Archive for the ‘2014 Archives’ Category

Freshman Brown Named League’s Field Athlete of the Week

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

After her first collegiate meet, freshman Mya Brown was honored as the Crossroads League Female Field Athlete of the Week.

Brown, a native of Roanoke, Va., made a name for herself in her first collegiate meet at the Defiance Invitational. Brown broke a 15-year old school record in the triple jump by over a foot, winning the meet at 10.93 meters.

She went on to break a 17-year old long jump record at 5.07 meters and also took sixth place in the 60-meter hurdles. Brown met the NCCAA qualifying standard in all three events.

Brown was also a member of the 4×200 relay team that finished second with a time of 1:51.32.

The Lancers’ track team will continue the indoor season on Friday at Trine.

Dave Bliss to Speak in Warsaw at NCCAA Championship Banquet

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Former NCAA Div. I men’s basketball coach Dave Bliss will be the banquet speaker for the 2015 NCCAA Basketball National Championships, hosted by Grace College.

Bliss, who was the head men’s coach at DI schools such as Oklahoma, SMU, New Mexico and Baylor, will be the keynote speaker at the banquet on Tuesday, March 17. The banquet, held at Warsaw Community Church, starts at 6:30 p.m. Limited tickets for the public are available for $20 or $150 for a table of eight people. Contact Grace’s athletic office at (574) 372-5100 ext. 6266 to reserve your ticket.

“It’s exciting to have someone of this magnitude speak at the NCCAA National Championships,” said Grace athletic director Chad Briscoe. “Dave brings tremendous experience coaching on the national stage, and I’m excited to have Dave share his lessons of faith and life story with the coaches, teams and community.”

Bliss started his coaching career at Army under legendary coach Bob Knight in 1967. He moved on to assist his alma mater Cornell in 1969. When Knight accepted the position at Indiana University, he selected Bliss as one of his first assistants with the Hoosiers.

Bliss helped Knight build the Hoosiers into one of the top basketball programs in the country, assisting IU from 1971-75.

After helping IU achieve success, he was hired at the University of Oklahoma, becoming the youngest head coach at the time at the age of 31. He stayed with the Sooners until 1980, helping Oklahoma to their first Big 8 Conference championship in 1978. He was named the conference Coach of the Year twice.

He then took over coaching duties at SMU, leading the Mustangs to three NCAA tournaments from 1980-88. He won a Southwest Conference championship and was the conference’s Coach of the Year in 1988. From SMU, he became the coach at New Mexico for 11 years and was the school’s all-time winningest coach. He led the Lobos to multiple NCAA tournaments, but his desire to finish his coaching career at a Christian school led him to accept the job at Baylor.

Bliss helped the Bears start to climb in the competitive Big 12 Conference and won his 500th career game in 2001. He stumbled, however, and admitted to several NCAA violations which led to his resignation. He is scheduled to release an autobiography detailing his experience at Baylor and his redemptive journey. The book was co-written by Grace College graduate Stephen Copeland and is due for release in May.

In the fall of 2008, Bliss desired to start Game Plan Ministries which seeks to inspire others through a message of hope and direction. He shares his story and encourages others to guard their hearts, demonstrating how his life has been shaped through life’s trials and God’s grace and faithfulness.

Bliss currently serves as the Athletic Director, Dean of Students and basketball coach at Allen Academy in Bryan, Texas. He has led the Rams to four straight Texas Christian Athletic League state championships and is back to doing what he likes best – encouraging young people. Bliss has been married to his wife Claudia for 37 years. They have three children and four great-grandchildren.

Grace Releases 2015 Logo for NCCAA Basketball Championships

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

March Madness is fast approaching Kosciusko County. Grace College, who hosts the 2015 NCCAA Div. I Men’s and Women’s Basketball National Championships, has released the official tournament logo and poster.

The unique national event, held March 18-21 at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center, features eight of the premier men’s and women’s college basketball teams in the nation. The MOCC will host 24 basketball games over four days, culminating with Championship Saturday to crown both a men’s and women’s national champion.

Wednesday and Thursday of the national tournaments consists of eight games apiece, tipping off at 8:30 a.m. and running until after 10 p.m. Last year’s tournaments saw Point Loma Nazarene (Calif.) take the men’s national title and Union (Tenn.) win the women’s banner. Grace’s men’s basketball team finished as the national runners-up in 2014.

Tickets for the event are $30 for a four-day pass or $10 for a one-day pass. Children and students can purchase a discounted $5 one-day pass. Call (574) 372-5100 ext. 6266 for ticket or sponsor information. Visit the official tournament website for more information.

Tournament sponsors Biomet, DePuy Synthes and Zimmer are included on the tournament logo. The logo was designed by BrandPoet, the marketing arm of Grace College.

Grace Holds on Late for Win at Webber International

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Grace’s men’s basketball team may have struggled with its shot for much of Wednesday’s game with Webber International, but the Lancers made shots when it counted.

The Lancers’ clutch free throw shooting in the final minute proved the difference as Grace held on for a 60-57 win over the Warriors (3-9). The Lancers (11-4) never trailed on Wednesday in the final game of its Florida road trip, but the Warriors refused to fade.

Grace blitzed the Warriors from the get-go, claiming an 11-3 lead to force an early timeout from Webber. The Lancers led by as many as 11 in the first half and earned a 28-22 advantage at halftime.

Dennis Williams nearly had a double-double in the opening period with nine points and 10 rebounds. Grace only made 13-of-37 from the floor (36 percent) before halftime, but Webber struggled even more at 27 percent.

Grace bumped its lead back up to 11 points in the second half, but the Lancers allowed the Warriors to stay alive.

Webber made its push with five minutes left in the game, trimming a 10-point deficit down to 50-48 with 4:00 on the clock. The Warriors knotted the score for the first time all game at 53-53 on a 3-pointer with 1:03 to play. But Grace went on to win the game at the free throw line.

With the score tied, Dennis Williams was fouled and made both foul shots to give Grace a two-point edge. Brandon Vanderhegghen came up with a steal on Webber’s next possession, and Logan Irwin made two free throws to put Grace ahead by four.

The Warriors scored on the next play, and Vanderhegghen was sent to the free throw line where he made 2-of-2 with five seconds on the clock. Webber cut the lead to two points with one second on the clock, and Kyle Fillman was quickly sent to the free throw line where he made 1-of-2 for the final margin of victory.

All in all, Grace sank 7-of-8 from the free throw line over the final 34 seconds. Apart from the final 34 seconds, Grace made just 4-of-10 from the free throw line the rest of the game.

Grace struggled mightily from the 3-point line, going 1-of-19 and missing its last 16 shots from beyond the arc.

Dennis Williams put in Grace’s strongest performance with 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting to go along with 20 rebounds. Fillman scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half, and Niko Read added 14 points and three assists.

The Lancers turned the ball over a season-low six times, and they also held a dominant 51-30 advantage in rebounds. Williams nearly outrebounded Webber’s team by himself with his 20 boards.

Grace will not play again until 2015 with a men’s/women’s doubleheader at archrival Bethel College.

Kauffman’s 31 Points Powers Lady Lancers

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

*attached is a file photo from the year of Allison Kauffman taken by Jeff Nycz

A career night from senior Allison Kauffman lifted Grace’s women’s basketball team to a 64-54 win at Johnson & Wales on Monday night.

Kauffman ripped off a career-best 31 points on 13-of-21 shooting, rounding out her memorable evening with 13 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.

Grace held the Wildcats (4-5) to 30 percent shooting for the game. The Lady Lancers (7-6) also tied a season-low with nine turnovers in an efficient performance in Florida.

The Lady Lancers jumped out to a 16-5 lead after tipoff to set the tone for Monday’s game. Kelsie Peterson opened the game’s scoring with a 3-pointer, and Grace did not trail the rest of the way.

Grace went into the halftime break with a 32-22 advantage. Grace assisted on eight of its 12 made shots in the first period and held Johnson & Wales to a paltry 29 percent from the floor.

Kauffman flexed her muscles in the second half. The All-American senior netted 21 of Grace’s 32 second-half points, making 9-of-11 from the floor.

Grace led by as many as 19 points after halftime at 56-37 with 6:20 remaining. The Lady Lancers coasted to the final buzzer, winning comfortably by 10 points.

Both squads struggled to find production away from their starting five. Heather House’s two points were the only points scored off the bench by either team. The Wildcats did hold a plus-nine advantage in rebounds thanks to 23 offensive boards, but poor shooting by the home team (21-of-70) was too much for Johnson & Wales to overcome.

Peterson netted 10 points, 4 assists and 2 steals, and Lindsey Schaefer had eight points and seven rebounds. Gabby Bryant tallied 8 points, 5 boards and 3 assists, and Darian Patton added five points and five assists. JWU’s Diamond Williams scored 21 to lead the Wildcats.

Grace concludes its trip to the Sunshine State with a game Tuesday at St. Thomas at 6 p.m.

Cole, Smith Garner All-American Recognition

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Seniors Jacob Cole and Trent Smith were honored as All-Americans by the NCCAA to wrap up the 2014 season for Grace’s men’s soccer team.

Cole and Smith were both NCCAA Second Team All-Americans, released on Wednesday. The pair were also honored by the Crossroads League as Cole was First Team All-CL and Smith was Second Team All-CL.

Senior goalkeeper Cole gave up just three goals in six Crossroads League contests. He finished the season with four shutouts and nine goals surrendered, making 32 saves in 11 games.

Smith directed the Lancers’ midfield, tallying two goals and two assists. He led Grace’s team with 45 shots and 19 shots on goal.

Cole and Smith helped Grace advance to two trips to NCCAA Nationals during their four-year careers under head coach Matt Hotchkin.

Additionally, the Lancers had six players earn NAIA and NCCAA Scholar-Athlete status: seniors Ben Cahill, Cole, Payton Norris and Trent Smith and juniors Justin Festa and Kyle Hamlin. Hamlin was also named CoSIDA Academic All-District.

Rondeau Named NCCAA Player of the Year

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Pictured is Mallory Rondeau (center) celebrating a goal at NCCAA Nationals last week.

The finest season in Grace’s women’s soccer history earned the program’s finest individual award on Wednesday when Mallory Rondeau was named the NCCAA Player of the Year.

The junior forward finished the 2014 season with 18 goals and 11 assists. She ended the season on a blistering pace, tallying 14 goals with eight assists over Grace’s final 15 matches. At NCCAA Nationals, Rondeau led the Lady Lancers to the program’s first national championship game appearance with four goals and an assist in four contests.

Rondeau’s Player of the Year honor is Grace’s first such award. She joined Abby Schue and Carianne Sobey as NCCAA First Team All-Americans. Rondeau and Sobey were also honorable mentions for NAIA All-American status, and Holly Bennett was an NCCAA Second Team All-American in her final season.

Junior midfielder Sobey tallied a team-leading 12 assists to go along with five goals. Sobey, who is Grace’s career assists leader with 39 to her credit, had three assists and two goals at NCCAA Nationals.

Freshman goalkeeper Schue allowed just 13 goals to score against her in 25 games. She notched 14 shutouts and saw just one goal pass by her in four games at NCCAA Nationals. She had a shutout in eight of Grace’s nine Crossroads League contests.

Bennett played in all 25 games for the Lady Lancers. She notched a goal and two assists as a holding midfielder for Grace and graduates with Kaitlan Wiles and Kelsey Christner as the first class to make four straight national tournaments. The seniors also graduated as the winningest class in team history with a record of 61-24-11.

After Grace’s sparkling run at NCCAA Nationals, the Lady Lancers had four players land a spot on the All-Tournament Team including Schue, Meghan Wiles, Sobey and Rondeau. Schue was named the Tournament’s Outstanding Defensive Player. Wiles played an instrumental role in Grace’s possession attack during the national tournament.

In the NAIA Coaches’ Postseason Top 25 Poll, the Lady Lancers ended the season at No. 18 (also released Wednesday). It was Grace’s seventh straight national ranking from the NAIA and seventh ranking in team history.

Grace was just as impressive in the classroom. The team had 11 players earn NAIA and NCCAA Scholar-Athlete distinction: seniors Bennett, Kelsey Christner and Kaitlan Wiles and juniors Jordan Hairgrove, Darcy Johnston, Erica Manchess, Heather Martin, Rondeau, Sobey, Faith Voehringer and Meghan Wiles. Rondeau was also named to the prestigious Capital One Academic All-America® Team in November.

Grace finished the 2014 season with a number of superlatives: first NAIA Top 25 ranking, first trip to a national championship game and tied for most wins in a season (17-5-3). Grace also advanced to its second-ever league tournament championship game and fourth straight national tournament under head coach Michael Voss.

Voss commented: “Being a GCWS player is hard. This 2014 crew laid down their pride and selfish desire to make this team play ‘Possession Attacking Futbol’ at a pace and longevity we’ve never had previously. These players are special. They’ve found the right balance between being furiously competitive and living in the joy of the Lord. It’s been super hard at times, and I’m grateful they put their hope in Christ above futbol. I am super proud of these women and coaches, and I’m incredibly grateful for the working of God in our team.”

Lancers Hold on for Three-Point Win

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Pictured is Brandon Vanderhegghen dribbling against Indiana Tech on Tuesday.

Grace’s men’s basketball team may have led nearly the entire game against Indiana Tech on Tuesday, but the result was far from settled until the final seconds.

The Lancers (10-3) held on late for the 70-67 victory over the Warriors (5-7) at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.

Grace stifled Indiana Tech into 37-percent shooting for the game compared to Grace’s 43 percent. The Lancers also had six fewer turnovers than the Warriors (16 to 10), but Indiana Tech finished with a plus-five advantage on the glass as the Warriors hauled in 13 offensive rebounds.

Six players for Grace scored at least eight points, led by 15 from Kyle Fillman.

Grace got off to a torrid start on Tuesday, making its first five shots en route to a 10-2 lead. Indiana Tech was forced to burn an early timeout to slow Grace’s momentum. Grace increased its edge to 14-4 before surrendering a 10-0 run to the Warriors to tie the game.

The Warriors stayed within striking distance throughout the opening half but only led for one possession. The Lancers led 30-29 at the halftime break.

The second half was a similar story. Grace continued to maintain a slight margin over Indiana Tech, but the Lancers were unable to put the Warriors away. The teams traded baskets over the final minutes with Grace holding a one-possession lead for the majority of the last 3:00.

A late turnover by Grace with 17 seconds remaining gave Indiana Tech the ball, trailing by three points at 69-66.  But after being fouled with six seconds to play, the Warriors converted on just 1-of-2 from the line. Grace returned the favor by making 1-of-2 on its free throws to go on top 70-67. The Warriors then turned the ball over on their final possession to allow Grace to hold on for the three-point win.

Logan Irwin finished with 11 points, 7 assists, 0 turnovers and 4 rebounds, and Niko Read had 11 points. Caleb Featherston tallied nine points and four rebounds, and Dennis Williams and Brandon Vanderhegghen each chipped in eight points.

The Lancers will be away from the friendly confines of the MOCC until Jan. 10 against St. Francis. Grace will travel to Florida next week for games against Warner on Dec. 15 and Webber International on Dec. 17.

Grace Spikers Earn Pair of All-American Honors

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

To wrap up Grace’s sterling 2014 campaign, the Lady Lancers’ volleyball team picked up two All-American accolades from the NCCAA.

Senior setter Ellie Harp was named NCCAA/AVCA First Team All-American. She was also earned a spot on the six-player 2014 NCCAA All-Tournament Team after helping the Lady Lancers to the national semifinals. Harp’s 1,547 assists in her final campaign ranked seventh for a single season, and her career total of 2,619 assists was good for fourth among Grace’s all-time leaders.

Senior outside hitter Calah Kruse was named NCCAA Second Team All-American. She graduated fourth in Grace’s history with 1,924 digs and seventh with 1,173 kills.

Additionally, Hannah Clemmons was the prestigious NCCAA Susan R. Hellings Award, given to one student-athlete per year. Clemmons, along with Alix Underwood and Jessica Scherb were all named NAIA and NCCAA Scholar-Athletes. Clemmons finished her career No. 3 on Grace’s career digs leaders with 1,960 digs.

The Lady Lancers (30-12) finished the season with 30 wins for the second time since 1996, reaching the NCCAA National Championships for the third time in four years. Grace also advanced to the NCCAA Final Four for the second time in four seasons under head coach Andria Harshman.

Grace Holds Sportsmanship Summit for Northern Lakes Conference

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Pictured is the 2014 Sportsmanship Summit attendees from the Northern Lakes Conference

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 Tuesday.

Ten student-athletes from eight NLC schools attended the conference, 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.”

Students from Concord, Elkhart Memorial, Goshen, Northridge, NorthWood, Plymouth, Warsaw and Wawasee high schools 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.

“The schools in the NLC are really supportive of one another. Sometimes that gets lost in the heat of competition on Friday and Saturday nights,” said Warsaw athletic director Dave Anson. “Efforts like this truly help our student-athletes and leaders continue emphasizing the important and lasting messages that athletics can send. Thank you to Grace for helping us as a conference meet the need for character emphasis in our schools and communities.”

The Sportsmanship Summit featured sessions from IHSAA Assistant Commissioner Sandy Searcy, Grace College Vice President Jim Swanson and Briscoe.

Warsaw sophomore Page Desenberg commented: “In our society, there is a lot of attitude and ego that’s all about me, me, me. Today helped bring to light the importance of decision-making and how we can have a big impact on kids looking up to us.”

Wawasee sophomore Stephen Possell added: “We were reminded today that sportsmanship is a goal that each team should have. The positive attitude and feedback student-athletes can bring to our schools can make a difference.”