Archive for the ‘Feature Stories’ Category

Men’s Soccer Scores Four Against Crimson Wave

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Photo taken by Chad Briscoe after Grace's Trent Smith scored a goal in the second half on Thursday.

Grace’s men’s soccer team had its highest-scoring game of the season in a 4-1 defeat of Calumet-St. Joseph’s on Thursday.

The Lancers had four different goal scorers at Miller Field in a dominating performance over the Crimson Wave (2-3).

Grace controlled play for large stretches of the first half. The Lancers got on the scoreboard first in the 17th minute. Danilo Carnelos bent a corner kick just below the crossbar, beating the goalkeeper for a crowd-pleasing goal.

The lead was short-lived as CCSJ found an immediate equalizer. Glauber Borrachini pounced on a loose ball in the penalty box to score at the 17:30 mark.

Less than 10 minutes later, Grace grabbed the lead for good with a goal to remember. Gift Sibukome sent a nifty pass in the penalty box to Austin Altimus, and Altimus rocketed a volley into the upper corner of the net in the 28th minute.

Grace, who had a 9-5 shot advantage before halftime, increased its possession in the second half. The Lancers (5-1) outshot CCSJ 11-3 over the final 45 minutes, adding two more goals.

Trent Smith found Grace’s third goal from distance, burying a 23-yard attempt at the 55:53 mark. Smith nearly replicated the effort with another long shot, but the Crimson Wave’s goalkeeper made a diving save to deny the attempt.

A pair of freshmen teamed up for the final goal of the match. Josiah O’Deens made a run at the top of the penalty box, sliding a pass ahead for Zack Tucker. The freshman forward then hit a curling shot past the goalkeeper in the 85th minute.

Overall for the match Grace had a 20-8 shot advantage and 9-4 in corner kicks. Smith led all players with six shots and three shots on goal. Justin Festa had three headed shot attempts at goal, and O’Deens and Tucker each tried three shots.

Robbie Barnhill earned the win in goal, making three saves in 90 minutes.

The Lancers’ final nonleague game is on Sept. 20 at Indiana Tech. Grace will then kick off the Crossroads League season on Sept. 27 at Indiana Wesleyan.

Defensive Effort Fuels Grace’s Sweep of Marian

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Pictured is Annie Salazar digging up an attack against Marian on Wednesday

A strong defensive presence coupled with 16 kills from Calah Kruse led Grace’s volleyball team to a 3-0 sweep of Marian on Wednesday.

The Lady Lancers (12-3, 2-0 Crossroads League) held Marian to a .069 hitting percentage and earned 10 block points at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.

Although Grace swept the Knights (3-8, 0-2 CL), all three sets were close until the final whistle.

The Lady Lancers came out swinging in the opening set, pounding out 14 kills on four errors in a 25-21 win. Kruse was on the finishing end of six of Ellie Harp’s 11 assists in the set.

In the second set, Grace held a slight lead for much of the game. But the young Knights, with just one upperclassman on the roster, showed resolve to force extra points. Tori Bontrager produced a key solo block late, and Kruse pounded out a kill in the final rally for a 26-24 victory.

Marian threatened to win the third set and seemed to have momentum with a 20-16 advantage. A well-placed timeout from coach Andria Harshman allowed the Lady Lancers to recover with an immediate 4-1 spurt. Freshman Sierra Smith subbed in for the final stages off the bench and teamed up for a late block and kill. Grace Woolsey spearheaded a defensive play at the net in the final point as Grace held on for the 25-23 win.

Kruse was the standout offensive player in the match with a match-best 16 kills to go along with 13 digs and two block assists. Harp, the reigning CL Setter of the Week, passed out 33 assists with three kills.

Hannah Clemmons led all players with 17 digs, Woolsey finished with 10 kills and five block assists, Megan Johnson racked up five block assists and Sara Miller added six digs off the bench.

The Lady Lancers have two matches remaining in the week. Grace travels to Spring Arbor on Friday before returning home on Saturday at 3 p.m. against St. Francis.

Golfers Finish Seventh in Season Opener

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Grace’s golf team opened up the 2014 season with the IWU Invite at Meshingomesia Golf Club.

The Lancers shot identical rounds of 307 to place seventh in the field.

Jon Schram paced the team in his first meet as a Lancer with a fifth-place finish at 144, three strokes off the individual medalist. Schram was in second overall after carding a first-round 71, and he finished the tournament with a 73 on Tuesday. Schram was fourth in the meet with seven birdies.

Transfer Taylor Ham opened his Grace career with a 78-76 for the Lancers, and Taylor Fanning was three strokes behind with a 79-78. Ham’s total of 25 pars was fourth-most in the field.

Freshman Brayden Glaser rounded out Grace’s scoring with a two-round total of 159. Zach Allyn shot an 80-83, and Daniel Zawlocki finished with 78-80 while playing as an individual. Zawlocki had four birdies to his credit.

The Lancers compete again this weekend at the Bethel Invitational from Blackthorn Golf Club on Friday and Saturday.

Lancers Take Down Campbellsville

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Grace’s men’s soccer team earned its third consecutive win on Saturday night, upending Campbellsville 2-0 at Miller Field.

The Lancers (4-1) shut down Campbellsville’s high-octane offense, which was averaging 6.5 goals per game entering Saturday’s showdown.

“Our guys came out strong tonight and created a lot of scoring chances in the first half. I thought we really looked good in combination play up front,” said Grace head coach Matt Hotchkin. “Campbellsville is a good team and well-coached. They have a lot of speed so for us to get that test in nonconference will pay dividends once we reach conference season.”

Grace was strong in possession in the first half, limiting the Tigers (4-1) to just two shot attempts before halftime. Jon Sands scored the match’s first goal in the 17th minute. Trent Smith fired a hard attempt, which was parried away by the goalkeeper. Sands jumped on the loose ball and blasted home a goal from inside the penalty box.

Grace, who had seven shot attempts in the first half, added a second goal in the final minute of the period. Dylan Andersen applied intense pressure to the Tigers’ back line, forcing a turnover. Zack Tucker took care of the rest, finishing off a strong attempt into the back of the net.

The Tigers snapped into attack midway into the second period, but Campbellsville could only muster five shots in the second half. Campbellsville’s best attempt came from a header which flew above the crossbar.

“Thanks to everybody for creating a special atmosphere tonight for our team. It’s always good to play at Miller Field,” Hotchkin said. “We have been working very hard over these late weeks. It’s really good to see the guys growing and building. The boys earned that victory tonight.”

Overall Grace outshot Campbellsville in each half and 13-7 for the match. Gift Sibukome paced Grace with three shots and two shots on goal. Sands, Kyle Hamlin, Danilo Carnelos and Austin Altimus each tallied two shots apiece.

Robbie Barnhill earned the shutout victory in goal for Grace, making four saves in 90 minutes. Carnelos, Sands, Justin Festa and Ben Cahill anchored Grace’s backline to record the team’s third shutout of the season.

Volleyball Splits First Day of Tournament

Monday, September 8th, 2014

After a four-set loss to No. 11 Georgetown earlier in the day, Grace’s volleyball team bounced back to knock off St. Catharine in five sets on Friday.

The Lady Lancers split the opening day of the Georgetown Tournament. Grace continues the tournament with matches on Saturday against Asbury at 9:30 a.m. and Bryan at 2 p.m.

In Grace’s second match on Friday, the Lady Lancers (9-2) found themselves behind 2-1 in sets against St. Catharine. Grace won the first set by five before dropping the next two 25-12 and 25-22.

The Lady Lancers showed resolve in the fourth set, holding the Patriots (10-2) to a .069 attack percentage en route to a 25-19 victory.

In the tiebreaker, Grace pounded out an 11-6 advantage in kills and held on for a thrilling 15-13 victory.

Kaitlin Kerrigan’s 19 kills paced Grace’s attack on a .170 percentage. Ellie Harp passed out 58 assists to go along with seven kills on 10 attempts. Hannah Clemmons took match honors with 26 digs as the team’s libero.

Calah Kruse earned 12 kills and 13 digs, Grace Woolsey had 16 kills, 1 solo block and 3 block assists, and Tori Bontrager added 12 kills on a .375 percentage.

Grace played the host school Georgetown in the first match of the day. The NAIA 11th-ranked Tigers held a 21-18 lead late in the opening set, but a well-placed timeout from head coach Andria Harshman swung momentum back to the visitors. Grace ended the game on a 7-1 run to win 25-22, ending the set on an ace from Calah Kruse and a kill from Kaitlin Kerrigan.

Georgetown struck back in the second set, taking a commanding 25-16 win. The Tigers (3-3) looked strong to start the third set with a six-point lead at the midway mark. Grace rallied with an 11-4 charge to pull ahead 21-20, but Georgetown responded by taking five of the next seven points to win by two.

Grace did not recover in the fourth set, falling 25-11 to the 11th-ranked hosts.

Kruse tallied a double-double with a match-high 13 kills and 13 digs. Hannah Clemmons led all players with 21 digs, Grace Woolsey had 7 kills, 2 solo blocks and 1 block assist, and Kerrigan finished with 10 kills.

Hollar Powers Grace’s Victory Over Georgetown

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Two goals and an assist from Meredith Hollar sparked Grace’s women’s soccer team to a 3-1 win over Georgetown on Friday.

The match, played at Indiana Wesleyan’s field, saw the Lady Lancers (2-1-2) dominate with a 24-3 advantage in shot attempts.

“The women managed the heat well today. It was not our best start, but they showed initiative to take over,” said Grace head coach Michael Voss. “This caps off a long stretch for us, and we continue to improve in our targeted areas. I’m pleased with the effort of the women today.”

Grace took the first four shots of the match, including a near-goal from Meghan Wiles that deflected off the crossbar. It was the Tigers (0-2), however, who got on the scoreboard first. Georgetown scored on their first shot attempt of the match in the 14th minute.

Hollar found the equalizer midway through the first half. Although Grace outshot Georgetown 12-2 in the opening period, the Lady Lancers had to settle for a 1-1 scoreline entering halftime.

Grace did not have to wait long for the lead, however. Less than five minutes into the second half, Mallory Rondeau dribbled through the middle of the field and passed over to Hollar for the forward’s second goal of the match.

The Lady Lancers continued their assault on the Tigers’ net, taking 12 more shots in the second half. Rondeau nearly added a goal of her own seven minutes later with a shot off the goalpost. Emma Neahusan also drilled a crossbar in pursuit of the team’s insurance goal.

Hollar provided the assist on Grace’s third goal. After Hollar beat a defender on the right side of the field, she squared a pass in front of goal to Jordan Hairgrove for a close-range finish in the 85th minute.

Overall Hollar had six shots and five shots on goal. Rondeau finished with four attempts, Neahusan shot three times, and Wiles, Hairgrove and Holly Bennett each had two shots.

Abby Schue earned the win in goal, making two saves in 90 minutes.

Next week the Lady Lancers will travel to Kansas for a pair of nonleague games. Grace will play MidAmerica Nazarene on Sept. 12 and Baker on Sept. 13.

Pictured is Meredith Hollar earlier in the season for Grace. Hollar scored twice and got an assist on Friday.

2014 PREVIEW: Golfers Add Fresh Talent to Roster

Friday, September 5th, 2014

The Grace College men’s golf team has loaded up the 2014 roster with talented newcomers under head coach Denny Hepler.

The Lancers will be led by steady senior Taylor Fanning in his final season. He and junior Bradley Clark represent the sole upperclassman presence on the roster.

Sophomore transfers Jon Schram and Tyler Adams provide depth and should fight for a top-five spot in each tournament. Schram, a Warsaw graduate who played his freshman season at Ball State University, has potential to be one of the top golfers in the Crossroads League, according to Hepler.

“I’m very excited about this year’s team. We have a couple surprises that could make our team deeper than I anticipated,” said Grace head coach Denny Hepler. “This team has some of the best talent we’ve ever had at Grace. If we can eliminate any high numbers on holes, we will be fine.”

Zachary Allyn and Micah Knoblock return for their sophomore years in Grace’s lineup. They will be joined by freshmen Brayden Glaser (NorthWood) and Daniel Zawlocki (Whitko).

The Lancers open competition for the fall season on Monday at the IWU Invitational from Meshingomesia Golf Club.

Grace Sweeps Taylor in Convincing Fashion

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Center jumping is Megan Johnson, pictured earlier in the season for Grace volleyball.

Grace’s volleyball team made an early-season statement by sweeping Taylor on the road on Wednesday.

Calah Kruse and Kaitlin Kerrigan poured in 12 kills apiece to pace Grace’s offense in the Crossroads League opener.

The Lady Lancers (8-1, 1-0 CL) held Taylor to a .059 hitting percentage, registering eight block points.

“The ladies really stepped up tonight and played the way we know we can,” said Grace head coach Andria Harshman. “Our execution of the game plan was precise, and I’m so proud of the ladies and our efforts. This was a big win for the team as we begin a tough league schedule.”

Grace held a slight lead for much of the opening set. With the score knotted at 19-19, Grace earned four straight points to take the opener 25-22. Kruse notched two of her six kills in the set during the crucial 4-0 run.

Grace’s momentum continued into the start of the second set, claiming a 4-0 lead out of the gate. The Lady Lancers continued their strong performance with another clutch win, 25-23. Grace hit .158 as a team in the win.

Although the Trojans (8-2, 0-1 CL) scored the first four points of the third set, the Lady Lancers seized control of the set immediately after that point. Grace charged away with a 16-4 run to claim a 16-8 lead, and the Lady Lancers never led by fewer than four points the rest of the way.

Kruse had the only double-double of the match with 12 kills and a team-high 14 digs. She also notched two block assists. Ellie Harp passed out 27 assists with 6 service aces, 3 kills and 2 block assists.

Grace Woolsey had 6 kills, 2 solo blocks and 3 block assists, Tori Bontrager finished with five kills on 10 attempts, and Hannah Clemmons chipped in with 11 digs.

The Lady Lancers travel to Georgetown (Ky.) College over the weekend for a tournament. Grace resumes Crossroads League play on Sept. 10 in a home match against Marian.

Barnhill Earns League Player of the Week Award

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Robbie Barnhill got his Lancer career off to a fast start by being named the Crossroads League Defensive Player of the Week.

Barnhill, a sophomore transfer from Malone University, surrendered just one goal in two matches as Grace’s goalkeeper. He shut out John Brown in 86 minutes in goal, before sitting out four minutes after getting hit in the head. He made five saves against John Brown.

Barnhill helped the Lancers to a 2-0 week while recording six saves.

The Lancers’ next home match is Saturday 7 p.m. against Campbellsville, who is receiving votes in the NAIA.

Women’s Tennis Wins First of the Year

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Grace’s young women’s tennis team picked up its first victory of the fall with an 8-1 victory against St. Francis.

The young Lady Lancers played with just one upperclassman to take down the Cougars (1-2, 1-2 CL).

Freshman Caroline Cassidy won her first two collegiate matches, including 6-2, 7-5 at No. 6 singles and 8-4 at No. 3 doubles with Katie Etter. Etter also stayed undefeated on the season with a straight-sets win at No. 5 singles.

Natalia Kurkova won her second-straight match at No. 1 singles in dominating 6-0, 6-1 fashion, and she teamed up with Jayna Huber to win 8-4 at No. 1 doubles.

Mariah Zumbrun and Gabrielle Lawrence won two points apiece for the Lady Lancers (1-1, 1-1 CL), including an 8-3 win at No. 2 doubles.

“We were much more aggressive from the start in this match than we were against Huntington,” said Grace head coach Scott Moore. “I thought the girls took chances when they had opportunities and played with confidence. We must continue to get better each day, and I thought today we did that.”

The Lady Lancers have two more home matches this week, including Taylor on Thursday and Spring Arbor on Saturday.