Archive for the ‘Feature Stories’ Category

Lancers Win Wet, Wild Quarterfinal Match

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

Two red cards and one goal headlined Grace’s 1-0 victory over Huntington in the opening round of the 2015 Crossroads League Tournament on Saturday.

Sheets of rain pelted the players and spectators at Miller Athletic Complex in the quarterfinal matchup as freshman Colin Cape proved to be the hero for the Lancers (12-5-1).

Saturday’s game was physical throughout, drawing eight bookings between the teams and a pair of red cards.

The Foresters (9-9-1) were whittled down to 10 men when a straight red card was issued at the 20:46 mark. Grace saw its opportunity and dominated the match in the first period with a 11v10 advantage. The Lancers took 11 shots and six corners in the first 45 minutes compared to one shot and zero corners for the Foresters. Kyle Hamlin had a curling attempt that clanged off the goalpost in the 36th minute, but Grace did not have to wait much longer for its first goal.

The winner came in the 39th minute. A long pass into the penalty box from Josiah Osborn was deflected back by Huntington. The ball fell to Colin Cape who blasted his shot on the first touch off the crossbar and into the back of the net in spectacular fashion.

The match entered halftime with Grace leading 1-0 and Huntington still playing down a man.

With its collective back to the wall, Huntington came out as the aggressor in the second half. The Foresters found an edge on offense and fired off 12 shots after halftime. Robbie Barnhill made three diving saves in the second half to keep Huntington off the scoreboard.

The match gained even more intrigue in the 77th minute when Grace was given a red card, leaving the final 13 minutes to be played 10v10. The 1-0 scoreline held, however, as Grace earned a place in next week’s CL semifinals. The Lancers will host third-seeded Spring Arbor at 4 p.m. at Miller Athletic Complex.

For the match, Grace held a 15-13 advantage in shot attempts and a 9-6 advantage in corner kicks. Cape had three shots, while Hamlin, Daniel Smith and Damon Binkley tried two shots each.

Barnhill made seven saves in 90 minutes to earn the shutout victory. He was protected by the backline of Jon Sands, Justin Festa, Osborn and Jon Christensen.

Lancers Cruise to Season-Opening Win

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

No. 14 Grace kicked off the 2015-16 men’s basketball season with a 76-67 win over Wilberforce on Saturday.

The Lancers (1-0) led by 27 points late in the game before Bulldogs (0-2) rallied late to make the score closer.

Grace took the lead for good five minutes into the contest and never looked back. The Lancers buried five 3-pointers in a five-minute span to pull away from Wilberforce, and the hosts went into halftime ahead 46-34. Josh Ruggles was an offensive spark in the period, hitting three straight treys to enliven the crowd at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.

The second half mirrored the first with Grace gradually grinding down Wilberforce. A 3-pointer from Brandon Vanderhegghen finished off a 19-6 spurt for the Lancers to start the second half, putting Grace on top 65-40.

The Lancers substituted freely in the second half, using 15 players on their roster. Grace cruised ahead 76-49 with 5:38 on the clock before the Bulldogs made a late push. Wilberforce ended the game on an 18-0 run as Grace’s offense was held scoreless for nearly six minutes.

The clock ran out on Wilberforce, however, as Grace held on for the nine-point victory.

Vanderhegghen led Grace in scoring with 17 points on four 3-pointers, adding eight rebounds and two assists. Logan Irwin was 3-for-4 beyond the arc, registering 13 points with five assists, and Ruggles had four triples for 12 points in his collegiate debut.

Erik Bowen tallied nine points and seven boards, Kyle Fillman had eight points and five boards, and Caleb Featherston chipped in 3 points, 3 assists and 9 rebounds.

Grace shot 40 percent from the floor compared to 43 percent by Wilberforce. Grace won the rebounding battle, 41-33.

The Lancers will travel to Lawrence Tech on Tuesday before returning home on Friday against St. Xavier.

Hollar’s Goal Lifts Grace in Quarterfinals

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

Grace’s women’s soccer team opened up the 2015 Crossroads League Tournament with a 1-0 win over Mt. Vernon Nazarene.

The Lady Lancers (14-1-3) used a first-half goal from Meredith Hollar to advance to next Saturday’s semifinal matchup. Grace will host Marian in the semifinals on Nov. 7 at Miller Athletic Complex.

Grace started the match sharply, challenging the Cougars’ (10-7-2) goal several times over the opening minutes. Maile Grout, Jordan Hairgrove, Meredith Hollar and Mallory Rondeau all took shots in the first half, and Hollar broke through first.

Hairgrove took a shot that was blocked, and the rebound fell to Hollar who volleyed in her shot in the 16th minute.

The teams each took six shots in the opening half, and Mt. Vernon Nazarene looked threatening to close the half. The Cougars had a shot that bounced off the goalpost, but Grace’s nets remained unharmed as the game reached halftime.

Both sides had offensive opportunities in the second half. Grace came closer to finding the back of the net. Kristelle Jadoo advanced from her defensive position and launched a shot from nearly 30 yards. Her attempt clanged off the crossbar and out of play.

In the final 10 minutes, Grace was pulled down in the penalty box resulting in a PK decision by the referee. Darcy Johnston took the spot kick but was saved, allowing MNVU a last glimmer of hope.

Grace did not allow the Cougars to score a late equalizer, however, as Grace held on to secure its spot in the semifinals of the CL Tournament.

Defensively, Grace picked up its 11th shutout of the season. Abby Schue made five saves in 90 minutes as goalkeeper, and she was protected well by the backline of Faith Voehringer, Jadoo, Meredith Matson, Erica Manchess and Clair Snodgrass.

Hollar’s six shots led all players, and Rondeau and Aubrey Feipel had two shots apiece.

Huntington Stifles Grace Spikers on Senior Night

Friday, October 30th, 2015

Grace’s volleyball team came up short with a 3-0 loss to Huntington on Friday night at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.

The Lady Lancers (17-16, 8-9 Crossroads League) honored their three seniors—Alix Underwood, Jessica Scherb and Annie Salazar—before the match.

During the first set, Grace fell behind 9-4 and had to burn an early timeout. Grace still trailed 13-8 but rallied to cut the margin to one point several times. Huntington refused to surrender the lead, however, and pulled away to win 25-17.

The Lady Lancers started the second set stronger by scoring three of the first four points. But the Foresters responded with an 8-2 charge to seize the lead. After a Grace timeout, the Lady Lancers rallied to tie the score at 16, 18 and 20. Huntington surged ahead and had two set points that Grace survived. But with the game in the balance at 24-24, Huntington scored twice and made good on its third set point to win 26-24.

Grace’s offense could not find its rhythm in the third set, hitting at a negative hitting percentage as a team. The Foresters secured the sweep with a 25-14 victory.

The Lady Lancers had two more kills (38 to 36) than the Foresters in the match, but Huntington hit at a .269 percentage compared to Grace’s .123 clip.

Kelsee Zuidema had nine kills to lead Grace’s attack, and Tori Bontrager had eight kills on a .368 percentage. Sierra Smith had eight kills and two block assists, and Sara Miller tallied 17 digs.

Annie Salazar’s 12 digs and Jessica Scherb’s 11 aided Grace’s backline, and Kaitlin Kerrigan added six kills.

The Lady Lancers end the regular season on Saturday with a home match against Marian at 5 p.m.

Grace College to Host Fourth Annual Executive Forum – “Harnessing the Power of Innovation” Will Take Place Nov. 17

Friday, October 30th, 2015

Pictured from left to right: Professor Alan Grossnickle with 2015 Executive Forum Committee students Carianne Sobey, Sarah Chappell, Annette Hammond, Danielle Deal, Alex Noppert, Hannah McGuire and Lydia Bronner

Grace College School of Business and the Gordon Institute for Enterprise Development will partner to present the fourth annual Executive Forum, “Harnessing the Power of Innovation” on Tuesday, Nov. 17 from 8:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center, 610 Wooster Rd., Winona Lake, Ind.  Doors will open at 8 a.m. for check-in and continental breakfast.

Mr. Bill Yeargin, CEO of Correct Craft in Orlando, Florida, will keynote this year’s forum.  Pat Miller, host of The Pat Miller Program on WOWO, will moderate the event and seven panelists will each offer their unique perspective on innovation:

-          David Bazzoni, President, IDNA Brands

-          Dr. Mark Klaasseen, Orthopedic Surgeon, OSMC; Professor of Practice, University of Notre Dame

-          Dr. Bill Katip, President, Grace College

-          Dr. Pam Plouhar, World-wide VP of Clinical Research, DePuy Synthes

-          Cindy Riemersma, COO, 80/20, Inc.

-          Chris Murphy, CEO, 1st Source Bank

-          Doug Rassi, President & Co-founder, Polywood

“We are thrilled with the high caliber of forum speakers this year and believe business leaders from our region will benefit from their diverse insights about innovation,” said Alan Grossnickle, director of the Gordon Institute for Enterprise Development and professor of marketing at Grace College.

This year’s forum is sponsored by RSM US LLP (formerly McGladrey), a leading national assurance, tax and consulting firm with locations including South Bend and Indianapolis.

Executive Forum tickets, which include a continental breakfast, are $40 per person and $35 for each additional person from the same company now through Nov. 7.  After Nov. 7, tickets are $45 and $40 for each additional person from the same company.  Tickets may be purchased online by visiting  For more information, please call Marsha Yocum at 574.372.5100, ext. 6094.

Grace Wins Defensive Battle in Home Opener

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

Pictured is junior Haley Richardson applying defensive pressure to the ballhandler for IU-South Bend on Wednesday

Grace’s women’s basketball claimed its first victory of the season 48-46 over IU-South Bend on Wednesday.

The Lady Lancers (1-1) made a pivotal charge in the third quarter to swing momentum their way and made a defensive stop at the buzzer to hold on for the two-point win.

Grace’s offense struggled throughout the contest, shooting just 29 percent from the floor. Offense was even harder to come by in the first half for Grace as the team hit 21 percent on field goals and 2-of-16 from beyond the arc.

The Titans (1-1) held Grace to eight points and seven points respectively over the first two quarters and led 27-15 at halftime. Grace had a major scoring slump in the second quarter and did not dent the scoreboard for over six minutes before Maycee Davis converted a steal and fastbreak layup.

Coach Scott Blum’s adjustments at halftime seemed to work, however, as the Lady Lancers came out firing in the second half. Gabby Miller and Jenna Kieper drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to start the half, and a Jesse Feitz layup cut the Titans’ margin to four. IU-South Bend burned an early timeout less than two minutes into the quarter, but Grace’s momentum continued.

A fastbreak layup from Haley Richardson gave Grace its first lead of the night at 29-28. Overall for the period Grace outscored IU-South Bend 17-5, and the teams entered the final period tied 32-32.

The fourth quarter was won by new faces to Grace’s lineup. Grace’s final 14 points of the game were scored by newcomers. Lauren Godfrey hit a pair of free throws, and Richardson hit a jumper to put Grace ahead 38-36. The Titans scored four straight to go up by two, but Brooke Sugg buried a trey to give Grace the lead.

Pam Miller hit two shots—the last of which gave Grace the lead for good at 45-44 with 3:04 on the clock. On Grace’s next possession, Sugg drained a stepback 3-pointer to make the score 48-44 with2:16 remaining.

IU-South Bend was held to one made shot for the remainder of the game and lost by two. The Titans had possession for the final play of the game, misfired and grabbed an offensive rebound. Grace then deflected the next two inbounds passes, and the Titans were unable to get a shot off over the final frantic six seconds.

Fourteen players saw the court for Grace with 11 of those registering in the scoring column. Sugg went for nine points on 3-of-6 shooting on 3’s to lead Grace, and Richardson tallied eight points and six rebounds. Sarah Feasby tallied five points and nine rebounds, and Pam Miller was a perfect 3-for-3 shooting for six points.

Grace forced the Titans into 20 turnovers. Grace was also strong with the ball with 11 turnovers, including four in the second half.

The Lady Lancers hit the road on Saturday with a trip to IU-Northwest for a 4 p.m. tipoff.

FUN FEST 2015 TO TAKE PLACE FRIDAY, OCT. 30 – Adults and Kids of All Ages Invited to Free, Community Event at Grace College

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

For over 25 years, Grace College and Seminary students have organized Fun Fest for families in Winona Lake, Warsaw and surrounding communities.  The annual fall event offers something for everyone, including a petting zoo, hayrides, inflatables, face painting, games, food and candy.  Fun Fest 2015: Down on the Farm will take place on Friday, Oct. 30 from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. at the Gordon Recreation Center on the campus of Grace College.  Children are invited to wear costumes and come ready for a fun-filled night.

Graduate student Kate Puckett, one of this year’s organizers, had this to say: “We expect about 1,000 adults and children at Fun Fest.  We’re putting the finishing touches on the Gordon Rec Center right now to make this year’s event the best ever.”

Fun Fest is organized by SERVE, the student-led service organization of Grace College and Seminary.  Approximately 90 Grace students volunteer to make the event possible.  Fun Fest 2015 is free and open to the public.

Schue Earns Third National Player of Week Honor

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

Grace goalkeeper Abby Schue picked up another Player of the Week award on Tuesday.

Schue, a Warsaw Tiger standout, was named the NCCAA National Defensive Player of the Week for the third time this season for the Lady Lancers.

Schue yielded just one goal in 200 minutes as Grace’s goalkeeper last week. She earned her 10th shutout of the season over Marian and made four saves in a 2OT draw at Taylor. Schue has given up just 0.45 goals/game (No. 8 in NAIA). Grace’s 10 defensive shutouts ranks fifth in the nation.

The Lady Lancers earned the No. 2 seed in this week’s CL Tournament. Grace will host seventh-seeded Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Miller Athletic Complex.

Crossroads League Showers Men’s Soccer with Awards

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

After an outstanding regular season for Grace’s men’s soccer team, the Lancers were honored with several awards on the All-Crossroads League Team.

Head coach Matt Hotchkin (pictured) was named the CL’s Coach of the Year after leading Grace to a second-place finish. The Lancers, picked to finish fifth in the league in the preseason poll, earned their best league result in over a decade under Hotchkin’s leadership. Grace finished the regular season 11-5-1 and 6-2-1 in league play, coming up one win shy of claiming the regular season championship.

Sophomore Daniel Smith and senior Kyle Hamlin were named First Team All-CL. Smith was a controlling presence in Grace’s midfield, appearing in all 17 matches for the Lancers. Hamlin had the most goals (7) and assists (8) during the regular season for Grace, and his eight assists led all league players.

Additionally, Robbie Barnhill and Justin Festa were honored to the Second Team All-CL. Both played key roles in establishing Grace as a dominant defensive team. Festa, a central defender, and Barnhill, the goalkeeper, helped Grace to seven shutouts in the regular season. Barnhill’s 85 saves currently ranks No. 19 in the NAIA.

The Lancers are the No. 2 seed in the CL Tournament. Grace will host seventh-seed Huntington on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Miller Athletic Complex. The semifinals are set for Nov. 7 with the championship to be played Nov. 14. The winner of the CL Tournament will receive an automatic bid to the NAIA National Championships.

2015-16 PREVIEW: Senior-Led Lancers Ready for the Year

Monday, October 26th, 2015

Five seniors are set to lead Grace’s men’s basketball team for another season under head coach Jim Kessler in 2015-16.

The Lancers, fresh an NAIA Sweet Sixteen appearance and a 23-13 record last year, have a strong leadership core this winter. Statistically, Grace returns nearly 70 percent of its production from 2014-15 thanks to the senior class.

All-American point guard Logan Irwin highlights the class. He averaged 13.6 points and 4.4 assists per game, leading the Crossroads League with a plus-4.5 assist-to-turnover ratio in league games.

Brandon Vanderhegghen had a breakout junior year, tallying 11.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Forwards Kyle Fillman (6.6 ppg) and Caleb Featherston (4.9 ppg) bring experience to the frontcourt, and Drew Perrin has been a steady presence in the guard rotation.

In his 39th season in charge of the Lancers, Kessler marveled at the senior class’s dedication and cohesion.

“These guys are such close friends that they don’t talk to each other on the court. They just assume what the other person is doing,” Kessler said. “They’re still improving which is important. They spent countless hours in the gym this summer; I had to tell them to take a day off. Some teams look back with regret, but this group can walk away from this year knowing that they gave their best and prepared for the season.”

Grace has traditionally had a towering post player for the better part of the last decade. This year, however, the Lancers will be driven by their guard play. Grace will be more “perimeter-oriented,” in Kessler’s words. The Lancers will need to use their fastbreak attack to get easy baskets and also capitalize on their outside shooting.

During the 2014-15 season, Grace made 35 percent of its 3-point shots. Four returners made over 36 percent from beyond the arc—Irwin, Vanderhegghen, Chad Hoffer and Stephen Halstead.

The team is prepared to run the floor, and the collective level of conditioning is there to match that desire. Kessler put the Lancers through what he called a “historically tough” conditioning workout. Every player met the challenge, however. “Our younger players have followed the leadership of the older guys. They don’t want to come off the court, even at practice. That’s a good team if you have to hold them back. We’ll need to learn how to work smarter rather than harder this year.”

On the defensive end, Kessler noted Grace’s need to guard as a collective unit. Rather than funneling opposing teams to a big man as in years past, the Lancers will work to limit penetration in the lane. “I think we can score without a center, but defensively we don’t have that big to stop drives. We’ll have to be creative in how we defend.”

Fillman and Featherston lead Grace’s post rotation. Sophomore Erik Bowen played in all 36 games last year, and Eric Miller and John Swanson bring depth and strength to Grace’s interior. Freshman Logan Godfrey (Snider HS) has shown promise in the preseason as an athletic 6-foot-7 forward, and redshirt freshman Mike Warren adds muscle and inside scoring.

The guard rotation will center around Irwin and Vanderhegghen. Hoffer had a strong freshman campaign, providing 5.6 ppg as a spark off the bench. Halstead made 43 percent of his 3-pointers, and junior Tre Olive brings a defensive intensity to the guard position.

A pair of sharpshooting freshmen join Grace in the backcourt. Josh Ruggles (Wheaton Warrenville South, Ill.) is a world-record holder for 3-pointers and was All-State in Illinois. Tim Swanson (Warsaw) is a local 3-point specialist who shot 45 percent from beyond the arc during his high school career.

Kessler has arranged a challenging nonleague schedule, which includes road trips to Iowa and California as well as a neutral-site matchup against IU-Southeast at the NBA Pacers’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Dec. 11.

“It’s going to be a fun year because the guys love playing together, and they’ll do what we ask them. I’m really looking forward to working with these young men,” Kessler said. “We want to play as hard as we can for as long as we can, and then we give the glory to Christ. We should be able to achieve that every game.”

The Lancers will start their season at home on Oct. 31 against Wilberforce.

2015-16 Grace Men's Basketball Team