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Grace Sweeps Rival Bethel

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Pictured celebrating a point against Bethel are (left) Annie Salazar, Hannah Clemmons, Alix Underwood, and Tori Bontrager

Playing without their top attacking option, Grace’s volleyball team used a balanced attack to sweep Bethel College 3-0 on Friday night.

The Lady Lancers (16-4, 7-1 Crossroads League) bounced back from a disappointing loss earlier in the week to Goshen, rebounding to sweep last year’s CL champion in front of a frenzied crowd at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.

Grace played Friday night’s match without senior Calah Kruse, and sophomore Kaitlin Kerrigan did her part to fill the void with a match-high 13 kills.

In the opening set, Grace started strongly to earn a 20-12 advantage. Bethel used two quick timeouts to battle back, cutting the gap to one at 24-23. But Grace clinched the set on a Pilot error. Kerrigan pounded out three timely kills down the stretch to keep the Pilots at bay.

Grace continued its momentum into the second set, holding a small lead over Bethel throughout the set.  The Lady Lancers limited the Pilots (10-8, 4-4 CL) to a .000 hitting percentage in the set, and Megan Johnson finished the 25-20 win with a kill.

Bethel was up for the challenge in the third set, claiming a 14-11 lead to force a timeout from Grace head coach Andria Harshman. The Lady Lancers refocused to tie the score, but Bethel maintained a slight edge toward the finale.

The Pilots served at 24-23 to win the set, but Kerrigan ignited a raucous home crowd with a kill to tie the score. Grace went on to take the 27-25 victory with a block point from Sierra Smith and Tori Bontrager followed by an attack error on the Pilots. Freshman Sara Miller came up with two acrobatic defensive saves in the final points to give Grace a shot at the sweep.

Kerrigan’s 13 kills came on a .370 percentage. She also tied for match honors with 13 digs. Grace Woolsey finished with 8 kills, 1 solo block and 3 block assists, and Ellie Harp tallied 30 assists, 6 kills and 6 digs.

The Lady Lancers continue league play at home on Saturday with a crucial match against Indiana Wesleyan. Grace, currently second in the league standings, will aim to deal the Wildcats their first loss of the league season on Saturday 3 p.m. at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.

Indiana Tech Topples Lancers in OT

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Grace’s four-game winning streak was snapped in overtime on Monday night against Indiana Tech’s men’s soccer team.

The Lancers (5-2) scored first in the match, but the Warriors (3-1-1) fought back to tie the game in regulation and win 2-1 in overtime.

“We lost to a good team tonight. I felt that for the most part our hearts were in this game. Everyone was pulling his own weight,” said Grace head coach Matt Hotchkin. “Our first half was a good one. We played our game and did a nice job of setting up our offense and creating chances. We hit the post several times tonight, and they would have given us a great result had they been an inch left or right. The second half we struggled to get reconnected at times. The temptation was to be a bit more direct, but that moved us all over the place and took us away from our strength.”

The first half of action saw 16 combined shots and two goals. Grace opened up the scoring first in the 30th minute. After a nice build-up of possession, a deflected shot fell to the feet of Danilo Carnelos, and the senior blasted a shot into the back of the net from outside the penalty box at the 29:34 mark.

Within 10 minutes of Carnelos’s goal, Indiana Tech found an equalizer by finishing off a cross in the 39th minute.

In the second half, Grace had several chances to win the game. The Lancers had three shots on goal and six corner kicks over the final 45 minutes.

Around 20 minutes in the second half, Grace nearly scored twice within the span of a minute. Nakilee Weni came off the bench and had a close-range shot saved off the post and out of bounds. Carnelos nearly scored again on the ensuing corner kick when his curled attempt hit the crossbar.

After neither team could finish the match in regulation, Monday’s game headed into overtime. The Warriors did not wait long to win the game, finding the golden-goal winner less than four minutes into the first extra session.

Overall Weni and Austin Altimus had three shots apiece to lead Grace’s offense, and Carnelos and Jon Christensen added two more attempts.

The Lancers will now shift their attention fully to the Crossroads League. Grace’s first league match is on Saturday 7 p.m. at Indiana Wesleyan.

Lady Lancers Sink Rival Pilots

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Pictured is sophomore Gabrielle Lawrence for the Lady Lancers.

Grace’s women’s tennis team won its second match in a row with a convincing 8-1 victory over Bethel on Saturday at Miller Field.

The Lady Lancers (4-5, 2-5 Crossroads League) claimed all three doubles’ points, including a battle at the top position. Natalia Kurkova and Kristin Cassidy trailed 6-3 at No. 1 doubles, but the duo came back to win 9-8 (7-5).

Gabrielle Lawrence and Mariah Zumbrun at No. 2 doubles and Sarah Hinkel and Katie Etter at No. 3 doubles each won by an 8-1 score.

Kurkova at No. 1 singles (6-0, 6-1) and Cassidy at No. 2 (6-1, 6-1) made short work of their opponents to kick off singles’ play. Lawrence blanked the Pilots at No. 6 singles 6-0, 6-0.

Hinkel claimed a 6-4, 6-0 victory at No. 4 singles, and Zumbrun battled to a three-set win at No. 5.

Jayna Huber nearly pulled off a come-from-behind victory at No. 3 singles, ultimately slipping by the slimmest of margins 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 11-13.

“We put together another nice team win today,” said Grace head coach Scott Moore. “I was extremely happy with my one doubles team. They were down 3-6 early, so I challenged them a little bit and they responded. Although she did not win, I though Jayna showed some real toughness today at three singles. She is going to be vital for us to take the next step.”

The Lady Lancers conclude the Crossroads League regular season on Tuesday with a trip to Goshen. Grace is currently in seventh place in the league standings, one game out of a tie for fifth place.

Lady Lancers Trim Down Foresters in Five

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Grace’s volleyball team might have dominated the stat sheet against Huntington, but the Lady Lancers needed all five sets to escape the Foresters.

The Lady Lancers (15-3; 6-0 Crossroads League) had 17 more kills, 17 more digs and 3 more blocks in the match, and Grace edged out the Foresters for a 3-2 victory on Friday night.

In the opening set, Grace broke open a tie and built up a 20-14 lead to force a timeout. The Lady Lancers’ momentum did not stop there, however. Ellie Harp ended the set with an emphatic kill to win 25-16.

The second set had little separation until the Foresters (1-5, 1-5 CL) snuck ahead 20-17. Grace rallied twice down the stretch to within a point, holding off three set points. But Huntington eventually won the set out of a timeout, 25-23.

Grace reasserted itself immediately in the third set with a 6-2 lead. The Lady Lancers maintained a slight cushion and were ahead 20-15. The Foresters rallied with four points to come within 20-19, forcing a Grace timeout. Kaitlin Kerrigan smashed a kill to end Huntington’s momentum, and the Lady Lancers went on to win 25-20 on another Kerrigan kill.

Huntington held a slight cushion over Grace for much of the fourth set. Grace called a timeout with a 21-18 deficit, and the break seemed to work. Calah Kruse and Grace Woolsey combined for a pair of momentum-shifting block points, and the Lady Lancers ripped off five unanswered points. Grace was serving for the match at 24-22, but Huntington benefitted from three straight attacking errors on the Lady Lancers and rallied with a 26-24 victory.

The tiebreaker started in Grace’s favor with a 3-0 lead, and the Lady Lancers refused to let the Foresters sniff the lead the rest of the way. Harp put the final touch on Grace’s 15-8 victory in the tiebreaker with a kill, just as she did in the opening set.

Harp excelled as Grace’s setter with 49 assists. She also pounded out 12 kills on a match-best .455 percentage to go along with six digs.

Hannah Clemmons racked up 32 digs, and Kruse added 16 kills and 17 digs. Kerrigan finished with 16 kills on a .317 percentage, Woolsey had 10 kills and five block assists, Sierra Smith had seven kills and five block assists, and Sara Miller chipped in with 10 digs.

The Lady Lancers, winners of five straight, will take on Goshen College on Wednesday in Goshen.

Grace Tackles 20-team Indiana Intercollegiates

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Grace’s cross country team had two top-40 finishers at the highly competitive Indiana Intercollegiates on Friday.

Nathan Lane finished 34th out of 150 runners in the Little State men’s race, and Katelyn McCullough was 37th out of 148 runners in the women’s race.

“It was a tough course and didn’t have great footing because of rain, so our times were fairly slow. But I thought we fought through it pretty well, considering the conditions,” said Grace head coach Jeff Raymond. “We’re looking forward to running at home in a couple of weeks.”

Lane led a 12th-place finish for the men’s team in 27:34.4 seconds. Fellow freshman Tyler Houvener was second in 27:51.5. Collin Chupp, Brandon Smith and Austin Yoder rounded out the top five finishers for the Lancers.

McCullough’s time of 19:28.0 highlighted Grace’s 11th-place finish in the women’s race. Megan Gast crossed the finish line second for the Lady Lancers in 20:53.3. The No. 3-5 runners for the women finished in a tight pack – Sarah Hoff (21:02.0), Creigh Ogle (21:02.4) and Emma Mitchell (21:03.6).

The Lancers’ next meet is their only home race of the season on Oct. 4 at Miller Field.

Lady Lancers Blast Olivet College

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Olivet College was no match for Grace’s women’s tennis team on Thursday.

The Lady Lancers (3-5) exploded past Olivet 8-1 at Miller Field in nonleague action.

“The girls did a great job tonight. Our communication was good in doubles, and we limited our errors in every match,” said Grace head coach Scott Moore. “Natalia continues to be absolutely dominant for us at one singles, and I believe she can be the top player in our league before she graduates. Saturday is a big match for us against our rival Bethel.”

Grace jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the match with impressive doubles’ play. Natalia Kurkova and Kristin Cassidy (No. 1) and Gabrielle Lawrence and Mariah Zumbrun (No. 2) won by identical 8-3 scores. Sarah Hinkel and Katie Etter blanked their opponent 8-0 at No. 3 doubles.

Zumbrun at No. 5 singles and Lawrence at No. 6 singles each dropped just one game in straight-sets victories, and Kurkova was not far off with a 6-1, 6-1 win at No. 1 singles.

Cassidy claimed a 7-5, 6-0 win at No. 2 singles, and Jayna Huber won 6-3, 6-4 at No. 3.

The Lady Lancers play their third home match of the week on Saturday against league foe Bethel College at 10 a.m.

Grace Volleyball Remains Undefeated in League

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Pictured is Grace's volleyball team celebrating a point earlier in the 2014 season

After losing the opening set, Grace’s volleyball team rallied to win three straight in a 3-1 victory over Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Wednesday.

The Lady Lancers (14-3) improved to a perfect 5-0 in the Crossroads League with the win over the Cougars (10-3, 3-2 CL).

“We came to battle well as a team tonight,” said Grace head coach Andria Harshman. “All our players were committed from the minute we stepped off the bus to when we finished match point. This was a big road win in our league for GCVB.”

Mt. Vernon had its best performance in the opening set, tallying 13 kills in a 25-23 win. Grace’s defense took over from there, holding the Cougars to a .048 hitting percentage for the rest of the match.

The Lady Lancers distanced themselves from the hosts with a 17-10 lead in the second set en route to a 25-22 victory, tying the match.

Grace built up a five-point lead in the third set and held off a late rally from the Cougars to win 25-21. After pounding out 14 kills in the third set, Grace exploded for 15 kills in the decisive fourth set for the final 25-21 victory.

Ellie Harp nearly pulled off a triple-double in the match, tallying 45 assists, 10 digs and 7 kills on a .286 percentage. Calah Kruse (13 kills, 13 digs) and Kaitlin Kerrigan (12 kills, 15 digs) also notched double-doubles in the win.

Tori Bontrager had Grace’s highest attack percentage with seven kills at a .316 rate. She also had five of the team’s eight service aces. Grace Woolsey produced 8 kills, 2 solo blocks and 4 block assists, and Sierra Smith chipped in nine kills. Hannah Clemmons led Grace with 24 digs, and Sara Miller added 14 digs.

The Lady Lancers have one match remaining in the week. Grace will travel to Huntington on Friday at 7 p.m.

Schram Named NCCAA Student-Athlete of Week

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Following his first collegiate win, sophomore Jon Schram earned his first national award as the NCCAA Golf Student-Athlete of the Week on Tuesday.

Schram won the Bethel Invitational over the weekend for Grace’s golf team. His two-round 72-75 earned a spot in the three-way playoff. The former Warsaw Tiger standout then got a par on the first playoff hole to earn medalist honors.

Earlier last week, Schram carded a 71-73 to take fifth place at the IWU Invite.

The Lancers will attempt to qualify for NCCAA Nationals this week at the St. Francis Invitational. Grace shot a 299 in the first round on Monday to stay four strokes off the leaders (Spring Arbor).

Grace College’s Measure of Grace Initiative Featured on WSBT-TV

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Measure of Grace initiative featured on WSBT-TV

Grace College was recently highlighted on WSBT-TV channel 22 in South Bend, Indiana. The segment featured President Bill Katip discussing Grace’s new Measure of Grace initiative. It also announced an increase in enrollment this year at Grace of almost 15 percent over 2013 enrollment . The news segment can be viewed by clicking here.


Schue Named Standout Defensive Player for Crossroads League

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Grace freshman goalkeeper Abby Schue has picked up her first collegiate award when she was named the Crossroads League Defensive Player of the Week.

Schue surrendered just one goal in 200 minutes for the Lady Lancers last week. She made 11 saves in back-to-back days to propel Grace to two road wins against Mid America Nazarene (1-0) and Baker (2-1 in 2OT).

The freshman from Warsaw Community High School has started all seven games for the Lady Lancers, posting a 4-1-2 record with 24 saves. Grace is on a three-game winning streak and will host Westminster (Utah) on Saturday 7 p.m. at Miller Field. Westminster, along with Grace, is receiving votes in the NAIA preseason poll.