Grace College Alumna Honored with Teacher of the Year Award

November 3rd, 2014

(From left) Betsey Vastbinder, Teacher of the Year, stands with Brenda Linky, Special Services Staff Member of the Year and Wendy Harges, Support Staff Member of the Year

Betsey Rumley Vastbinder, seventh grade social studies instructor at Lakeview Middle School, received recognition as Teacher of the Year for Warsaw Community Schools during the 2014-2015 annual back to school program.

A Grace alumna and social studies education major, Rumley Vastbinder will be featured on billboards throughout the community along with the other nominees, courtesy of the Warsaw Education Foundation.

On behalf of Grace College, we wish her congratulations on this outstanding achievement!

Second-half Surge Propels Lancers

November 2nd, 2014

An impressive second half saw Grace win its second game in as many days, 76-43 over Andrews on Saturday.

Grace completed their home Crossroads Classic with two wins to start off the 2014-15 season. Head coach Jim Kessler picked up win No. 701. He was honored with a commemorative basketball by athletic director Chad Briscoe beforeSaturday’s contest.

The Lancers used balanced production to coast past the Cardinals (0-2). Grace’s leading scorer Brandon Vanderhegghen had 13 points as five players reached double figures in scoring.

It took Grace 12 minutes of action to open up a double-digit lead in the first half. A late 3-pointer from Niko Read helped Grace claim a 32-22 advantage at halftime.

Grace continued to hold a small lead until blowing the game wide open midway into the second period. The Lancers rattled off 17 unanswered points and held Andrews scoreless for exactly 7:00 of action. When the dust had settled on Grace’s run, the Lancers led 64-33 on a steal and layup by Logan Irwin.

The exclamation points of the night came from a trio of 3-pointers by freshman Stephen Halstead and a slam dunk by senior Adrian Makolli.

Vanderhegghen’s team-high 13 points came with three treys, and Irwin had 10 points and seven assists. Halstead fired in 11 points in 7:40 off the bench, Kyle Fillman had 11 points and eight boards, and Erik Bowen chipped in 10 points.

Grace’s defense forced Andrews in 18 turnovers, scoring 19 points off those miscues. Grace’s offense amassed 22 assists on 30 made field goals. The Lancers’ bench starred with 42 points compared to 17 for the Cardinals.

The Lancers continue home play on Tuesday 7 p.m. against Lawrence Tech.

Rondeau’s Late Winner Lifts Grace Into Semifinals

November 2nd, 2014

Mallory Rondeau proved why she was voted the 2014 Crossroads League Offensive Player of the Year on Saturday night, scoring in the 87th minute to beat Huntington 1-0.

The Lady Lancers (13-3-2) advance to next Saturday’s CL Tournament semifinals thanks to Rondeau’s game winner. Grace will host St. Francis at Miller Field in the semifinals.

Despite a commanding 20-3 advantage in shot attempts for Grace in the match, the Foresters (5-12-2) kept Grace off the scoreboard for most of the game.

The Lady Lancers took eight shots in the opening period while holding the Foresters to zero. Grace ramped up its offensive pressure after halftime in search of a game winner, but it didn’t come until the 87th minute.

Rondeau made a run along the right endline, finding enough space to unleash a rocket above Huntington’s goalkeeper and into the roof of the net from the tightest of angles. Huntington was limited without a clear-cut scoring chance over the final frantic minutes.

Grace’s defense notched its sixth consecutive shutout victory thanks to the goalkeeping of Abby Schue (three saves) and the defending of Heather Martin, Faith Voehringer, Meredith Matson and Erica Manchess. The Lady Lancers have not surrendered a goal since Oct. 8 and have outscored their opponents 16-0 during that span.

Meredith Hollar and Mimi Lozano provided an offensive spark off the bench, accounting for seven shots between the pair. Carianne Sobey and Meghan Wiles notched three shots apiece, and Rondeau and Marina Tolczyk both shot twice.

The NAIA 21st-ranked Lady Lancers are in pursuit of their first NAIA National Championship appearance. The winner of the CL Tournament receives an automatic bid while the final bids are given on an at-large basis.

Grace Wins Third Straight to Start Season

November 2nd, 2014

Grace’s women’s basketball team continued its fast start to the 2014-15 season with a 75-68 victory at Trinity Christian on Saturday.

Allison Kauffman poured in 22 points, and Kelsie Peterson added 17 to lead the Lady Lancers to a third consecutive win to kick off the season.

The Trolls started on a strong note, claiming a double-digit lead in the first half. Trinity Christian led by as many as 12 in the opening half, but Grace used a 12-2 spurt to climb back into the game. Kauffman had five points in that run, and Darian Patton added four.

Shortly after Grace’s 12-2 run, the Lady Lancers scored six unanswered to claim a 39-34 advantage, and Grace never trailed again.

The Trolls fell behind by 11 in the second half before making a furious rally. Trinity Christian erased a 55-44 deficit, cutting Grace’s lead to two at 59-57 on a 3-pointer. But Patton buried a 3-pointer of her own for Grace to end the Trolls threat, and the Lady Lancers never led by fewer than five points for the rest of the contest.

Kauffman’s 22 points led all players. She made 5-of-11 from the floor and 11-of-12 from the free throw line. Peterson finished with 17 points, making all four of her foul shots.

Patton was efficient on offense, producing 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting with a pair of 3-pointers. Lindsey Schaefer tallied seven points and six rebounds, Kelsey Sule scored five off the bench, and Gabby Bryant had four points and three assists.

Grace forced Trinity Christian in 26 turnovers, scoring 26 points off those miscues.

The Lady Lancers return to the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center on Nov. 8 for a 1 p.m. game against Indiana Tech.

Kessler Wins 700th Game in Lancers’ Season Opener

November 1st, 2014

 Legendary men’s basketball head coach Jim Kessler added one more milestone to his career with win No. 700 on Friday night, defeating Concordia 89-71.

Kessler became just the 45th coach in the history of men’s college basketball to reach the 700 plateau, earning all 700 wins in his 38 seasons at Grace.

“This was never something I intended to get when I first started coaching. My goal as a coach is to go out and find good kids who can also play basketball,” said Grace head coach Jim Kessler. “It’s fun to be the 45th coach in history with 700 wins, but the trick is to be on the right bus and with the right people. I’ve been very fortunate here at Grace. I want to be found faithful and serve the Lord in my role, and it’s been a privilege to work at Grace.”

Four players scored in double figures for Grace, led by 18 points in 22 minutes from Brandon Vanderhegghen.

The Lancers (1-0) started slowly and trailed for most of the opening 10 minutes against the Cardinals. But Grace charged in front for good with a definitive 22-6 run over the final 9:18, claiming a 39-26 advantage at halftime. Chad Hoffer scored six of his eight points during Grace’s run, and Drew Perrin added five more in that span.

In the second half, Concordia managed to trim Grace’s lead to single digits on a few occasions, but each time Grace had a response. The Cardinals came within 59-52 with 9:30 to play, but the Lancers countered with a flurry of points. Grace erupted for 12 points in less than three minutes to balloon its lead back up to 17. Vanderhegghen had half of Grace’s points in that run.

Despite 20 turnovers, Grace’s offense operated at a high efficiency by shooting 58 percent for the game. The Lancers made 18-of-29 (62 percent) from the floor in the second half. Concordia, on the other hand, connected on 40 percent of their field goal attempts, including 6-of-25 from the 3-point line.

Vanderhegghen’s game-high 18 points came on 7-of-10 shooting with three assists and three steals. Niko Read also hit 7-of-10 from the floor for 16 points, adding two assists and three steals.

Dennis Williams posted a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Kyle Fillman had 13 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks. Logan Irwin tallied 8 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds, and Hoffer added eight points and two assists.

The Lancers continue their home Crossroads Classic on Saturday with an 8 p.m. game against Andrews at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center. A ceremony honoring Kessler’s milestone will take place before Saturday’s game.

Grace Trounces Titans on the Road

October 30th, 2014

Pictured is senior forward Allison Kauffman, who scored 26 points on Wednesday.

Allison Kauffman’s 26 points powered Grace’s women’s basketball team to an 80-62 victory over IU-South Bend on Wednesday.

The Lady Lancers (2-0) were efficient all-around, hitting 46 percent of their shots from the floor, 56 percent on 3-pointers and 82 percent on free throws. The Titans (1-1) trailed for the final 32 minutes of the game. IU-South Bend, along with Grace, is receiving votes in the NAIA Preseason Coaches’ Top 25 Poll.

The teams traded points to start the game until Grace grabbed the lead for good midway into the first half. For over six minutes, Grace held the hosts scoreless. The Lady Lancers turned a two-point deficit into a seven-point lead and never trailed again. Grace took a 35-29 advantage into halftime.

The second half belonged to Grace. The Lady Lancers quickly built up a double-digit lead, outscoring the Titans 45-33 overall in the second half.

IU-South Bend trimmed Grace’s lead to seven at 61-54 with 8:43 to play, but Grace responded with an 8-0 run to neutralize the Titans’ threat. Kauffman had six of Grace’s eight runs during that span.

Kauffman led all players with her 26 points. She finished 9-of-18 from the floor and 7-of-8 on free throws, adding a game-high nine boards. Freshman Kelsie Peterson had her first collegiate game in double-digit scoring, tallying 16 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.


Lindsey Schaefer made 5-of-7 from the floor for 11 points, and Darian Patton produced six points and eight boards. Kelsey Sule was a perfect 3-of-3 shooting, including 2-of-2 from the 3-point line for eight points off the bench, and Gabby Bryant and Micah Pollard each scored five.

As a team Grace held a plus-10 advantage in rebounds.

The Lady Lancers’ next game is on the road at Trinity Christian on Saturday.

Rondeau, Sobey Named League Players of the Year

October 30th, 2014

Pictured are (left) Carianne Sobey and (right) Mallory Rondeau.

The Crossroads League showered Grace’s women’s soccer team with awards following one of Grace’s best regular seasons in team history.

Mallory Rondeau was named the league’s Co-Offensive Player of the Year, and Carianne Sobey was the Co-Midfielder of the Year for the Lady Lancers.

Altogether, six players including Rondeau and Sobey earned All-League status. Senior Holly Bennett, junior Meghan Wiles, junior Erica Manchess and freshman Abby Schue also appeared on the All-League Team.

Rondeau exploded in the Crossroads League season, ripping off nine goals and six assists in nine CL matches. She had a goal or an assist in every league game except one. Rondeau finished the regular season with a team-best 12 goals and nine assists. Rondeau was Co-Offensive Player of the Year with Spring Arbor’s Corrie Good.

Sobey repeated as the Midfielder of the Year after winning the award as a sophomore. She tied for the league lead with Rondeau, dishing out six assists against CL teams. On Sept. 13, Sobey’s game-winning assist against Baker made her the Lady Lancers’ career leader in assists. She has now racked up 36 career assists. Sobey was Co-Midfielder of the Year with Mt. Vernon’s Megan Griffith.

Schue and Manchess were part of a stout defense for the Lady Lancers. Grace’s defense surrendered just two goals in nine CL games, recording shutouts against eight league opponents. Schue was one of just two goalkeepers represented on the All-League team.

Bennett finished the season with one goal and two assists as a holding midfielder, and Wiles added three goals and two assists in the midfield.

Grace finished the regular season at 12-3-2, including 8-1 in CL play. The Lady Lancers also achieved their first NAIA national ranking as a team, currently sitting at No. 21 in the national poll.

The Crossroads League Tournament begins Saturday when Grace hosts seventh-seeded Huntington at 7 p.m. at Miller Field. With a win Grace would host the CL Semifinals on Nov. 8 with the championship scheduled for Nov. 15.

Grace is on a quest for its first NAIA National Championship appearance. Teams can qualify by either winning the CL Tournament or by earning an at-large invitation.

WNDU Channel 16 Covers the Grace College GOAL Class Appetizer Wars Event

October 29th, 2014

Appetizer Wars

Article from –  It was a battle of the taste buds Tuesday night in Winona Lake.

Appetizer Wars attracted more than 200 people to taste food from 11 local restaurants. Students who are part of a Grace College business course organized the event.

Attendees paid $10 to get in the door, then “voted” with cash for their favorite appetizer.

All proceeds went to locally-based LifeTouch Ministries, a non-profit counseling center that specializes in serving low-income individuals.

“LifeTouch is unique in that we never turn anybody away due to lack of being able to pay for counseling,” Jeff France, LifeTouch executive director, said.

Appetizer Wars was held at Westminster Hall on the Grace College campus, and functioned as the grand finale final project for the participating students.

“Each of us students went out to restaurants in the community and tried to get people to come in, donate their time and their food and their effort,” Ellie Moeller, a student involved, said. “And it also brings awareness to a lot of restaurants in the area and provides a fun competition.”

Those restaurants didn’t need much convincing, according to course instructor Matt Metzger.

“They were enthusiastic,” Metzger explained. “Almost every restaurant was just great. They’re donating this food… They didn’t charge us. But in turn we’re giving them some publicity.”

Caleb France, owner and chef at Cerulean Restaurant in Warsaw, said the community aspect brought him to Tuesday’s event.

“We’re all friends here,” he said. “Even though it’s a competition we’re just having a lot of fun. At the end of the night, LifeTouch wins and Grace wins, so it’s been great.”

And which eatery came out on top?

Food from the Korner Grill was the judge’s top choice, and the popular vote award went to Viand Chef Services.

Click here to watch the video news coverage.

Grace Soars to Sixth Straight Win

October 29th, 2014

Grace sophomore Grace Woolsey jumping for a kill against Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Tuesday.

Grace’s volleyball team continued its impressive play of late with a sweep of Mt. Vernon Nazarene – Grace’s sixth consecutive victory.

The Lady Lancers (24-7, 13-2 Crossroads League) found themselves in a gridlock with the Cougars (21-9, 9-7) in each set, winning every game by two points.

In the opener Grace trailed for nearly the entire set and had to fend off four set points. Mt. Vernon was serving for the win at 24-22, but kills from Calah Kruse and Grace Woolsey sent the game into extra points. The Cougars again served for the win at 25-24 and 26-25, but Grace had the answer each time.

The Lady Lancers finally took the lead 27-26 on a thunderous kill by Kaitlin Kerrigan and went on to take the set 28-26 on a Cougars’ attack error.

Grace had to survive two more set points in the second game. After finding themselves behind 24-22, the Lady Lancers rallied with three straight points to claim the lead. Back-to-back kills from Woolsey won the second game for Grace at 27-25.

Following suit from the rest of the match, the third set was another nailbiter. Grace thought it had pulled away with a 24-20 lead, but the Cougars showed resolve to cut Grace’s lead to one at 24-23. After a timeout from Grace head coach Andria Harshman, Kruse finished off the match with a cross-court kill as Grace won 25-23.

Calah Kruse finished with 14 kills, 10 digs and 4 block assists in a rounded effort, and Grace Woolsey tallied 11 kills and a match-best five block assists.

Ellie Harp passed out 37 assists with nine digs, Kaitlin Kerrigan added six kills and 10 digs, Hannah Clemmons produced 30 digs, and Sara Miller chipped in with nine digs.

The win keeps Grace at second place in the league standings. The Lady Lancers remain one game behind league leader Indiana Wesleyan, and Grace has a showdown at IWU on Saturday. Grace’s next match is Friday on the road at Bethel at 7 p.m.

Grace Performs Well at the Regional Mediation Invitational in Iowa

October 28th, 2014

Grace College Mediation Team

The Grace College Varsity Mediation Team achieved amazing victories this past Friday and Saturday, October 24th and 25th, at the Maharishi School of Management Regional Mediation Invitational in Iowa.  Mary Wick (captain) and Andrew Halferty placed in the category of Best Advocate and Client Team. Our full Grace team placed second overall in Mediation and second overall in Advocacy. Other participants in the Grace Mediation Team competition were Drake Darrah (President), Edward Coplin, and Matthew Faley. 18 teams from colleges and universities in the Midwest participated. The best part was that the students built new relationships and strengthened their skills in helping to facilitate peaceful resolutions in conflict management. Our next competition is the National Mediation Conference and Competition in Gainesville Georgia November 6th-8th.