Archive for the ‘News & Events’ Category

Grace Spikers Bounce Bethel from League Tourney

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Grace’s volleyball team swept its rivals from the North on Saturday, beating Bethel 3-0 in the opener of the Crossroads League Tournament.

The Lady Lancers (19-16) made short work of the Pilots (18-18), winning 25-17, 25-16 and 25-17.

Grace limited Bethel to just 20 kills in the three sets, and the Pilots hit .033 as a team.

The tone was set in the first game as Grace won by eight points. The Lady Lancers pounded out 16 kills and limited the Pilots to six in the set. Kari Feddema and Kaitlin Kerrigan had four kills apiece in the opener.

Grace cruised to a nine-point win in the second set and clinched the sweep with a 25-17 win in the third. Sierra Smith, who finished with a match-high 11 kills, ended the match with a kill.

Bethel was held to five kills on 31 swings in the last set.

Kerrigan just missed a double-double with 10 kills and nine digs. Feddema finished with 6 kills, 4 block assists and 1 solo block, and Sara Miller had a match-best 17 digs.

Laken Chaney passed out 18 assists with seven digs, and Taylor Baird had 15 assists and three aces. Annie Salazar dug 14 times, and Kelsee Zuidema ended with seven kills on a .636 percentage.

The Lady Lancers will travel to No. 1 seed Mt. Vernon Nazarene in the CL semifinals on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Marian Eliminates Lady Lancers in Semifinals

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Despite 15 shots and a number of near-misses, Grace’s women’s soccer team was unable to find the back of the net on Saturday.

Marian pulled out a 1-0 victory in the Crossroads League Tournament semifinals thanks to an early goal.

The Lady Lancers (14-2-3) miss out on a chance to earn an automatic bid to NAIA Nationals, and they will await the release of the at-large teams on Nov. 16 as they pursue the program’s first NAIA National Championship appearance.

The Knights (12-7-1) stunned Grace with an early goal, netting in the 4th minute. The goal was Marian’s only attempt of the first 20 minutes of play.

Mallory Rondeau and Meredith Hollar had strong looks in response that were denied. Grace gradually increased its offensive presence and fired off eight shots before halftime.

Maile Grout made an incisive run into the penalty box midway into the first half and passed near goal to Jordan Hairgrove, but the senior’s shot sailed high.

The score remained 1-0 in Marian’s favor at halftime despite an 8-5 advantage in shots and 4-1 advantage in corner kicks for Grace.

The second half saw a continued push toward the Knights’ goal. Hollar had a shot saved with one hand off the crossbar 15 minutes into the period. Ten minutes later Meghan Wiles had a deep blast that forced a diving save.

Kristen Bellinger’s free kick produced a few touches by Grace inside the six-yard box, but the Lady Lancers could not convert their chance.

Grace had two more opportunities in the final minutes. Rondeau tried a long, curling shot from 25 yards that brought another acrobatic save by Marian. Rondeau had another attempt with three minutes to play that rolled inches wide of the left post, but the Knights’ net remained unharmed.

For the game Grace outshot Marian 15-7, including seven shots on goal. Rondeau had as many shots (7) as Marian by herself. Wiles and Darcy Johnston had two shots apiece.

Marian’s Melissa Sturgill made five saves in 83 minutes as goalkeeper before departing due to injury. Abby Schue made two saves in 90 minutes for Grace.

McCullough Qualifies for NAIA Nationals

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Katelyn McCullough made history at the 2015 Crossroads League Championships on Saturday, qualifying for the NAIA National Championships.

McCullough finished fifth in the women’s race at 18:59 to earn All-League status and a place at NAIA Nationals. She becomes just the second women’s runner to reach NAIAs in program history, joining MariJean Wegert who qualified in 2010 and 2008.

“Katelyn ran a PR on a fairly tough course in a league championship meet. That’s all anyone needs to know to understand how great a race it was,” said Grace head coach Jeff Raymond. “She put herself in position during the first mile and then finished really well, passing a few people in the final mile.”

McCullough’s finish helped Grace to a fifth-place showing in the race — the team’s highest since 2009. The men’s team ended eighth out of nine teams.

For the Lady Lancers, freshman sisters Raven Arellano (20:35) and Ariel Arellano (20:36) crossed the finish line within one second of each other. Sarah Hoff was fourth for Grace in 21:30.

Karla Singer was next in line with a time of 21:48, and Liz Fox followed her in 22:13. “Moving into the top half of the conference is a significant improvement after being eighth last year,” Raymond explained. “It also bodes well for the future with a young team.”

On the men’s team, Tyler Houvener finished 32nd to pace Grace in a time of 27:34. Brandon Smith and Sam Hall were second and third in 28:19 and 28:23 respectively.

Brendan Hamilton (28:54) and Joel Bertelsen (28:57) rounded out the top five for the Lancers.

“I though our guys really battled. We’ve fought through a myriad of injuries and still are not anywhere near full strength. But everyone did what they could today, and I’m proud of the effort,” Raymond said. “Tyler [Houvener] is coming on late in the season and has set himself up to run some strong races once track gets started. With no seniors on this squad and three freshmen in the top six, we have great hopes for the future.”

The Lancers will compete in the NCCAA Championships next Saturday at Houghton College in Houghton, N.Y.

Irwin Reaches 1,000 Points in Rout of St. Xavier

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Senior Logan Irwin netted his 1,000th point as a Lancer during Grace’s 78-65 win over St. Xavier on Friday night.

The No. 14-ranked Lancers improve to 3-0 on the young season. Grace used an explosive first half to outpace the Cougars (1-3), who are receiving votes in the NAIA Top 25 Preseason Poll.

Irwin topped the century mark four minutes into the second half, drilling a jump shot from the top of the key. With his 11th and 12th points of the night, Irwin became the 46th member of Grace’s 1,000-point club. He was honored with a short ceremony after Grace’s win.

Irwin finished with 14 points, 5 assists and 5 boards, and Erik Bowen had the game’s only double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Grace’s offense started hot, blitzing St. Xavier with an 18-5 burst after tipoff. Bowen was a key figure early, scoring Grace’s first seven points and assisting on a 3-pointer by Irwin.

Brandon Vanderhegghen, who finished with 15 points, got the hot hand next. The senior guard drained a trio of 3-pointers in less than two minutes to bump Grace’s lead up to 24-7.

Grace’s onslaught continued, leading by as many as 41-15. The Cougars made a late push in the half and trimmed their deficit to 45-28 at halftime.

The Lancers hit 50 percent of their shots in the opening period compared to 23 percent for the Cougars.

St. Xavier never mounted a serious threat to Grace’s cushion in the final period. The Lancers maintained a double-digit lead for the rest of regulation and coasted to a 13-point final margin of victory.

All 15 players saw the court for Grace. Kyle Fillman had a perfect shooting night, hitting both of his field goals and all four of his free throws for eight points. Vanderhegghen’s 15 points came with four 3’s and four rebounds.

Chad Hoffer was a spark off the bench with 8 points, 3 boards and 2 steals, and Logan Godfrey netted six points and four rebounds.

Grace finished with a 47-24 advantage in rebounds. The Lancers hauled in 15 offensive boards. The Cougars forced the Lancers into twice as many turnovers — 16 to 8 — but St. Xavier was held to 33 percent shooting for the contest. Larry Motuzis led all players with 30 points for SXU.

The Lancers hit the road on Saturday for a road game at Trinity International.

Lancers Advance in PK Shootout

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Pictured is Justin Festa on Saturday against Spring Arbor

Robbie Barnhill stood between the goalposts on Saturday night with the weight of Grace’s NAIA hopes on his shoulders.

After 110 minutes of scoreless soccer, the Crossroads League semifinals with Spring Arbor came down to a penalty shootout to determine who would advance.

The Cougars (11-6-3) converted their first four spot kicks while Grace had one try saved. Spring Arbor stepped up for a shot to win with only Barnhill in the way.

The junior goalkeeper guessed correctly, dove to his right and made the save of the season on Spring Arbor’s fifth PK attempt. The student section, straddling the sideline, erupted with joyous relief.

Josiah Osborn took Grace’s next shot and converted to put the Lancers (12-5-2) ahead 5-4. Spring Arbor’s sixth shot sailed wide of the net to secure Grace’s advancement, sending the student rushing onto the field in celebration.

The Lancers will play on Saturday in the Crossroads League Tournament championship match, traveling to No. 1-seed Indiana Wesleyan. Grace defeated IWU 3-1 on Sept. 26 during the regular season.

“The guys played with guts tonight. They had to overcome some serious adversity, and they just kept going. Everybody stepped up tonight,” said Grace head coach Matt Hotchkin. “The guys were focused all week. They came hungry to practice this week, ready to shore up every last detail. I thought we were prepared and ready for tonight.”

The first half was uneventful compared to what was to come. The teams took turns building their possession attack. Only four shots were attempted between the sides in the opening 45 minutes.

Dominic Harris had the only shot on goal before halftime in the 31st minute.

The opportunities began in earnest in the second half. Grace had 11 second-half shots while Spring Arbor fired off seven of its own. Harris had one of the better chances in the match, breaking loose for a one-on-one with the Cougars’ goalkeeper. But SAU’s goalie snuffed out Harris’s move by diving onto the ball.

In the 64th minute, Josiah Osborn’s corner kick produced a pair of shots. Justin Festa’s low drive was blocked, and Colin Cape’s effort went wide.

The game took an interesting turn in the 74th minute. Grace thought Thomas Tydeman was fouled on a breakaway but no foul was given. Instead, the Lancers were given a pair of yellow cards for dissent.

Less than 10 minutes later, Cape was issued a straight red card for a late challenge. Grace was forced to play the remainder of the regulation and overtime 11v10.

The overtime periods were relatively tame. Spring Arbor had three shots in the first 10-minute session, and the Lancers tried two shots in the second OT to no avail.

Robbie Barnhill made four saves in 110 minutes of action to earn the shutout. He was defended by the backline of Jon Sands, Jon Christensen, Festa and Osborn.

Grace outshot Spring Arbor 13-10 in the match. Tydeman fired four shots and two on goal, and Harris had three shots on goal.

“We seem to be peaking at the right time, and I’m excited to see what this team can accomplish,” Hotchkin said.

Eight Lancers Named CoSIDA Academic All-District

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

Grace’s remarkable soccer seasons were not limited to the pitch this fall. Eight members of Grace’s men’s and women’s soccer teams were named CoSIDA Academic All-District.

For the women, seniors Erica Manchess, Mallory Rondeau, Carianne Sobey, junior Meredith Hollar and sophomore Abby Schue earned a spot on the District 2 Team. Grace’s five All-District winners were the most in the nation.

All five Lady Lancers had GPAs of at least 3.95, including a 3.98 from Manchess and Hollar.

The men’s team was represented by Kyle Hamlin, Justin Festa and Robbie Barnhill. Grace’s three All-District winners was second-most in the nation among men’s programs, behind Biola University’s four winners.

Barnhill boasts a perfect 4.00 GPA as a Health Science major. Hamlin’s GPA is 3.92 and Festa’s is 3.82.

The Capital One All-District Teams, selected by CoSIDA, honor student-athletes from the NAIA as well as NCAA Division I, II and III who have earned at least a 3.3 GPA. The members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) then vote through the district and national round of winners from eligible student-athletes.

Lancers Win Defensive Bout with Lawrence Tech

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

In last year’s meeting between Grace and Lawrence Tech, the Blue Devils were held to 34 points—a program record for Grace’s best defensive effort.

While records were not broken during Tuesday night’s matchup, defense was still the catalyst to Grace’s 61-59 win over the Blue Devils (0-2).

Logan Irwin sizzled his way to 22 points and five assists, and Erik Bowen and Kyle Fillman both had double-doubles for the Lancers (2-0). Grace shot just 39 percent from the floor, but the Lancers held a plus-17 advantage in rebounding. Grace’s defense held LTU to 42 percent shooting and 30 points or less in both halves.

Lawrence Tech surprised the 14th-ranked Lancers in the first half, leading 15-8 to start the game. The Blue Devils led much of the period, building up a nine-point cushion with just 1:30 remaining.

But Bowen scored two quick hoops in the paint, and Irwin beat the buzzer for another basket to trim the Blue Devils’ advantage to 29-26 at halftime.

The Lancers started the second half on a 17-7 spurt thanks to eight points from Irwin and five from Bowen. Grace pulled ahead 43-36 at the midway mark of the second half and never surrendered the lead again.

The Blue Devils managed to slice the Lancers’ cushion down to two points on five occasions, but each time Grace had an answer. Brandon Vanderhegghen sank two timely free throws with 13 seconds on the clock, and Fillman added another with three seconds left. Lawrence Tech hit a desperation 3-pointer with a second remaining to pull within two, but time expired on the inbounds pass as Grace improved to 2-0 on the season.

Irwin’s 22 points came on 9-of-17 shooting. Fillman had 11 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks, and Bowen had 11 points and 10 boards.

Vanderhegghen finished with nine points and four rebounds, and Caleb Featherston chipped in five points and five boards.

The Lancers will return home on Friday for a 7 p.m. game against St. Xavier.

Rondeau, Sobey Pick Up Player of Year Awards from Crossroads League

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

Sobey is pictured on the left and Rondeau on the right

Five players from Grace’s women’s soccer team were given awards by the Crossroads League on Tuesday morning.

Mallory Rondeau repeated as the CL’s Offensive Player of the Year for the second straight year, and Carianne Sobey earned her third consecutive CL Midfielder of the Year.

Additionally, Meredith Hollar, Abby Schue and Meghan Wiles also earned spots on the All-League Team for Grace.

The Lady Lancers have been in the NAIA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll for the duration of the season and currently sit at No. 10. Grace will host Marian on Saturday 1 p.m. in the semifinals of the CL Tournament.

Rondeau racked up eight goals and four assists, leading Grace with 20 points. Five of her eight goals have been game winners.

Sobey, the program’s career leader in assists, has five goals and three assists to her credit. She has 42 assists in her remarkable career, earning her third Midfielder of the Year honor.

Hollar tied for the team lead with eight goals. She has five game winners and has scored in two straight games.

Schue anchors Grace’s backline as the starting goalkeeper, yielding just eight goals in 18 games and 1680 minutes of action. Her 11 shutouts ranks second in the nation.

Wiles has been a controlling presence in the midfield. She has two goals and has been an integral part of Grace’s possession game in the middle of the field.

Grace Holds Sportsmanship Summit for Northern Lakes Conference

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

photo of the student-athletes present for the NLC Sportsmanship Summit is included

Grace College and Director of Athletics Chad Briscoe welcomed student-athletes from the high schools of the Northern Lakes Conference for a Sportsmanship Summit on Monday.

Student-athletes from the NLC schools attended the summit, which was designed to educate student-athletes about sportsmanship and character training in athletics.

“We are pleased to be a part of building character at the high-school level through the Sportsmanship Summit,” Briscoe said. “We hope it served as a great opportunity to educate and reinforce character education and to help promote the importance of sportsmanship for each student-athlete.”

Student-athletes from the NLC spent the day together working in groups to discuss and challenge one another in sportsmanship and character-building opportunities in the athletic realm. The students worked in team-initiative opportunities to build camaraderie among the schools in the conference.

“This is the third year the NLC has come together at Grace for this conference,” said Warsaw athletic director Dave Anson. “We appreciate the opportunity, hospitality and the positive messages presented. These messages are invaluable in today’s high stakes and high-pressure world in which many of our students live.”

The Sportsmanship Summit featured sessions from ESPN Warsaw Program Director Roger Grossman, Grace coach Scott Moore and Briscoe.

Regular Season Ends in Victory for Lady Lancers

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

A balanced effort led Grace’s volleyball team to a 3-1 win over Marian on Saturday evening.

Six players had at least seven kills for the Lady Lancers (18-16, 9-9 Crossroads League) in the regular-season finale.

Grace finishes the season 9-9 in the league and currently sits in fifth place in the standings. Grace will face Bethel in the first round of the CL Tournament on Nov. 7. The game will be played at Bethel unless the Pilots fall to Marian in their regular-season finale.

The opening set saw Grace climb ahead 23-18 in the latter stages. The Knights (7-18, 4-13 CL) showed signs of life with three straight points, but a well-placed timeout by head coach Katie Van Hofwegen helped end the threat. Grace went on to win with a Marian error and a block point by Naarah Foster and Tori Bontrager.

Marian looked to even the count in the second set, serving for the game at 25-24. But Grace survived the set point, and a block from Bontrager and Kaitlin Kerrigan put Grace on top by one. Bontrager made another clutch play by knocking down the final point to give the Lady Lancers a 27-25 victory.

Marian stifled Grace’s offense into a negative hitting percentage in the third set with a 25-18 win, but Grace ended the match in the fourth. Grace gained separation with a 13-6 lead and never slowed down. Sierra Smith had the final kill of the match from the middle of the court, ending the day with a 25-21 victory.

Smith finished with 12 kills on a .226 percentage, and Kerrigan had a double-double of 10 kills, 21 digs and two service aces.

Foster racked up 10 kills and four block assists, Bontrager finished with 7 kills, 6 block assists and 1 solo block, and Kari Feddema and Kelsee Zuidema added seven kills apiece.

Laken Chaney tallied 22 assists, 13 digs and 2 aces, Taylor Baird passed out 21 assists, and Sara Miller ended with 23 digs.