Hollar’s Goal Lifts Grace Past St. Francis

October 1st, 2014

A first-half goal from Meredith Hollar lifted Grace’s women’s soccer team to a 1-0 victory against St. Francis on Tuesday.

The Lady Lancers (6-2-2, 2-0 Crossroads League) have yet to surrender a goal in league play thanks to a shutout performance against the Cougars (6-4-1, 0-2 CL).

Hollar came on as a substitute late in the opening period with the score tied. A few minutes later, she would deliver the decisive kick in the match. After trapping a ball in the midfield, Meghan Wiles wheeled around a defender and slotted a pass to Hollar past a defender. Hollar beat the goalkeeper with a shot to the near post for the game’s only goal in the 35th minute.

Apart from Hollar’s goal, one of the strongest chances for either team in the first half came in the 14th minute. Mallory Rondeau played a leading pass to Jordan Hairgrove, and Hairgrove’s hard shot was saved from close range.

Grace had a 4-3 advantage in shots and 3-0 advantage in corner kicks in the opening half.

The second half produced few clear-cut chances as Grace’s defense held firm. Late in the contest, Grace had a number of good looks including a 24 yarder by Mallory Rondeau that forced a diving save. But the Lady Lancers had to settle for one goal in the match.

Abby Schue earned the shutout victory in goal with four saves in 90 minutes. Heather Martin, Faith Voehringer, Meredith Matson and Erica Manchess manned the defensive line for Grace that recorded its second straight shutout to kick off the Crossroads League season.


The Lady Lancers continue league play on Saturday with a trip to Huntington at 4 p.m. Grace’s next home match is a high-profile match against No. 12-ranked Spring Arbor on Oct. 8.

Grace Unveils 2014 Inductees for Hall of Fame

September 30th, 2014

The Grace College Athletic Department will induct five members into the Lancer Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday morning: Tracie Mezera, Mike McCoy, Bob and Bernice Ashman and Tricia Sandy.

The 2014 induction class, the seventh in school history, 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 a very accomplished group of people who have added so much to Grace athletics. They deserve to be recognized for their contributions to our institution.”

Tracie Mezera was a standout women’s basketball player from 2000-2004. She was a four-time All-Conference selection and was honorable mention for NCCAA All-American in 2001. Mezera graduated as the program’s all-time leading scorer with 1,632 points – a record that stood until Juaneice Jackson broke her mark last winter. She also finished with the second-most assists (360) in team history.

Mike McCoy was a member of Grace’s men’s basketball and track teams from 1966-1970. He was a three-time All-Conference honoree who topped 2,000 points in his basketball career. He holds the program record for most points in a game with 53 and most consecutive free throws made in a game with 17.

The athletic department will also induct Bob and Bernice Ashman for their meritorious service to Grace athletics. The Ashman’s were lifelong supporters of Grace, watching the Lancers play from the early days in the 1960s.

Tricia Sandy (Doyle) was an All-American volleyball player from 1999-2002. She was an NAIA Third Team All-American in 2001 and was also a three-time NCCAA All-American during her career. She finished in the program’s top five for a number of categories, including career kills, career digs and career service aces.

“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.”

The inductees will be honored in conjunction with this weekend’s Homecoming festivities for Grace. The inductees will be recognized at halftime of Saturday’s men’s soccer match against Huntington at 2 p.m. at Miller Field.

Volleyball Drops Thriller with IWU

September 29th, 2014

In a battle for first place in the Crossroads League, Grace’s volleyball team let a 2-0 lead slip away against Indiana Wesleyan on Saturday.

The Wildcats (14-3, 9-0 CL) battled back to win three straight sets, rallying for the 3-2 victory at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.

Grace won the opening set 25-20 and looked in good position to sweep the match with a 26-24 victory in the second game. The Wildcats were serving to win the set at 24-23, but Grace rallied thanks to two late kills from Grace Woolsey to win 26-24.

The Wildcats responded well in the third set, claiming an early 6-1 lead. IWU continued its momentum with a 25-12 victory. The fourth set also belonged to the Wildcats as IWU eased away for an eight-point win.

In the tiebreaking fifth set, Grace jumped out to a 7-5 lead to force a timeout from the Wildcats. Indiana Wesleyan came out roaring from the timeout, however, outscoring Grace 9-2 after that point to grab a 14-9 advantage. The Lady Lancers (16-5, 7-2 CL) fought off two match points before the Wildcats clinched the comeback victory in the match with a 15-11 win.

Grace finished the game with 40 kills on an attacking percentage of .043. IWU finished the night with 51 kills on a .157 percentage.

In the absence of Calah Kruse, sophomore Kaitlin Kerrigan led Grace’s offense with eight kills. Ellie Harp tallied 31 assists, 7 kills, 9 digs and 3 service aces, and Sierra Smith had seven kills on a .211 percentage.

Grace Woolsey ended the match with 6 kills, 1 ace and 4 block assists. Hannah Clemmons paced Grace’s defense with 19 digs, and Sara Miller produced 16 digs.

The Lady Lancers resume league play on Wednesday 7 p.m. with a home match against Spring Arbor.

Grace Opens League Season with Win Over IWU

September 29th, 2014

Pictured is Jordan Hairgrove dribbling on Saturday night

The Crossroads League season started on a positive note for Grace’s women’s soccer team with a 2-0 victory over Indiana Wesleyan on Saturday night.

The Lady Lancers (5-2-2, 1-0 CL) notched first-half goals from Jordan Hairgrove and Mallory Rondeau, and Grace’s defense took care of the rest. The Wildcats (1-8, 0-1 CL) were held to two shots on goal for the match and six shots overall.

Grace controlled play in the first period, creating a number of scoring opportunities over the first 10 minutes. Hairgrove and Rondeau both had strong looks in the early stages.

Hairgrove’s hustle created the match’s first goal. She intercepted a pass from IWU’s goalkeeper near the top of the penalty box and lofted an expertly placed shot above the goalie into an open net in the 14th minute.

Less than three minutes later, Grace had doubled its lead. Meredith Matson’s long pass found Holly Bennett on the right side of the field. Bennett fired a cross into the penalty box where Rondeau converted her close-range shot at the16:20 mark.

The first half ended with a 10-3 advantage in shots for the Lady Lancers and a 2-0 advantage on the scoreboard.

The second half saw an increase in physical play, resulting in 19 fouls and fewer shot attempts. Grace and Indiana Wesleyan notched three shots apiece over the final 45 minutes. A few of Grace’s better chances were disallowed as the Wildcats’ defense caught the Lady Lancers offside six times.

Midway into the second half, Carianne Sobey made a weaving run into the penalty box. After maneuvering past a few defenders, Sobey’s shot to the near post clanged off the post and out of bounds.

For the game, Rondeau and Meredith Hollar led Grace’s offense with three shot attempts. Faith Voehringer, Carlie Salinas, Erica Manchess, Matson and Heather Martin controlled the defensive side of the ball for Grace, and freshman goalkeeper Abby Schue picked up the shutout victory with two saves in 90 minutes.

The Lady Lancers have two road matches next week, including at St. Francis on Tuesday and at Huntington on Saturday. Grace’s next home match is a must-see event against No. 12 Spring Arbor on Oct. 8.

Grace Sweeps Rival Bethel

September 29th, 2014

Pictured celebrating a point against Bethel are (left) Annie Salazar, Hannah Clemmons, Alix Underwood, and Tori Bontrager

Playing without their top attacking option, Grace’s volleyball team used a balanced attack to sweep Bethel College 3-0 on Friday night.

The Lady Lancers (16-4, 7-1 Crossroads League) bounced back from a disappointing loss earlier in the week to Goshen, rebounding to sweep last year’s CL champion in front of a frenzied crowd at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.

Grace played Friday night’s match without senior Calah Kruse, and sophomore Kaitlin Kerrigan did her part to fill the void with a match-high 13 kills.

In the opening set, Grace started strongly to earn a 20-12 advantage. Bethel used two quick timeouts to battle back, cutting the gap to one at 24-23. But Grace clinched the set on a Pilot error. Kerrigan pounded out three timely kills down the stretch to keep the Pilots at bay.

Grace continued its momentum into the second set, holding a small lead over Bethel throughout the set.  The Lady Lancers limited the Pilots (10-8, 4-4 CL) to a .000 hitting percentage in the set, and Megan Johnson finished the 25-20 win with a kill.

Bethel was up for the challenge in the third set, claiming a 14-11 lead to force a timeout from Grace head coach Andria Harshman. The Lady Lancers refocused to tie the score, but Bethel maintained a slight edge toward the finale.

The Pilots served at 24-23 to win the set, but Kerrigan ignited a raucous home crowd with a kill to tie the score. Grace went on to take the 27-25 victory with a block point from Sierra Smith and Tori Bontrager followed by an attack error on the Pilots. Freshman Sara Miller came up with two acrobatic defensive saves in the final points to give Grace a shot at the sweep.

Kerrigan’s 13 kills came on a .370 percentage. She also tied for match honors with 13 digs. Grace Woolsey finished with 8 kills, 1 solo block and 3 block assists, and Ellie Harp tallied 30 assists, 6 kills and 6 digs.

The Lady Lancers continue league play at home on Saturday with a crucial match against Indiana Wesleyan. Grace, currently second in the league standings, will aim to deal the Wildcats their first loss of the league season on Saturday 3 p.m. at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.

Indiana Tech Topples Lancers in OT

September 23rd, 2014

Grace’s four-game winning streak was snapped in overtime on Monday night against Indiana Tech’s men’s soccer team.

The Lancers (5-2) scored first in the match, but the Warriors (3-1-1) fought back to tie the game in regulation and win 2-1 in overtime.

“We lost to a good team tonight. I felt that for the most part our hearts were in this game. Everyone was pulling his own weight,” said Grace head coach Matt Hotchkin. “Our first half was a good one. We played our game and did a nice job of setting up our offense and creating chances. We hit the post several times tonight, and they would have given us a great result had they been an inch left or right. The second half we struggled to get reconnected at times. The temptation was to be a bit more direct, but that moved us all over the place and took us away from our strength.”

The first half of action saw 16 combined shots and two goals. Grace opened up the scoring first in the 30th minute. After a nice build-up of possession, a deflected shot fell to the feet of Danilo Carnelos, and the senior blasted a shot into the back of the net from outside the penalty box at the 29:34 mark.

Within 10 minutes of Carnelos’s goal, Indiana Tech found an equalizer by finishing off a cross in the 39th minute.

In the second half, Grace had several chances to win the game. The Lancers had three shots on goal and six corner kicks over the final 45 minutes.

Around 20 minutes in the second half, Grace nearly scored twice within the span of a minute. Nakilee Weni came off the bench and had a close-range shot saved off the post and out of bounds. Carnelos nearly scored again on the ensuing corner kick when his curled attempt hit the crossbar.

After neither team could finish the match in regulation, Monday’s game headed into overtime. The Warriors did not wait long to win the game, finding the golden-goal winner less than four minutes into the first extra session.

Overall Weni and Austin Altimus had three shots apiece to lead Grace’s offense, and Carnelos and Jon Christensen added two more attempts.

The Lancers will now shift their attention fully to the Crossroads League. Grace’s first league match is on Saturday 7 p.m. at Indiana Wesleyan.

Lady Lancers Sink Rival Pilots

September 22nd, 2014

Pictured is sophomore Gabrielle Lawrence for the Lady Lancers.

Grace’s women’s tennis team won its second match in a row with a convincing 8-1 victory over Bethel on Saturday at Miller Field.

The Lady Lancers (4-5, 2-5 Crossroads League) claimed all three doubles’ points, including a battle at the top position. Natalia Kurkova and Kristin Cassidy trailed 6-3 at No. 1 doubles, but the duo came back to win 9-8 (7-5).

Gabrielle Lawrence and Mariah Zumbrun at No. 2 doubles and Sarah Hinkel and Katie Etter at No. 3 doubles each won by an 8-1 score.

Kurkova at No. 1 singles (6-0, 6-1) and Cassidy at No. 2 (6-1, 6-1) made short work of their opponents to kick off singles’ play. Lawrence blanked the Pilots at No. 6 singles 6-0, 6-0.

Hinkel claimed a 6-4, 6-0 victory at No. 4 singles, and Zumbrun battled to a three-set win at No. 5.

Jayna Huber nearly pulled off a come-from-behind victory at No. 3 singles, ultimately slipping by the slimmest of margins 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 11-13.

“We put together another nice team win today,” said Grace head coach Scott Moore. “I was extremely happy with my one doubles team. They were down 3-6 early, so I challenged them a little bit and they responded. Although she did not win, I though Jayna showed some real toughness today at three singles. She is going to be vital for us to take the next step.”

The Lady Lancers conclude the Crossroads League regular season on Tuesday with a trip to Goshen. Grace is currently in seventh place in the league standings, one game out of a tie for fifth place.

Lady Lancers Trim Down Foresters in Five

September 22nd, 2014

Grace’s volleyball team might have dominated the stat sheet against Huntington, but the Lady Lancers needed all five sets to escape the Foresters.

The Lady Lancers (15-3; 6-0 Crossroads League) had 17 more kills, 17 more digs and 3 more blocks in the match, and Grace edged out the Foresters for a 3-2 victory on Friday night.

In the opening set, Grace broke open a tie and built up a 20-14 lead to force a timeout. The Lady Lancers’ momentum did not stop there, however. Ellie Harp ended the set with an emphatic kill to win 25-16.

The second set had little separation until the Foresters (1-5, 1-5 CL) snuck ahead 20-17. Grace rallied twice down the stretch to within a point, holding off three set points. But Huntington eventually won the set out of a timeout, 25-23.

Grace reasserted itself immediately in the third set with a 6-2 lead. The Lady Lancers maintained a slight cushion and were ahead 20-15. The Foresters rallied with four points to come within 20-19, forcing a Grace timeout. Kaitlin Kerrigan smashed a kill to end Huntington’s momentum, and the Lady Lancers went on to win 25-20 on another Kerrigan kill.

Huntington held a slight cushion over Grace for much of the fourth set. Grace called a timeout with a 21-18 deficit, and the break seemed to work. Calah Kruse and Grace Woolsey combined for a pair of momentum-shifting block points, and the Lady Lancers ripped off five unanswered points. Grace was serving for the match at 24-22, but Huntington benefitted from three straight attacking errors on the Lady Lancers and rallied with a 26-24 victory.

The tiebreaker started in Grace’s favor with a 3-0 lead, and the Lady Lancers refused to let the Foresters sniff the lead the rest of the way. Harp put the final touch on Grace’s 15-8 victory in the tiebreaker with a kill, just as she did in the opening set.

Harp excelled as Grace’s setter with 49 assists. She also pounded out 12 kills on a match-best .455 percentage to go along with six digs.

Hannah Clemmons racked up 32 digs, and Kruse added 16 kills and 17 digs. Kerrigan finished with 16 kills on a .317 percentage, Woolsey had 10 kills and five block assists, Sierra Smith had seven kills and five block assists, and Sara Miller chipped in with 10 digs.

The Lady Lancers, winners of five straight, will take on Goshen College on Wednesday in Goshen.

Grace Tackles 20-team Indiana Intercollegiates

September 22nd, 2014

Grace’s cross country team had two top-40 finishers at the highly competitive Indiana Intercollegiates on Friday.

Nathan Lane finished 34th out of 150 runners in the Little State men’s race, and Katelyn McCullough was 37th out of 148 runners in the women’s race.

“It was a tough course and didn’t have great footing because of rain, so our times were fairly slow. But I thought we fought through it pretty well, considering the conditions,” said Grace head coach Jeff Raymond. “We’re looking forward to running at home in a couple of weeks.”

Lane led a 12th-place finish for the men’s team in 27:34.4 seconds. Fellow freshman Tyler Houvener was second in 27:51.5. Collin Chupp, Brandon Smith and Austin Yoder rounded out the top five finishers for the Lancers.

McCullough’s time of 19:28.0 highlighted Grace’s 11th-place finish in the women’s race. Megan Gast crossed the finish line second for the Lady Lancers in 20:53.3. The No. 3-5 runners for the women finished in a tight pack – Sarah Hoff (21:02.0), Creigh Ogle (21:02.4) and Emma Mitchell (21:03.6).

The Lancers’ next meet is their only home race of the season on Oct. 4 at Miller Field.

Lady Lancers Blast Olivet College

September 19th, 2014

Olivet College was no match for Grace’s women’s tennis team on Thursday.

The Lady Lancers (3-5) exploded past Olivet 8-1 at Miller Field in nonleague action.

“The girls did a great job tonight. Our communication was good in doubles, and we limited our errors in every match,” said Grace head coach Scott Moore. “Natalia continues to be absolutely dominant for us at one singles, and I believe she can be the top player in our league before she graduates. Saturday is a big match for us against our rival Bethel.”

Grace jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the match with impressive doubles’ play. Natalia Kurkova and Kristin Cassidy (No. 1) and Gabrielle Lawrence and Mariah Zumbrun (No. 2) won by identical 8-3 scores. Sarah Hinkel and Katie Etter blanked their opponent 8-0 at No. 3 doubles.

Zumbrun at No. 5 singles and Lawrence at No. 6 singles each dropped just one game in straight-sets victories, and Kurkova was not far off with a 6-1, 6-1 win at No. 1 singles.

Cassidy claimed a 7-5, 6-0 win at No. 2 singles, and Jayna Huber won 6-3, 6-4 at No. 3.

The Lady Lancers play their third home match of the week on Saturday against league foe Bethel College at 10 a.m.