Grace XC women set program record

September 14th, 2015

Ariel Arellano highlighted a strong showing by Grace’s cross country team at the IWU Invitational on Friday.

The freshman crossed the finish line in 18:55 to place seventh out of 109 runners, helping the Lady Lancers to a third-place showing in the meet. The men’s team were sixth out of 10 teams in the meet.

The Lady Lancers’ team time of 1:39.16 broke the program record as four of Grace’s top six runners set personal bests. Arellano became the first female runner at Grace to break the 19-minute barrier since MariJean Wegert and Ashley Thomas in 2010.

On the women’s side, Katelyn McCullough just missed a top-10 showing and ended in 13th place with a time of 19:09. Raven Arellano finished the race in 20:04, Karla Singer ended in 20:33, and Emma Mitchell was less than a second behind Singer.

Grace’s women’s team finished with a team score of 113, only behind NAIA No. 9-ranked Taylor and No. 13 Indiana Wesleyan in the race.

“The ladies did a very nice job today. The course is the easiest we will run on this year, but posting so many PR’s this early in the year is still impressive,” said Grace head coach Jeff Raymond. “Ariel [Arellano] looked really strong today, and Katelyn [McCullough] was close behind. I also must compliment Emma [Mitchell] and Julia [Neal] for running very nice races.”

The men’s team was led by freshmen. Grace’s top three finishers were all freshmen running their first collegiate 8k race.

Grace was paced by Joel Bertelsen, who finished in 27:09 for 31st place. Fellow freshmen Sam Hall (27:31) and Brendan Hamilton (27:35) were second and third for Grace.

Brandon Smith crossed the finish line in 27:52, and Tyler Houvener ended in 28:07.

“I’m pleased with the freshmen and the way they ran. They now have a feel for the 8k distance and will continue to improve,” Raymond said. “Fortunately it’s a long season, and we have time for our entire men’s group to move forward.”

Grace’s next race is Sept. 19 with the Friendship Invitational at Cedarville University.

Lancers Continue Undefeated Start

September 11th, 2015

Pictured is freshman Adam Yoder on Thursday. Yoder won twice against Huntington.

Grace’s men’s tennis team stayed perfect on the year with a convincing 8-1 victory against Huntington on Thursday.

The Lancers (3-0, 3-0 Crossroads League) used a dominant doubles’ lineup to power past the Foresters (1-4, 1-1 CL) at Miller Athletic Complex.

“This was a very solid win against a tough lineup in Huntington. All three of our doubles’ teams played outstanding technical doubles, and I could not have been happier,” said Grace head coach Larry Schuh. “Caleb Yoder and Adam Yoder paired together for the first time for a win, and Danila was about as efficient as I have seen him. He is looking like one of the top players in conference.”

Danila Kurkulin and Ethan Grove teamed up for a quick 8-1 win at No. 1 doubles. Gabe Vervynckt and Uros Pajic pulled out a tough 8-6 victory at No. 2 doubles, and Caleb Yoder and Adam Yoder combined for an 8-5 win at No. 3 doubles – the first time the freshman duo had tag-teamed in doubles’ play.

Kurkulin coasted to another win at No. 1 singles with a 6-2, 6-0 scoreline, and Ethan Grove came from behind in the second set to win in straight sets at No. 3 singles.

Ricardo Bedon, Vervycnkt and Adam Yoder closed out the match with two-set victories at No. 4-6 singles. Yoder was especially impressive with a 6-1, 6-0 victory at No. 6 singles.

The Lancers will play their third home match of the week on Saturday with a matchup against Spring Arbor at 1 p.m.

Grace Beats John Brown to Improve to 6-0

September 11th, 2015

Grace’s women’s soccer team has passed every test so far during its challenging nonleague schedule, including Thursday night’s 3-2 win at John Brown.

The NAIA 15th-ranked Lady Lancers improved to 6-0 on the season, taking down the Eagles who are receiving votes in the NAIA Top 25 Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

The Lady Lancers will finish up the John Brown Tournament on Saturday with a marquee matchup. Grace will face Oklahoma City on Saturday at 6 p.m. in the NAIA Network Game of the Week. The Stars are also receiving votes in the national poll.

Grace had to recover from two first-half deficits to equalize with the Eagles. John Brown scored the opening goal in the fourth minute off a corner kick, but Grace was quick to respond. Aubrey Feipel played a ball into Meghan Wiles on the right side, and Wiles finished at the 7:30 mark to tie the game at 1-1.

The Eagles (1-3) went back on top with a goal at the 16:00 mark, but Wiles was there for the equalizer again. The senior midfielder received a pass from Kaitlyn Hayes at the top of the penalty box in the 23rd minute, and she blasted her 20-yard shot into the right corner, tying the game at 2-2 with her second goal.

The teams entered the halftime break knotted at 2-2 after the first-half offensive barrage. Grace held a slight 8-5 advantage in shots in the opening period.

Less than five minutes into the second half, Grace had its first lead of the match. Mallory Rondeau burned by a defender and drilled her shot past John Brown’s goalkeeper in the 50th minute for the eventual game winner.

Grace asserted itself in possession in the second half and began to work its offense. The Lady Lancers took seven of the nine shots after halftime and thought it had scored another goal. Grace finished off a loose ball in the penalty box, but the official waved off a potential fourth goal for Grace with a foul.

For the game, Grace doubled up John Brown in shot attempts at 15-7. Wiles and Feipel led all players with three shots apiece, and all three of Wiles’s shots were on frame.

Abby Schue earned her sixth win in goal for the Lady Lancers although her shutout streak was stopped. Grace had played 453:46 of soccer this season before surrendering its first goal against John Brown on Thursday.

“We have already gained and demonstrated maturity in numerous ways through this trip so far, including adversity in today’s match. Even our bus driver has an injury. We did not start the way we planned, but the women were quick to equalize after conceding, hit great goals and never wavered with the disallowed goal,” said Grace head coach Michael Voss. “I’m proud of the women for quickly finding some success with our style, turning on the ‘possession attacking futbol’ in the second half and finalizing the match well. JBU has a quality squad who works hard and will see success this season.”

Barnhill honored as NAIA Defensive Player of the Week

September 9th, 2015

Robbie Barnhill earned Grace’s first national award of the season when he was named the NAIA National Defensive Player of the Week on Tuesday.

Barnhill becomes the first men’s soccer player to win the NAIA weekly award since Collin Cone on Oct. 4, 2011.

The junior goalkeeper posted three shutout victories for Grace’s men’s soccer team last week, refusing to surrender a goal in 270 minutes of action. He earned shutouts in back-to-back away games against Bluefield and William Peace and then went on shut out Cardinal Stritch with six saves, including a key one-handed lunging save late in the contest.

The Lancers head up to Spring Arbor, Mich., this weekend for a pair of neutral-field games. Grace will play Cornerstone on Friday and Roosevelt on Saturday.

Schue tabbed as Crossroads League Defensive Player of the Week

September 9th, 2015

Sophomore goalkeeper Abby Schue has yet to give up a goal this year for Grace’s women’s soccer team.

On Monday she was honored as the Crossroads League Defensive Player of the Week.

Schue continued her perfect start to the season for Grace, posting two shutouts last week against Hannibal-LaGrange and Missouri Baptist. The Warsaw Tiger graduate has yet to surrender a goal in 450 minutes of action as Grace’s goalkeeper, helping the Lancers to the No. 1-ranked defense in the NAIA.

The Lady Lancers travel to John Brown this week for a tournament in Siloam Springs, Ark. Grace plays a pair of teams — John Brown, Oklahoma City — who are receiving votes in the NAIA Top 25 Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

Chaney named league’s Setter of the Week

September 9th, 2015

Sophomore Laken Chaney was honored as the Crossroads League Setter of the Week on Monday.

Chaney averaged 11.4 assists/set last week in pacing the Lady Lancers’ attack. She racked up 4 service aces, 33 digs and 7 block assists in five matches as Grace’s setter.

She tallied a career-high 45 assists against Missouri Valley and had 39 assists in a three-set sweep over Northwestern Ohio. Additionally, she had a double-double against league opponent Mt. Vernon Nazarene.

The Lady Lancers continue CL play on Wednesday with a match at league rival Indiana Wesleyan on Wednesday 7 p.m.

Grace duo named league Players of the Week

September 9th, 2015

Kyle Hamlin

Robbie Barnhill

Following a perfect 3-0 week, Grace’s men’s soccer team was awarded with the Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week awards from the Crossroads League.

Kyle Hamlin earned the Offensive Player of the Week honor. He had a part in six of Grace’s eight goals last week, racking up three assists and three saves to help the Lancers to a 3-0 week. He tallied the game-winning assists against both Bluefield and William Peace and then proceeded to score the game winner against Cardinal Stritch, wrapping up a strong performance.

Barnhill was named the Defensive Player of the Week after posting three shutout victories for Grace’s men’s soccer team last week, refusing to surrender a goal in 270 minutes of action. He earned shutouts in back-to-back away games against Bluefield and William Peace and then went on shut out Cardinal Stritch with six saves, including a key one-handed lunging save late in the contest.

The Lancers head up to Spring Arbor, Mich., this weekend for a pair of neutral-field games. Grace will play Cornerstone on Friday and Roosevelt on Saturday.

Grace College Welcomes Largest Incoming Class

September 8th, 2015

For the fourth year in a row, Grace College and Seminary has achieved a record total enrollment. This year’s 2,303 students is a 5.4% increase over the 2014 enrollment. Grace welcomed 1,256 new and returning students to Winona Lake, a record number for undergraduate main campus students.

The growth has occurred in on campus, off-site and online student enrollments. Contributing to this year’s record enrollment are the significant increases in the number of students completing their bachelor’s degrees online and those enrolling in online master’s programs. The number of online students at Grace College doubled this year. In Grace’s GOAL (Grace Opportunities for Adult Learners) online bachelor’s degree completion program, 96 adults enrolled in fall 2015 compared to 28 in fall 2014. The online graduate studies programs’ enrollment increased from 112 students to 185 students, a 65% increase over last year.

Parents and students continue to be encouraged by Grace’s cost savings and high quality Christian education solutions.  For their newest initiative called Measure of Grace, beginning this fall, when a student enrolls at Grace, his or her undergraduate tuition rate will never be higher than the first year.  In addition, each consecutive year a student attends Grace, he or she will receive a $500 reduction in tuition. Finally, all textbook rentals are free for every undergraduate, saving an additional $4,800 over their four-year stay.

To meet the demands for the continued rise in enrollment, Grace College broke ground on a three-story, 170-bed dormitory this July. On target to welcome new students in the fall of 2016, the new dormitory will have study locations, community living areas, and will provide an additional residence option choice for students.

Grace’s innovative, market-driven responses to a rapidly changing higher education landscape, increasingly shaped by concerns about college affordability and accessibility, have made Grace a desirable option for students of all ages and educational interests. With this bent toward innovation in mind, Grace has experienced excellent student retention. In addition to a dedicated and caring faculty and staff, Grace’s innovative three-year accelerated bachelor’s degree program, launched in 2011, allows students to graduate sooner, save a year’s tuition, and enter the workforce a year earlier.  Yet another option, allowing students to procure a bachelor’s and master’s degree in just four years total, has met with great success as well, graduating Grace’s second class since the offering began.

“We are grateful to students who have made Grace College their choice for higher education,” said Cindy Sisson, vice president of enrollment management at Grace. “The confidence they have placed in the faith-based, affordable, excellence we offer accounts for another year of record enrollment for Grace College and Seminary. We consider it a privilege to partner with families by making Christian higher education more affordable so that it remains a viable option for them.”

Davis to Assist Women’s Basketball at Grace

September 3rd, 2015

Ray Davis joins Grace’s women’s basketball team with a wealth of basketball experience. Davis has coached over 15 years at the high school level in the area, including stints at Argos, Whitko and Warsaw.

“I have had the opportunity over many years to be involved with the basketball programs at Grace College. Through my experiences at Grace, I came to know the commitment and values of the staff to not only teach about the game of basketball but more importantly the life of Christ and how to model His example in all aspects of life,” Davis said. “I have always had a passion for women’s basketball, and I knew I wanted to coach collegiately when the time was right. I jumped at the chance when Coach [Scott] Blum contacted me. I hope to provide my knowledge and passion for the game with Grace’s program.”

Davis got his first varsity head coaching gig at Argos, coaching the girls’ team from 1992-94. He then moved onto Whitko for the next five years. He left Whitko as the program’s all-time winningest coach and led the Wildcats to three sectional runner-ups.

After Whitko, Davis became an assistant coach on Warsaw’s girls’ basketball team from 1999-2007. During his eight seasons, the Tigers amassed a record of 119-57, winning three sectional crowns and four championships in the Northern Lakes Conference. He also helped the Tigers to the 4A state championship game in 2004.

Davis has also been involved with coaching AAU teams over the past eight summers, strengthening his ability as a recruiter in the state.

“I am excited to add Ray to our women’s basketball staff. He brings a tremendous amount of experience coaching girls’ basketball and a deep knowledge of the game,” said Grace head coach Scott Blum. “Ray’s relationships with many local high schools and coaches will be a great addition to our program as we recruit quality young women. Ray’s passion for the game and his philosophy fits ours in that we want to see our players grow in their walk with the Lord while we win games. I look forward to having Ray and his family be a part of the Lancer family.”

Davis graduated from Manchester College in 1986 where he played basketball and ran track. He is married to Tammy and has three children – Brock, Brant and Brigham. Davis has taught at Lakeview Middle School for over a decade, currently teaching seventh grade health.

2015 PREVIEW: Grace Men’s Golf Takes Aim

September 1st, 2015

Pictured is Warsaw grad, Grace junior Jonathan Schram.

Grace’s men’s golf team may not have a senior on the squad, but the Lancers have their fair share of talent and experience in 2015.

The Denny Hepler-coached Lancers are hoping for improved play this year, led by a balanced effort from top to bottom.

“Anytime you start something with a clean slate, it’s a very exciting time. We are a very young team, but we still have strong leaders,” Hepler said. “We are more balanced than we have been in the past.”

Grace struggled to a ninth-place showing in last year’s Crossroads League Tournament, but the Lancers only had one upperclassman score among the team’s top five. In 2015, the junior class of Jonathan Schram, Tyler Ham and Zachary Allyn is joined by Ancilla College transfer Zarek Finley, giving Grace a strong core of leadership.

Also returning is Daniel Zawlocki, who saw action in nearly every tournament last year as a freshman.

If the Lancers can realize their potential, Hepler believes that Grace can finish in the top three in the league. To reach that objective, however, the Lancers will need contributions from every member.

Schram headlines the returners after claiming medalist honors at the Bethel Invitational last year. He finished in the individual top 10 in all but one tournament during the 2014-15 campaign.

“Jonathan [Schram] won one tournament last year, but he hopes to reach more of his potential this fall and win a couple more,” Hepler said. “He has the talent to win every tournament he plays in, so we hope for him to do what he’s capable of this fall.”

Hepler brought in two freshmen this year in Cameron Bates (Frankton) and Chad Spencer (East Central) to reinforce Grace’s ranks.

Grace is hoping for a more steady performance this year. A key, according to Hepler, is to “eliminate big mistakes and to minimize getting into trouble. We want to be a more consistent team.”

The Lancers start the season with the Cardinal Stritch Invitational on Monday and Tuesday at Brown Deer Park Golf Course.