Archive for the ‘Grace College’ Category

Women’s Tennis Wins Crucial Match at Bethel

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Grace’s women’s tennis team claimed a critical late-season win over Bethel 6-3 on Saturday.

The Lady Lancers jumped the Pilots in the Crossroads League standings with the victory and assured themselves a spot in the league tournament.

Although the Pilots (6-5, 1-5 CL) won at No. 1 doubles, the Lady Lancers (3-5, 2-5 CL) picked up the slack at No. 2 and No. 3. Gabrielle Lawrence and Mariah Zumbrun teamed up for an 8-5 win at No. 2, and Jenna Jackson and Katie Etter won convincingly 8-2 at No. 3 doubles.

Etter made short work of her opponent 6-1, 6-0 at No. 6 singles, and Natalia Kurkova and Jayna Huber claimed identical 6-4, 6-1 wins at No. 1 and No. 5 singles respectively.

Jackson earned the final point for Grace, winning 7-5, 6-3 at No. 3. Molly Fitzpatrick dropped a hard-fought three-setter at No. 2 singles.

The Lady Lancers have one league match remaining in the season – Tuesday 4 p.m. at home against Goshen. Grace will also play a nonleague match at home on Monday against Trine at 3:30 p.m.

Lancers Score Three Against IWU on Homecoming

Monday, September 28th, 2015

pictured is Dominic Harris celebrating Grace's third goal against Indiana Wesleyan on Saturday

Three second-half goals propelled Grace’s men’s soccer to a Homecoming victory over Indiana Wesleyan on Saturday.

The Lancers won the opening game of the Crossroads League season in front of a packed grandstand at Miller Athletic Complex.

After an uneventful first half, the game did not lack for excitement over the final 45 minutes.

The first half was a midfield battle. The Wildcats (4-4, 0-1 CL) had four of the six shots taken in the first half, but Grace’s defense was organized and was never seriously threatened.

The first chance of the half fell to Grace. Nakilee Weni found space on the right side of the penalty box, but his hard shot whistled above IWU’s goalpost.

Ten minutes into the second half, Grace found the back of the net. Kyle Hamlin maneuvered around two defenders on the left side of the field and took aim from 22 yards. The IWU goalkeeper could not get a glove on Hamlin’s shot as his left-footed blast soared just below the crossbar for the game’s first tally in the 56th minute.

The Wildcats equalized with a penalty kick at the 61:43 mark after Grace committed a foul at the edge of the penalty box.

It did not take long for the Lancers (6-4, 1-0 CL) to reestablish a lead. Jon Christensen sent in a cross from the right side of the field, and Nikola Djordjevic rose above his defender to deflect in his shot in the air in the 69th minute.

Grace continued its attack on IWU’s goal with a handful of chances. The insurance goal came in the 81st minute. Thomas Tydeman made a run on the right side of the field and played a low ball across the face of the goal. Dominic Harris made an acrobatic play to stab in the goal at the far post and celebrated with a somersault in front of an elated red-clad crowd.

Robbie Barnhill made four saves in 90 minutes to earn the win in goal for Grace. The Lancers were outshot 11-7 in the match, but Grace had six shots on goal compared to five for the Wildcats.

Saturday’s win also culminated Grace’s Homecoming weekend, which had a special focus on the Lancers’ 50th season of competition. Members from the original 1965 and 1966 teams were in attendance in events throughout the weekend, marking a memorable few days for the program.

The Lancers continue league play on Wednesday with a trip to St. Francis at 7 p.m.

Volleyball Beats Huntington in Five Sets

Monday, September 28th, 2015

A five-set thriller against Huntington lifted Grace’s volleyball team two spots in the Crossroads League standings on Friday.

Despite a dominant statistical advantage against the Foresters (4-4, 4-4 CL), Grace needed five sets to dismiss the hosts.

The Lady Lancers (12-8, 4-4 CL), winners of four straight, had 29 more kills, 25 more assists and 8 more digs than the Foresters in the match, but the outcome was not decided until the fifth set.

Grace won the opener 25-22 after holding Huntington to nine kills and eight errors. Grace held a late lead in the second set as well, but the Foresters rallied to win 25-23 and even the match.

Huntington was on the verge of taking a 2-1 sets advantage with a 20-11 lead in the third. But Grace ripped off eight unanswered points on the strength of its blocking and serving, forcing Huntington to use a timeout. The break did little to slow Grace’s momentum, however, as the Lady Lancers won the set in extra points 26-24.

The Foresters survived 17 kills from the Lady Lancers in the fourth set to win 25-22, sending the match to one final game.

The final stanza belonged to Grace. The Lady Lancers had kills on nine of their 15 points. Grace also stifled the Foresters into a negative hitting percentage of -.040 in a 15-7 win. Savannah Hart clinched the match with a kill on the 15th point.

Grace, who sat in sixth place before the match began, climbed into fourth in the CL standings with the win over Huntington. Only unbeaten Mt. Vernon Nazarene (16-0) has a longer winning streak in the CL than Grace’s current run of four matches.

Three players for Grace tallied double-doubles, including a rare 20-20 double from Taylor Baird. Baird had 27 assists and 21 digs and shared the setting duties with Laken Chaney, who produced 33 assists and 13 digs. Kaitlin Kerrigan had the third double-double of the match with 14 kills and 23 digs.

Kelsee Zuidema led all players with 16 kills on a .227 percentage, and Sierra Smith had 13 kills on a .281 percentage. Naarah Foster tallied a career-high 10 kills, Tori Bontrager finished with eight kills and seven block assists, and Sara Miller led Grace defensively with 23 digs.

For the match Grace hit at a .187 percentage compared to Huntington’s .081.

The Lady Lancers will go for their fifth straight win on Saturday with a trip to Marian at 5 p.m.

Women’s Cross Country Earns Spot in NAIA Poll

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

For possibly the first time in program history, Grace’s women’s cross country team has made an appearance in the NAIA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll.

The Lady Lancers are in the “receiving votes” section of the poll, earning the 35th-most points in the NAIA.

“It’s nice to be recognized, and I hope we can live up to that recognition. I know there are many good teams in the Crossroads League, so we will find out where we stand as the season progresses,” said Grace head coach Jeff Raymond. “With no seniors on the squad and three freshmen among our top five runners, we have a good foundation for not only this season, but also future years.”

The Lady Lancers have not been ranked according to the NAIA’s database, dating back to the 1999 season.

Grace fields a roster with zero seniors and eight underclassmen. The team has consistently had four freshmen place among the team’s fastest six runners this fall under Raymond’s leadership.

The Lady Lancers’ next competition is Huntington Invitational on Oct. 3.

Grace Netters Top Indiana Tech

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Grace’s women’s tennis team held on for a well-deserved 5-4 win over Indiana Tech on Wednesday.

The Lady Lancers (2-5) grabbed a crucial advantage after winning two of three doubles’ points. Natalia Kurkova and Molly Fitzpatrick won 8-1 at No. 1, while Katie Etter and Jenna Jackson teamed up for an 8-2 victory at No. 3. Gabrielle Lawrence and Mariah Zumbrun battled to an 8-5 loss at No. 2.

Lawrence at No. 5 singles and Etter at No. 6 singles put Grace on the verge of victory with each claiming identical 6-0, 6-1 wins against the Warriors (0-2). Kurkova then secured the win for Grace with a comfortable 6-2, 6-1 victory at No. 1.

Jayna Huber dropped a hard-fought three setter at No. 4 singles, 6-4, 2-6, 2-10, and Jackson lost a close 4-6, 3-6 match at No. 3.

The Lady Lancers continue league play on Saturday with a trip to Bethel at 12 p.m.

Women’s Soccer Catapults to No. 7 in the NAIA Top 25

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

A remarkable start to the season led Grace’s women’s soccer team to the No. 7 spot in the NAIA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll, released Tuesday.

The Lady Lancers (8-0) jumped up eight spots from their preseason ranking of No. 15, earning the highest ranking in program history. Only No. 2 Mobile is also undefeated in the NAIA. Grace is tied with William Carey for the No. 7 spot in the Top 25.

Grace received 427 points in the poll, 100 points behind overall No. 1 Lindsey Wilson. Other Crossroads League teams in the poll include No. 10 Spring Arbor, No. 20 Mt. Vernon Nazarene and Marian (receiving votes).

The Lady Lancers blitzed through one of the toughest nonleague schedules in the nation. They took down four teams who are still ranked in the NAIA: No. 3 Northwestern Ohio, No. 15 Bellevue, No. 21 The Master’s and No. 24 Oklahoma City. Grace completed its second undefeated nonleague season in team history, joining the 2009 squad.

Grace has now been ranked in nine straight national polls. The team finds itself just 22 points from a top-5 ranking.

To start the Crossroads League season, Grace will play at Indiana Wesleyan on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Grace Unveils 2015 Inductees for the Lancer Hall of Fame

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

The Grace College Athletic Department will induct six members into the Lancer Hall of Fame on Saturday morning: Terry Shrock (men’s soccer), Hung Vuong (men’s soccer), Toby Kidder (men’s basketball), Cheryl Lawlor (softball) and Skip and Carol Forbes (meritorious service).

The 2015 induction class is Grace’s eighth class. The group will be honored at the annual Hall of Fame Breakfast on Saturday at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.

“It’s exciting to honor Grace’s rich athletic history,” said athletic director Chad Briscoe. “This is an accomplished group of people who have added much to Grace Athletics. They deserve to be recognized for their contributions to our institution.”

Shrock and Vuong represent Grace Men’s Soccer in the program’s 50th season of collegiate competition. Shrock was the team’s coach from 1973-76. He won three conference championships in four seasons and led the Lancers to two NCCAA national runners-up finishes (1973, 1976). He posted a 43-16-2 overall record and 20-3-1 conference record during his four seasons. He also coached Grace’s track team to a second-place finish at the NCCAA National Championships in 1976.

Vuong played for the Lancers from 1980-83. He still holds a spot in the top 10 in most offensive categories, including career goals (49), career assists (35) and career points (133). He was named First Team NCCAA All-American in 1982 and 1983 and was honorable mention for All-American in 1981.

Kidder played on the inaugural Grace men’s basketball team in 1957. He was one of the first major recruits to sign for the Lancers and was the first member of Grace’s 1,000-Point Club. He poured in 1,653 points in his career and holds the program record for most field goal attempts in a game (35).

Lawlor (Lancaster) was a standout pitcher for Grace’s softball team in 1989-90. Despite pitching for just two seasons, she sits near the top of every pitching stat in team history, ranking third in career wins and seventh in career strikeouts. She posted a 0.83 ERA for the 1990 season and also batted .420 from the plate that year. For her career, Lawlor hit .394 which still ranks sixth all-time.

Skip and Carol Forbes have served for decades at Grace in a variety of areas. Skip has been an assistant on Grace’s women’s basketball team since 2006 and was an assistant on the men’s team from 1983-95. He was also a longtime professor at Grace, earning several awards for his excellence in the profession. Carol also worked at Grace, serving as the secretary to the academic dean.

“We want to thank those individuals who have brought much distinction and honor to Grace College and have established a tradition of Christian excellence which is incomparable,” Briscoe continued. “These achievements have touched everyone associated with Grace College both in and out of the arena of athletics.”

Rondeau, Schue Sweep League Player of Week Awards

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

After helping Grace’s women’s soccer team to a memorable upset, Mallory Rondeau and Abby Schue were honored as the Crossroads League Players of the Week.

Rondeau was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Week. She led the Lady Lancers to a historic upset of No. 2 Northwestern Ohio on Saturday. She assisted the game’s first goal in the first half. After the Racers had tied the game 1-1 in the second half, Rondeau broke the tie and netted the game winner in the 72nd minute.

Schue earned the Defensive Player of the Week award. The sophomore goalkeeper claimed Grace’s eighth win of the season when the Lady Lancers upset UNOH 2-1 on Saturday. Schue made six saves to fend off the defending NAIA national runners-up.

Grace (8-0) completed an undefeated nonleague season, tying the 2009 team for the best start in team history. Grace’s win over UNOH marked the highest-ranked opponent the Lady Lancers have beaten.

The Lady Lancers, ranked No. 15 in the NAIA, start league play on Saturday at Indiana Wesleyan.

Grace Secures Historic Win Over No. 2 UNOH

Monday, September 21st, 2015

pictured is junior Meredith Hollar celebrating her first-half goal during Grace's upset of No. 2 UNOH

Grace’s women’s soccer team secured its position as a national contender on Saturday night.

Goals from Meredith Hollar and Mallory Rondeau propelled No. 15 Grace’s women’s soccer team to a monumental 2-1 win over No. 2 Northwestern Ohio in front of an electric Miller Athletic Complex.

The win completes a perfect nonleague season for the Lady Lancers (8-0). It also marks the highest-ranked win in program history.

“Overall this was just a very good match. UNOH is a quality group, solid technically and tactically. They play good football,” said Grace head coach Michael Voss. “On the day the Grace women were composed, kept the ball well and finished well. This group is beginning to find their redemptive potential. I’m impressed with the entire group and their consistent joy and work rate to systematically play ‘possession attacking futbol.’”

Grace started the match sharply, threatening the Racers’ goal twice in the first six minutes. In the third minute, Mallory Rondeau got free behind UNOH’s back line. The Racers’ goalkeeper charged out, but Rondeau got a shot past her. The ball rolled too slowly, however, as a UNOH defender tracked back to save the ball from crossing the goal line.

Two minutes later Grace opened the scoring. Mallory Rondeau played a well-placed ball to Meredith Hollar in the penalty box, and Hollar sliced her shot to the left of the Racers’ goalkeeper at the 5:36mark.

The rest of the first half was a battle in possession with each side taking a fair share of ball control. The Racers took four first-half shots with the closest being a headed effort that was caught cleanly by goalkeeper Abby Schue. The teams entered halftime with Grace holding a 1-0 advantage.

UNOH managed to tie the game in the 58th minute. Grace thought they had caught the Racers offside, but no call was made and UNOH leveled the game from close range.

The game-winning moment for Rondeau came in the 72nd minute. Kristelle Jadoo found Rondeau outside the penalty box, and the senior forward split two Racer defenders and turned toward goal. After a slick move to sidestep UNOH’s goalkeeper, Rondeau calmly slotted her shot inside the right goalpost.

The rest of the second half belonged to Grace. The Lady Lancers’ midfield moved the ball efficiently and had the Racers pinned back in their defensive half for large periods of time.

Schue improved to 8-0 as Grace’s goalkeeper, making six saves in 90 minutes. The Racers had a slight 7-5 advantage in shots while each squad took two corner kicks.

Grace’s perfect nonleague season included wins over No. 2 UNOH, No. 11 The Master’s and No. 16 Bellevue as well as two teams (John Brown, Oklahoma City) who are receiving votes in the NAIA Top 25. The second edition of the poll will be released Sept. 29.

The Lady Lancers start Crossroads League play Sept. 26 at rival Indiana Wesleyan. Grace returns to Miller Athletic Complex on Sept. 29 against St. Francis.

Lady Lancers Win Third Straight

Monday, September 21st, 2015

pictured is Grace freshman Caylie Teel getting low for a dig against St. Francis on Saturday

After a slow start to the Crossroads League season, Grace’s volleyball team has found its stride after beating St. Francis 3-1 on Saturday.

The Lady Lancers (11-8, 3-4 CL) won their third consecutive match, recovering from an 0-1 deficit to beat the Cougars (3-11, 0-6 CL) at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.

In the opening set, St. Francis held a slight three-point lead at 20-17 when Grace coach Katie Van Hofwegen called timeout. Her adjustments worked as Grace won three of the next four points to climb within one, forcing a timeout by the Cougars. Grace continued its momentum, scoring the next two points to bring about another USF timeout. The Cougars finally got the edge, however, taking four of the final five rallies to win 25-23.

Grace jumped out to an early advantage in the second set, leading 11-7. The Lady Lancers would not let its late lead slip this time, cruising to a 25-19 win to even the match.

The third set was a nailbiter with each team taking turns pulling ahead. The score was tied 22-22 when Grace seized control. Tori Bontrager pounded out a kill, and Taylor Baird followed that up with an ace. St. Francis held off one set point, but Kaitlin Kerrigan crushed the final kill to the back line to lift Grace to a 25-23 win.

Grace finished matters in the fourth set with a 25-20 victory. The Lady Lancers had their most explosive offensive set in the fourth, racking up 17 kills on just five errors in the game-clinching win.

Kelsee Zuidema had a season-high 19 kills on a .429 percentage to lead all players. Kerrigan tallied 11 kills on 28 attempts, and Sara Miller notched 19 digs.

Caylie Teel notched 13 digs, Sierra Smith added eight kills, and Naarah Foster finished with four kills and three block assists. Baird (23 assists) and Laken Chaney (22 assists) shared setting duties, and Kari Feddema chipped in four kills and three block assists.

The Lady Lancers continue league play next weekend with a pair of away contests. Grace will play at Huntington on Friday and at Marian on Saturday.