Archive for the ‘News & Events’ Category

Second-Half Rally Falls Short Against No. 7 Marian

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Grace’s women’s basketball team was unable to complete its furious comeback bid against No. 7 Marian on Wednesday.

The first-half struggles from the Lady Lancers (13-14, 6-9 Crossroads League) proved too much for Grace to overcome in a 53-47 defeat.

Grace had its third-straight game scoring less than 55 points on Wednesday, but the Lady Lancers’ defensive effort kept Grace within striking distance.

Grace’s offensive woes were at their peak in the first half. The Lady Lancers needed 7:58 to get on the scoreboard courtesy of a shot from Lindsey Schaefer.

The Knights (23-4, 12-3 CL) used Grace’s struggles to open up a commanding 18-2 lead. Grace took another five minutes to score its third and fourth points, thanks to Schaefer’s basket again.

By halftime, Grace’s offense had regulated, but the Lady Lancers still found themselves behind 32-17. Grace made just 16 percent (5-of-31) of its field goals over the first 20 minutes. The Lady Lancers also struggled in ball control with zero assists and 10 turnovers.

The teams swapped baskets in the second half, and the shooting percentages seemed to follow suit. Grace improved to making 42 percent after halftime while Marian struggled at 24 percent. Marian’s lead was quickly whittled to 10 as Grace scored the first five points of the second half.

The Lady Lancers continued to rally, scoring eight straight points to bring the score to 37-32 with 10:30 remaining on a 3-pointer from Gabby Bryant.

Marian regained its composure and reestablished a 10-point advantage with six minutes left, but Grace did not go down easily. A pair of free throws from Darian Patton cut the lead to six with 2:07 on the clock. Grace then made two straight defensive stops, but the Lady Lancers came up empty on both offensive trips.

After Marian hit a free throw, Micah Pollard raced down the court to score and make the game 50-45 with 43 seconds to play.

Grace sent Marian to the free throw line down the stretch, and the strategy paid off as the Knights hit just 3-of-6 over the final 40 seconds. But Grace was unable to capitalize by missing three of its final four shots.

Overall, Grace finished the game shooting 28 percent while committing 21 turnovers. Grace was 3-of-14 from beyond the arc and missed its first nine treys of the game. The Lady Lancers did hold a 44-33 advantage in rebounding.

Bryant led Grace in scoring with 12 points, making 2-of-4 from beyond the arc. Pollard had her second straight game in double figures with 10 points on 5-of-10 shooting.

The Lady Lancers wrap up their six-game road stretch on Saturday when Grace plays at No. 19 Huntington at 1 p.m. The Foresters will be Grace’s third consecutive ranked opponent.

Expectations High for Grace Softball in 2015

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

The 2014 season for Grace College’s softball team was a groundbreaking one in many aspects. The Lady Lancers racked up the program’s most wins (29) since 1994, won its most league wins ever (19) and advanced to a national tournament for the first time since 1997.

Grace reached the final day of the 2014 NCCAA World Series, placing fourth under head coach Heather Johnson.

But there was still room for improvement last spring, setting the stage for what Johnson hopes will be an even more memorable 2015.

“I think this year is about taking another step forward as a program. We have the talent, ability and depth in positions to get better as the season goes on,” Johnson said. “We aren’t the underdog anymore which is a huge switch for us. This year our expectations are to pick up where we left off last year.”

Grace stumbled out of the gate last year, losing 12 of its first 16 games. But the Lady Lancers hit their collective stride after the rough start, posting a 25-18 record over the final two months of the season.

Johnson has decided to test Grace early in 2015 with a daunting nonleague schedule. The Lady Lancers will play nine games against teams either ranked or receiving votes in the NAIA Top-25 Coaches’ Preseason Poll, including a doubleheader against No. 2 William Carey on March 13. Grace will travel to Tennessee, Florida and Mississippi to take on the NAIA’s top teams over the first month of the year.

“My philosophy is that you play the competition of the level that you want to be at. Taylor and Huntington were picked ahead of us in the preseason Crossroads League poll, and they both went to NAIA’s [last year] so we are right at the door,” Johnson said. “If your goal is to be nationally ranked and recognized, then you have to play teams at that level. It’s not just our goal to get to a national tournament but to play well there.”

For Grace to reach its potential in 2015, the squad will look to its senior All-American Brooke Shell. The speedy outfielder was First Team NCCAA All-American and honorable mention for NAIA All-American in 2014, setting three single-season records including most hits (94), most runs (64) and most stolen bases (38) in team history.

Shell already sits at first place among Grace’s career leaders in stolen bases with 59 and is poised to become the program’s career hits leader. She has 171 hits entering the season and needs 29 more to pass Olivia Winget for first place.

“Every time I fill out my lineup card, there is one position I know every time – Brooke Shell at leadoff,” Johnson said. “She sets the pace and competitive course for our team. She’s hard on herself, and her teammates now have that same drive. She wants to go out with a bang as a senior.”

Joining Shell’s offensive prowess is a potent lineup. Sophomore Clarissa Knight set a single-season record with 56 RBIs as a freshman and batted .386. Hannah Adams (.311) and Samantha Johnson (.301) also return for their sophomore seasons after topping .300 in 2014.

Freshmen Kati Gregory, who originally signed to play at the University of Evansville, and Hannah Herbster add a pair of powerful bats to Grace’s lineup. Herbster batted .690 as a senior at LaVille High School, ranking third in the state for batting average.

Grace’s offense tied for sixth in the Crossroads League last year with 5.1 runs/game. But Johnson is hoping the Lady Lancers’ offense transforms into a formidable force in 2015 with its new additions.

“In the past, we couldn’t afford to make mistakes on defense because we weren’t scoring runs. But this year we just want to be frustrating to teams,” Johnson said. “I don’t think we rely on one area this year. We aren’t all power, all slappers or all contact hitters, but we’re trying to put all of that together and have a lot of offensive weapons to throw at teams. We scored a lot of runs this fall, so I’m excited to see how we look this spring.”

Adams and freshman Chandler Elliott are expected to anchor Grace’s pitching rotation this year. Adams posted a 2.54 ERA in 17 league games. Alex Shipley (3.20 ERA), Amanda Bowman and Allison Franklin provided much-needed experience and depth to the pitching rotation, and Herbster also looks to earn innings on the mound.

Brittany Melzoni, Chelsea Whitesell, Morgan Cody, Morgan Hutcheson and Maribeth Strong all return from last year’s postseason run at the NCCAA World Series. And Johnson has revamped Grace’s lineup with talented freshmen Ashley Kleinbub, Brittany Turner, Herbster, Elliott and Gregory.

While Grace is hoping for growth on the diamond this spring, Johnson is excited for the personal growth she’s witnessed already within the Lady Lancers.

“This team has really grown off the field as much as they have on the field. They are growing in their spiritual lives and in their relationships with one another. I think that will pay high dividends as the season progresses,” Johnson said. “I’m excited for what this team can do physically, but their love for one another and commitment to the team excites me even more.”

The Lady Lancers start the season this weekend in Pulaski, Tenn., for the Martin Methodist Meltdown. Grace will then travel to Clermont, Fla., for 10 games during Spring Break.

Lancers Blast Knights for 20th Win

Thursday, February 12th, 2015


pictured is Brandon Vanderhegghen rising for a finger roll in the second half against Marian

Grace’s men’s basketball team blew by Marian University on Tuesday night, using its post strength to win 70-57.

The Lancers (20-7, 10-5 Crossroads League) secured their 21st 20-win season in program history with the victory. Two players for Grace notched double-doubles, including Dennis Williams (20 points, 13 rebounds) and Brandon Vanderhegghen (16 points, 10 boards).

Grace’s interior presence was felt in a major way in the first half. After a sluggish start offensively to the game, the Lancers sparked to life courtesy of Williams. The senior center converted three straight post moves to hand the Lancers a 20-14 lead with 10 minutes left in the half.

Grace continued to pound the Knights (16-11, 7-8 CL) down low, gradually opening up a 40-24 lead at the break.

The Lancers scored 22 of their 40 points in the paint and hit 57 percent of their shots from the floor. Williams scored 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting in the first period, and Grace held a plus-five advantage in rebounds.

The Knights were held scoreless for over five minutes to start the second half, allowing Grace to open up a commanding 45-24 lead. Marian still had one last rally in its arsenal, however.

Marian drained 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions to highlight a massive 18-4 charge. The final trey from Nick Painter brought the Knights to within seven at 49-42 with 9:32 to play.

Vanderhegghen responded coolly with a 3-pointer on Grace’s next possession to stretch the lead to 10, and Chad Hoffer made the play of the night on the next sequence. Hoffer stripped the ball from Jason Riley, then raced down the floor to slam down a vicious one-handed dunk. The Knights were unable to get within single-digits of Grace’s lead after Hoffer’s dunk.

Grace was efficient in every aspect of the game except free throw shooting (43 percent). The Lancers made 52 percent of their field goals, including 44 percent from beyond the arc. Grace also turned the ball over eight times and nabbed six steals from Marian.

The Lancers were particularly dominant down low, grabbing 15 offensive boards for 14 second-chance points. Grace outscored Marian in the paint 42-12 and had a plus-nine advantage in rebounds.

Williams scored his 20 points on 9-of-15 shooting, and Vanderhegghen drilled 3-of-4 from the 3-point line. Erik Bowen tallied a career-high 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the bench, and Logan Irwin notched seven points and five assists.

The Lancers have another home game on Saturday when Huntington comes to the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center for a3 p.m. tipoff.

Boren Named NCCAA National Athlete of Week

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Jo Boren, graduate of Lakeland Christian Academy.

Jo Boren earned her first national weekly honor when she was named the NCCAA National Indoor Track Athlete of the Week on Tuesday.

Boren broke two school records at the Westmont Sunshine Open last weekend in California. She became the first Lady Lancer to beat the one-minute mark in the 400-meter race, crossing the finish line in school-record time of 59.81. She also teamed up to break the school record in the 4×400 at 4:09.29 with Katelyn McCullough, Mya Brown and Alicia Hertzler.

Boren, a graduate of Lakeland Christian Academy, becomes the second Lady Lancer to earn NCCAA weekly honors. Brown also claimed the Indoor Track Athlete of the Week recognition on Jan. 27.

The Lancers’ next meet is on Saturday at the Indiana Wesleyan Invitational at 11 a.m.

Former Grace Seminary Faculty Member, Dr. Robert Culver, Passes

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Dr. Robert D. Culver

Dr. Robert D. Culver went home to be with the Lord on February 7, 2015. He was 98 years old. Dr. Culver joined the Grace Seminary faculty, teaching Old Testament, Hebrew, and Theology from March of 1945 until May of 1951. He went on to teach at Wheaton College and Graduate School, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and the Near-East School of Archaeology at Jerusalem.

Dr. Culver, brother-in-law to Herman Hoyt, was the last remaining person to attend the celebrated prayer meeting at the home of J.C. Beal in Ashland, Ohio that led directly to the founding of the Grace Theological Seminary. For two years, the seminary met at Ellet Grace Brethren Church in Akron, Ohio before moving to Winona Lake in 1939.

Dr. Culver was also an accomplished writer. He wrote a number of books including a 1,250 page text published by Christian Focus Publications in 2005 entitled, Systematic Theology: Biblical and Historical.

“We honor the astonishing longevity and productivity of Dr. Culver’s ministry over so many years,” said Bill Katip, president of Grace College & Seminary. “Just this past week I was reminded by one of the nation’s great theologians, Dr. Walter Kaiser, Jr., what an important mentor Dr. Culver was in his life.”

Katip continued, “As a distinguished alumnus of the Grace Theological Seminary family, Dr. Culver will be missed, but we honor his dedication to this institution and, more importantly, his service to and love of the Lord. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Celeste, and their family and friends.

Kauffman Named CoSIDA Academic All-District

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Allison Kauffman

All-American senior Allison Kauffman was recognized for her academic and athletic achievement when she was named CoSIDA Academic All-District.

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.

Kauffman was the only representative from the Crossroads League in the College Division. The senior from Fort Wayne, Ind., currently boasts a 4.0 GPA as an Exercise Science major.

She is putting the final touches on one of the most decorated careers in program history as a senior, leading the team with averages of 18.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. She ranks second all-time for the Lady Lancers in both career points and rebounds.

For the season, Kauffman ranks 10th in the NAIA Div. II in scoring and 17th in rebounding. She has 12 double-doubles in 2014-15 and has scored in double figures in 15 consecutive contests.

The Lady Lancers (13-13, 6-8 Crossroads League) have two weeks of the regular season remaining. Grace will take its shot at consecutive ranked opponents this week on the road, traveling to Marian on Wednesday and Huntington on Saturday.

Lancers Compete at California Meet

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Grace’s track and field team took Lancer Nation to the West Coast this week, competing at the Westmont Sunshine Opener on Saturday.

Nathan Lane exceled, taking home a trio of first-place finishes at the meet. He won the mile, the 3000-meter race and anchored the Distance Medley Relay with Tyler Houvener, Joel Zook and Donovan Graham to another first. His time in the mile and the 3000 met the NCCAA qualifying standard.

Mya Brown had three top-three finishes. She placed second in the 60 hurdles, third in the triple jump and was second in the 4×400 relay. The relay team of Katelyn McCullough, Brown, Alicia Hertzler and Jo Boren broke Grace’s school record with a time of 4:09.29.

Additionally, Boren became the first Lady Lancer to beat the one-minute mark in the 400 race, finishing in a school-record time of 59.81.

“It’s been a great trip overall for the group we have in California,” said Grace head coach Jeff Raymond. “Traveling together helps build team unity and create some great shared memories. That fact that we had some very good performances is a nice bonus.

Graham and Matt Lee were first and second respectively in the 800, and Lee finished in a personal-best time. Zook qualified for NCCAA’s in the 200 at 23.25

Hunter Reed and Brandon Smith had PR’s in the mile, and Megan Gast had her own PR in the women’s mile race.

To see complete results from the meet at Westmont College meet, click here. Note that times were adjusted due to races being run on an outdoor track.

Additionally, several members of Grace’s squad stayed in Indiana and reached PR times at the Anderson University meet, including Paige Kindig’s second place in the pole vault.

The Lancers continue the indoor season next Saturday at the Indiana Wesleyan Invitational. The meet at IWU is the final tune-up before NCCAA and NAIA Indoor Nationals.

No. 9 Cougars Handle Lady Lancers on the Road

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Grace’s women’s basketball team was unable to complete the season sweep of the defending champs, losing at No. 9 St. Francis 82-49 on Saturday.

The Lady Lancers (13-13, 6-8 Crossroads League) had their third-lowest scoring output of the season at 49 points while giving up the third-most points in a single game this year.

Grace suffered major scoring droughts in each half, faltering against the Cougars’ defensive efforts.

Grace started the game well offensively, scoring on three of its first four possessions. But the Cougars flipped the game early with a 19-1 run, changing a five-point deficit into a 13-point lead at 24-11. Grace went 6:18 between made field goals.

The Lady Lancers battled back to within nine, but the Cougars (19-7, 10-4 CL) pulled away for a 40-27 lead at the midway break. USF shot 58 percent from the floor in the first half compared to 32 percent for Grace.

The second half came and went without Grace putting together a significant charge at the Cougars’ lead. USF never led by less than 13 points in the second half and built up a 20-point lead for most of the final 20 minutes.

Grace struggled to find a solution to the Cougars’ zone defense throughout the second half, scoring just 22 points after halftime. The Lady Lancers did not make another field goal after Gabby Bryant’s shot with 8:32 remaining in the game. Grace mustered two free throws offensively over the final eight minutes, allowing USF to end the game on an 18-2 run.

In the second half, Grace missed all 10 of its 3-pointers in an attempt to break the Cougars’ zone. Grace finished the game shooting 6.2 percent (1-of-16) from beyond the arc.

Conversely, USF excelled by making 54 percent of its shots for the game as well as an 83 percent clip from the free throw line. The Cougars enjoyed a 47-29 advantage in rebounds, scoring 40 points in the paint and 19 second-chance points.

Allison Kauffman registered a team-high 16 points and four rebounds, and Micah Pollard added 11 points. Bryant scored eight points with four boards, Kelsie Peterson tallied four points and four rebounds, and Jesse Feitz pulled down three rebounds off the bench.

The Lady Lancers continue action next week at the red-hot Marian Knights on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The seventh-ranked Knights have won six straight games.

Grace Stumbles at No. 13 USF

Monday, February 9th, 2015

In a pivotal late-season matchup in the Crossroads League, No. 13 St. Francis used a clutch spurt over the final minutes to win 73-63 over No. 20 Grace on Saturday.

The Cougars (20-6, 10-4 CL) outscored the Lancers 13-3 over the final four minutes, breaking open a 60-60 tie en route to victory. USF remain in a tie for second place in the CL standings while the Lancers (19-7, 9-5 CL) slipped to fourth.

At the onset, Grace’s offense sputtered with two missed field goals and two turnovers after tipoff. USF scored the first eight points of the contest, and they continued their assault with a 21-10 lead with eight minutes left in the half.

The Lancers trimmed the Cougars’ cushion to three points, but USF responded with a 6-0 spurt to lead by nine. Niko Read ended the scoring for the first half with a 3-pointer, bringing Grace to within 38-32 at the half.

USF upped its lead to nine early in the second half before Grace rallied. A rebound putback from Dennis Williams knotted the game at 45-45, and Grace eventually took a two-point lead with 7:45 to play.

The game remained tightly contested, and a 3-pointer from Chad Hoffer tied the score for the fourth time at 60-60 with 4:11 on the clock. But Grace’s offense was about to hit a fatal cold streak.

The only points Grace could muster over the critical final four minutes came on a 3-pointer from Logan Irwin with 52 seconds left in the game. Meanwhile, USF made three straight field goals and made 6-of-6 from the foul line to pull away for the 10-point win.

Read and Williams tied for team honors with 15 points. Read hit five 3-pointers, and Williams grabbed a game-high nine boards.

Irwin finished with 11 points, 5 assists, 4 boards and 2 steals, Brandon Vanderhegghen added eight points before fouling out, and Hoffer chipped in six points and three assists off the bench.

Grace as a team shot 39 percent from the floor, including 43 percent in the second half. USF hit 50 percent of its field goals and grabbed four more rebounds as a team (36-32). The Cougars also attempted 17 more free throws and were whistled for eight fewer fouls.

The Lancers will hope to stay in contention for the league crown on Tuesday when Grace hosts Marian at 7 p.m.

Lancers Complete Season Sweep of Spring Arbor

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Grace’s men’s basketball team secured another critical Crossroads League win with a 70-57 victory over Spring Arbor on Tuesday.

The Lancers (19-6, 9-4 CL) moved into a three-way tie for second place in the CL standings, setting up a pivotal matchup on Saturday at No. 13 St. Francis. Grace and USF are tied with Bethel for second place.

Grace used an efficient, balanced offense and a lockdown defense in the second half to pull out the convincing victory at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.

The Cougars started off the game on the better foot, opening a 7-2 lead after two minutes. It took Grace 10 minutes to tie the game at 20-20 after a pair of free throws from Caleb Featherston.

Back-to-back 3-pointers from the Cougars helped Spring Arbor reestablish a six-point edge with less than seven minutes remaining in the half. But Grace ended the half on a blistering pace to take control of the contest.

The Lancers closed out the half on a 15-3 run to go ahead 37-31 at halftime. Featherston scored seven points during Grace’s spurt, and Adrian Makolli converted a tip-in basket to beat the halftime buzzer. Both teams hit at least 50 percent of their field goals in the first period.

Grace’s defense helped turn the tide in the Lancers’ favor for good to start the second half. Spring Arbor missed four field goals and had four turnovers over the first five minutes of the period. As a result, the Lancers built up a 47-33 lead. From the last 6:00 of the first half to the first 5:00 of the second half, Grace outscored Spring Arbor 25-5.

Three minutes later, the Cougars had clawed back to within nine points. But Grace scored on three of its next four possessions to claim a 15-point lead and never looked back, cruising for the 13-point win. Spring Arbor was held to 26 points in the second half, committing eight turnovers and grabbing just nine rebounds over the final 20 minutes.

Logan Irwin had scoring honors on the night with 15 points, hitting a trio of 3-pointers with 5 assists, 2 steals and 0 turnovers. Makolli had a career-high 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting, adding nine rebounds and two blocked shots.

Featherston finished with 11 points off the bench, and Brandon Vanderhegghen tallied eight points and four boards.

Overall Grace had a 30-20 advantage in rebounding, including 17-9 in the second half. Grace also shot 50 percent from the floor for the game.

The Lancers’ game on Saturday with St. Francis is a doubleheader in Fort Wayne. The women’s Grace/USF game will tip off at 1 p.m. with the men’s game to follow at 3 p.m.