in a market environment.  A variety of craft vendors, local businesses and non-profit organizations will offer products for sale to benefit humanitarian causes.  Items for purchase will include home décor, jewelry, clothing, toys, and much more.

Kearstin Criswell, coordinator of student involvement for Grace College and Seminary, believes Night Market is an answer to many people’s desire to celebrate Christmas differently. “I think people want more opportunities to give intentional, thoughtful gifts.  Purchasing cause-based items at Night Market allows them to do just that.”

Several area businesses will participate, including Mudlove, Hither and Yon, Creative Women of the World and Destiny Rescue.  In addition, Grace College student vendors will be on hand and will donate their proceeds to Water for Good, a non-profit organization that works in long-term partnership with communities in central Africa to empower people with access to clean water.

At 7 p.m., live music will begin.  Food vendors, including Driveline Coffee and Rise’n Roll Bakery, will offer refreshments.  For more information, please contact Kearstin Criswell, 574-372-5100, ext. 6470 or

Fourth Quarter Unravels for Lady Lancers

November 30th, 2015

Taylor’s women’s basketball team pulled away from Grace in the fourth quarter on Tuesday.

The Lady Lancers were held to eight points in the final quarter and lost 66-54 in the Crossroads League opener.

Grace ended the third quarter with a 3-pointer from Maycee Davis and trailed 50-46 entering the last 10 minutes.

But the Lady Lancers (4-5, 0-1 CL) went dry on offense and did not score for over three minutes to start the fourth quarter. The Trojans (5-3, 1-0 CL) never looked back and coasted to an 11-point win.

Grace shot 37 percent from the floor as a team, including 12-of-36 (33 percent) after halftime. Taylor, on the other hand, hit 61 percent from the floor in the second half.

Kelsie Peterson led Grace’ offense with nine points and seven rebounds, and Darian Patton had nine points and three rebounds.

Gabby Miller finished with eight points, Davis had six points and two steals, and Jesse Feitz pulled down six boards.

The Lady Lancers will take the rest of the week off before hosting St. Francis on Dec. 2 for a men’s/women’s doubleheader at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.

Lancers’ Defense Shuts Down Trojans

November 30th, 2015

Pictured is Caleb Featherston driving against Taylor on Tuesday.

Grace used a stifling defensive performance to cruise by Taylor 70-47 on Tuesday in the Crossroads League opener.

The Lancers (8-1, 1-0 CL) held Taylor to less than 25 points scored in each half.

Defense dominated the first half of action. Grace went into halftime with a 32-24 lead despite shooting just 39 percent from the floor.

The Trojans (3-4, 0-1 CL) were held to 37 percent on their field goals, committing eight turnovers before halftime.

Grace’s defense limited Taylor to six points through the first 8:04, jumping out to a 16-6 lead. The Lancers led with their muscle, scoring 18 of their 32 points in the paint.

Taylor opened the second half by scoring seven unanswered points, whittling Grace’s lead down to one at 32-31. But Brandon Vanderhegghen and Erik Bowen took over for Grace, combining to outscore the Trojans 14-2 by themselves over the next four minutes. Both players converted an and-1 during that spurt as Grace asserted a double-digit lead it would not surrender.

Grace, who average eight made 3-pointers per contest, did not hit its first triple until the final four minutes. Brandon Vanderhegghen hit back-to-back 3’s down the stretch for Grace’s only treys of the evening. Neither team shot the long ball well as Taylor was 3-for-22 (14 percent) and Grace was 2-for-12 (17 percent).

For the game, Taylor shot 31 percent compared to 45 percent for Grace. The Lancers outrebounded the Trojans 43-26 and doubled up Taylor in paint scoring 36-18. Grace’s offensive aggression was rewarded with 33 foul shots while Taylor managed just eight free throws.

Vanderhegghen finished with a game-high 23 points, adding 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. He shot 8-of-12 from the floor and 2-of-4 from the 3-point line.

Bowen had 13 points and five rebounds, and Caleb Featherston added nine points and six boards. Logan Irwin tallied nine points and three assists, and Tre Olive scored five points off the bench.

The Lancers will take the rest of the week off before squaring off with St. Francis on Dec. 2 in a men’s/women’s doubleheader at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.

Winona History Center Receives Community Foundation Technology Grant

November 30th, 2015

Grace College and Seminary’s Winona History Center has received a $2,500 grant from the Kosciusko County Community Foundation for implementing media and technology in its museum space in Westminster Hall. The money is being used to produce a short documentary, which will introduce museum patrons to the phases of Winona Lake’s history.

According to the center’s director, Dr. Jared Burkholder, the documentary is part of a long-range goal to showcase more visually creative and interactive elements in the museum galleries.  “We are extremely thankful for this Community Foundation grant, which will allow us take some initial steps toward meeting these goals,” Burkholder said.

Beginning Dec. 1, History Center visitors may view the documentary Tuesday through Saturday from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. at the Winona History Center, located in Westminster Hall, 105 9th Street, Winona Lake. The History Center also hosts tours of the Billy Sunday Historic Home during those times.  For more information, please call 574-372-5193.

Attached photo pictures Westminster Hall on the campus of Grace College & Seminary.

Men’s Soccer Earns Two Spots on CoSIDA Academic All-America®

November 24th, 2015

Robbie Barnhill

Kyle Hamlin

Grace’s men’s soccer team picked up two prestigious honors when Kyle Hamlin and Robbie Barnhill were named 2015 CoSIDA First Team Academic All-America®.

Grace was the only school with two representatives on the 11-player First Team.

Hamlin has a 3.92 GPA as a senior, majoring in Math Education. Barnhill boasts a perfect 4.00 GPA as a junior Health Science major.

CoSIDA awards student-athletes who have maintained a GPA of at least 3.3. Members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) then vote on eligible student-athletes through the district and national levels based on a combination of academic and athletic accomplishments.

The Lancers, under head coach Matt Hotchkin, earned a berth into the 2015 NCCAA National Championships on Saturday. With a record of 14-6-2, Grace has earned its highest win total as a program since 1983.

Women’s Soccer Gets Four on Prestigious CoSIDA Academic All-America®

November 24th, 2015

Carianne Sobey

Abby Schue

Erica Manchess

Mallory Rondeau












The distinguished CoSIDA Academic All-America® Team awarded Grace’s women’s soccer team with four honorees.

Abby Schue and Carianne Sobey were named to the 11-player First Team, and Erica Manchess and Mallory Rondeau were named Second Team.

The Lady Lancers were the only team with representatives on both the First and Second Teams. Grace also had twice as many representatives as any other school on the prestigious teams (Keiser, 2 honorees). Grace was also the only Crossroads League team to earn a place on the All-America® teams.

Schue was the only underclassman on the First Team. She has a 3.97 GPA as an Exercise Science/General Science major. Sobey, the program’s career leader in assists, has a 3.96 GPA as a Business and Facility/Event Management major.

On the Second Team, Manchess (3.98 GPA) and Rondeau (3.95 GPA) are both Health Science majors.

The Lady Lancers are in the midst of their first NAIA National Championship appearance in program history. Grace won the NAIA Opening Round on Saturday against Park, advancing to next week’s Second Round game against Westmont (Calif.) in Orange Beach, Ala.

“Supermarket Sweep: Give ‘til You Drop” 2015 Most Successful Ever

November 23rd, 2015

Grace College students with President Katip at Supermarket Sweep 2015. Pictured left to right are Tyler Rothhaar, Evan Kilgore, Dr. Bill Katip, Elizabeth Manko, Tyler Tillett, and Jonah Stouffer.

Grace College and Seminary and Mission Point Community Church sponsored Supermarket Sweep: Give ‘Til You Drop at Owen’s Supermarket on Nov. 18.  Throughout the day, Grace students, members of Mission Point and community members bought non-perishable food and baby items for area non-profit organizations including Combined Community Services, Our Father’s House, The Salvation Army and Heartline Pregnancy Center.

This fifth-annual event was the most successful ever, generating $26,124 in food and products for those in need.  According to Kearstin Criswell, coordinator of student involvement for Grace College and Seminary, “We are delighted with the great community response and student involvement in Supermarket Sweep this year.  At the end of the day, about half of the donations came from Grace students and half from the community – a true team effort to help those who need assistance in our area.”   Nearly 450 Grace students participated in this year’s event, one of several outreach events organized by SERVE, Grace College and Seminary’s student-led community service ministry, each year.

Sponsors of this year’s Supermarket Sweep: Give ‘Til You Drop included Grace College and Seminary, Mission Point Community Church, DePuy Synthes, Nextremity Solutions and Wildman Business Group.


Lancers Beat Roberts Wesleyan in Regional Championship

November 23rd, 2015

Pictured is Nakilee Weni on Saturday.

Grace’s men’s soccer team earned an automatic bid into the NCCAA National Championships on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Roberts Wesleyan.

Goals from Nakilee Weni and Damon Binkley propelled the Lancers to the championship of the NCCAA Midwest Region Tournament at Miller Athletic Complex.

The match was snow-filled from start to finish and included three second-half red cards — all on the visiting RedHawks (10-7-2).

“The team faced the challenge of the weather with a positive mindset and just decided to win tonight,” said Grace head coach Matt Hotchkin. “We didn’t think the game would be pretty, and we had to take what we could get. The guys weren’t able to fully play our style, but they adapted and got the job done.”

The first half was tame compared to what was in store. The opening 45 minutes included 10 shots — 6-4 in favor of Roberts Wesleyan. But neither side could score on the slick, snowy surface.

Jon Christensen cleared a ball off the goal line defensively for Grace, but chances were few and far between as the half ended scoreless.

The match dramatically picked up intensity in the second half. Six cards were issued over the first 15 minutes after halftime, including five on the RedHawks and one on the Lancers (14-6-2).

The match reached a climax in the 75th minute. Colin Cape unleashed a vicious shot from outside the penalty box. His shot was saved by a diving effort and deflected onto the crossbar. The rebound fell to Nakilee Weni, who converted the close-range effort for the game’s first goal. In the aftermath from Weni’s goal, two RedHawks were dismissed from the game with straight red cards.

Roberts Wesleyan managed to put together an offensive attack over the final 15 minutes, despite playing 11v9. Robbie Barnhill had four saves in the second half, including several key stops as Grace clung to its 1-0 lead.

The match was secured in the final minute. A loose ball at the top of the box fell to Damon Binkley, and the freshman knocked in the decisive second goal for the Lancers.

“The guys have a story that they can tell the rest of their lives. One more memory made and more to come in Florida,” Hotchkin said. “I’m so thankful for the grounds crew guys that literally gave their whole day to us. Thanks to all who came out and supported the guys tonight!”

Overall for the match, 10 cards were handed out — nine on Roberts Wesleyan and one for Grace. The RedHawks were given a third red card at the end of the contest.

The Lancers are making their third trip in five years to NCCAA Nationals. Grace will await its seeding and opponent for the tournament, revealed on Sunday.

Grace earned its 14th win of the season against Roberts Wesleyan. Grace’s 14 wins is tied for third-most in program history and is the highest win total since 1983.

Grace Wins NAIA Opening Round in Snowstorm

November 23rd, 2015

The first NAIA tournament game in Grace’s history just happened to be one of the most memorable matches in program history.

The Lady Lancers advanced to the “Sweet Sixteen” with a 2-1 victory over Park (Mo.) on Saturday in a snowstorm during the NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship Opening Round.

Grace used goals from Mallory Rondeau and Meredith Hollar to defeat the Pirates (14-6) at Miller Athletic Complex. The Lady Lancers advance to play No. 8 seed Westmont (Calif.) on Nov. 30 in Orange Beach, Ala.

The match was played on several inches of snow, shoveled clean on the boundary marks. The blizzard-like conditions never slowed, resulting in slick conditions throughout the match.

Mallory Rondeau broke onto the scoreboard first for Grace. Darcy Johnston sent in a long pass behind Park’s backline, and Mallory Rondeau outran the defenders. Rondeau then converted her 1v1 opportunity for Grace’s first NAIA tournament goal in team history at the 6:54 mark.

Meredith Hollar came on as a substitute and single-handedly caused havoc on Park’s backline. Hollar fired off three shots and scored Grace’s second goal, which turned out to be the game winner. Johnston chipped a through ball to Hollar from the left sideline, and Hollar slotted in her shot past the charging goalkeeper at the 39:33 mark.

Park had two chances to score in the opening period. The first was a breakaway by Emily Key which was saved by goalkeeper Abby Schue. The second was a build-up inside the penalty box, but Clair Snodgrass blocked Park’s shot from close range.

Grace entered halftime ahead 2-0. The Lady Lancers (15-2-3) outshot Park 12-4 in the first half, taking six shots on goal before halftime.

The Lady Lancers continued to attack the Pirates in the second half, firing off 10 more shots over the final 45 minutes. Jordan Hairgrove, Rondeau and Shelby Fort each had decent looks at goal that were denied.

Park’s Emily Key gave the match a dramatic late turn with a terrific individual effort. Key found the back of the net in the 78th minute to make the score 2-1. The Pirates, fueled by that goal, found renewed energy in their attack. Park pressed and had a few dangerous opportunities over the final 10 minutes, but Grace’s defense remained stout. The Pirates were unable to get off another shot attempt after their goal.

As a team Grace held a 22-9 advantage in shots. Rondeau led all players with five shots, and Kristen Bellinger took four shots and three on goal for Grace. Park was led by Key with four shots and Isabel Sullivan with three.