Lady Lancers Top Trojans in Five-Set Volleyball Victory

Facing a 0-2 hole on the road to Taylor, Grace’s volleyball team dug deep to rally for a five-set win on Wednesday evening.

The Lady Lancers snapped an eight-year drought against the Trojans, ending a string of 12 straight losses to Taylor with a 3-2 win.

The two-headed attack of Dana Johnston (16 kills) and Calah Kruse (15 kills) propelled Grace to its fifth straight Crossroads League victory. The win propelled the Lady Lancers (16-5; 8-5 CL) to within a half game of third place in the league standings.

Grace faded late in the first set to give Taylor a 25-19 win. The Lady Lancers led 18-17, but they were outscored 8-1 down the stretch.

The second set appeared to be in Grace’s favor with a 21-17 lead. The Trojans (12-9; 8-4 CL) rallied, however, to force extra points. Seven attack errors by Grace allowed Taylor to scrap out a 28-26 win.

Needing a win in the third set to stay alive, Grace broke open a 15-15 deadlock by claiming a 22-19 lead on an ace from Taylor Baird. Baird’s serving spurred the Lady Lancers to a 25-20 victory.

Grace stayed in front for much of the fourth set, taking an 18-13 advantage when Gabby Dunlap blasted a kill down the line. However, Taylor recovered to tie the game at 21 apiece. Two late kills from Calah Kruse paved the way for Kaitlin Kerrigan to win the set with a kill at 25-23.

In the decisive fifth set, the Lady Lancers grabbed the first cushion with a block point that lifted Grace to a 7-5 lead. The teams exchanged points over the tense final rallies, but Grace refused to surrender the lead. Taylor fought back to within one at 13-12, but Kruse produced a timely kill in response. The match was won on a violation from the Trojans, sending Grace’s team into celebration.

Calah Kruse had a double-double with 15 kills and 24 digs and was also perfect on 19 serve attempts. Dana Johnston’s team-high 16 kills came on a .220 percentage. She also had one solo block and two block assists.

Taylor Baird had 27 assists and Ellie Harp added 18 assists to pace Grace’s offense, and Baird served up three aces. Megan Johnson and Grace Woolsey recorded four block assists with Woolsey adding eight kills.

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