Grace Falls to No. 1 IWU by Five

December 3rd, 2014

A career day from Dennis Williams was not enough to propel Grace’s men’s basketball team to an upset of No. 1 Indiana Wesleyan.

Williams poured in 26 points to lead all scorers, but a late rally from the Lancers (9-2, 1-1 Crossroads League) came up short as IWU won 85-80 on Tuesday night.

The first half was tightly contested as the defending national champ Wildcats (10-0, 2-0 CL) held a slight lead for much of the period. Grace led 7-4 after tipoff, but the Wildcats responded with a 14-6 run to grab the lead.

Grace battled back to tie the game at 27-27 and took the lead 34-33 on a 3-pointer from Niko Read on the Lancers’ final possession of the half. But IWU scored just before the buzzer to go on top 35-34 at the break.

Grace continued to keep within striking distance in early minutes of the second half, trailing 45-41 with 15 minutes to play. But the Wildcats used a 10-4 run over the next three minutes to open up a double-digit lead and had more offense in store.

Indiana Wesleyan built up its cushion to 18 points with 5:22 to play before Grace made a late rally. After forcing IWU to the free throw line, Grace capitalized on missed Wildcat free throws to eventually trim their deficit to two possessions in the final 20 seconds.

Logan Irwin was instrumental in Grace’s comeback with nine points over the final four minutes of regulation.

A layup from Drew Perrin brought Grace to within five points, but it proved to be too little, too late.

Williams made 10-of-12 from the floor for his career-best 26 points. He also added four rebounds. Irwin finished with 16 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds.

Read tallied 14 points, 3 assists and 2 steals, Erik Bowen scored nine points in 13 minutes off the bench, and Caleb Featherston added five points and five assists.

Both teams finished with 36 rebounds, and Grace had two fewer turnovers (15 to 13). But the Wildcats connected on 54 percent of their field goals compared to 42 percent for the Lancers.

The Lancers’ next Crossroads League contest is on Saturday when Grace hosts a doubleheader with Goshen. The women’s squads will play at 1 p.m. at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center with the men’s teams to tip off at 3 p.m.

Grace Opens NCCAA Nationals with 4-0 Win

December 2nd, 2014

pictured is a file photo from earlier this fall of Carianne Sobey. Sobey had a goal and an assist on Monday.

Top-seeded Grace College entered the 2014 NCCAA National Championships with high aspirations. The Lady Lancers’ soccer team did not disappoint on Monday, dispatching Shorter University 4-0.

The Lady Lancers (15-4-3) have one more pool play match remaining on Wednesday in pursuit of the team’s first national championship this week.

“This was a good first match for us. I was pleased with the production and composure from our whole group,” said Grace head coach Michael Voss. “It took a while to get a goal, but the women continued to improve throughout the match. This is the start we were looking to achieve.”

Grace gave the NCAA Div. II Hawks fits throughout the match, outshooting Shorter by 21. The Hawks (13-9) could not muster a single shot attempt over the final 68 minutes of play.

In the early minutes, Meredith Hollar passed to Mallory Rondeau from close range, but Rondeau’s low, hard shot was saved. A few minutes later, a nifty give-and-go combination from Kaitlyn Hayes and Rondeau gave Rondeau another golden opportunity, but her shot was again denied.

Midway through the opening half, Shorter had its best opportunity of the match. Grace goalkeeper Abby Schue tumbled over her own defender, leaving an empty net. But Heather Martin tracked back to block Shorter’s attempt.

Later in the half, Hollar earned a free kick 20 yards from the center of the net. Rondeau’s ensuing shot rocketed to the corner, but it was parried wide by the Hawks’ goalkeeper.

Hollar was fouled again in the penalty box, earning Grace a penalty kick. Carianne Sobey’s kick from the spot was slotted inside the post for a 1-0 lead.

The teams went into halftime with Grace ahead by one. The Lady Lancers outshot the Hawks 10-3 in the first half, but Grace was just getting warmed up.

The Lady Lancers assaulted the Hawks’ goal from the onset of the second half, tallying 14 shots after halftime.

Jordan Hairgrove and Rondeau teamed up for a 1-2 passing play, and Rondeau struck a first-time finish into the upper corner of Shorter’s goal from outside the penalty box. Rondeau’s goal in the 75th minute was her 15th tally of the season.

Seven minutes later Rondeau sparked Grace’s third goal when her shot attempt inside the penalty box was saved. The rebound fell to freshman Sabina Meyers who connected for her second career goal.

Grace’s fourth goal came on a combination attack from Kaitlyn Hayes and Sobey, resulting in Hayes unleashing a blast into the upper-90 with less than six minutes remaining. The assist was Sobey’s 10th of the season and program-best 37th of her career.

Overall for the match, Grace outshot Shorter 24-3 which included a 14-0 advantage after halftime. Freshman Abby Schue picked up her 12th shutout of the season in goal despite not having to make a save. The starting backline of Martin, Meredith Matson, Faith Voehringer and Erica Manchess held the Hawks in check.

Grace’s final pool play match takes place on Wednesday 2 p.m. against sixth-seeded Mid-America Christian. A win would guarantee Grace a spot in the national semifinals.

Grace College Lancers – 2014 NCCAA DI Volleyball & W. Soccer National Championships

December 1st, 2014

Dear Grace College Lancer Supporter:

Your Grace College Lancer volleyball & women’s soccer programs both have won the NCCAA Mid-West Region Championships and advance to the 2014 NCCAA National Championships in Kissimmee, Florida!

The women’s soccer program earned the #1 overall seed in the soccer tournament! The #1 seed means the Lady Lancers will open up pool play on Monday, December 1st at 2 pm against Shorter University at Austin Tindall Regional Park in Kissimmee.  Their 2nd pool play game will be on Wednesday, December 3rd at 2 pm against Mid-America Christian University at the same location.

The Lady Lancers soccer team won the NCCAA Mid-West Regional 2-0 over Cedarville University last Saturday in Ft. Wayne, IN.  I would like to congratulate Coach Michael Voss, his coaching staff and our Lady Lancers on earning the #1 seed in the NCCAA DI Soccer Championships next week in Kissimmee, Florida.

The Lady Lancers volleyball program earned the #2 overall seed in the NCCAA volleyball tournament this year! The #2 seed means the Lady Lancers will open up pool play on Thursday, December 4th at 12 pm (noon) against McMurray University and will play again the same day at 4 pm against Oakland City University. The volleyball national tournament is held at the Kissimmee Convention Center in Kissimmee, Florida. The Lady Lancers in the second day of pool play (Friday, Dec. 5th) will take on Colorado Christian University at the same location.

The Lady Lancers won the NCCAA Mid-West Volleyball Regional with a 3-1 home win victory over Oakland City University last Thursday at the MOCC.  I would like to congratulate Coach Andria Harshman, her coaching staff and our Lady Lancers on earning the #2 seed in the NCCAA DI Volleyball Championships next week also in Kissimmee, Florida.

We look forward to seeing many of you next week in Kissimmee, Florida for both the NCCAA volleyball & soccer championships. Please be in prayer for both team as they travel and for the opportunity they will be given to live and share their faith through athletics. If you would like more information or desire to follow the Lancers please keep up with all the action at www.gclancers.com.

Go Lancers!

Chad Briscoe

Rondeau earns CoSIDA Academic All-America® Accolade

December 1st, 2014

Mallory Rondeau was named to the prestigious Capital One Academic All-America® Team by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Rondeau was one of 11 female soccer student-athletes to earn a place on the College Division At-Large Team. The junior forward currently boasts a 3.94 GPA while studying biology.

She leads Grace’s team with 14 goals, 10 assists and 7 game-winning goals. Additionally she has either a goal or assist in 10 of her past 11 matches. As a result, she has racked up a number of athletic awards this year, including the 2014 Crossroads League Co-Offensive Player of the Year, First Team All-CL and Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete.

CoSIDA awards student-athletes who have maintained a GPA of at least 3.3. Members of CoSIDA then vote on eligible student-athletes through the district and national levels based on a combination of academic and athletic accomplishments.

The Lady Lancers are in the closing weeks of arguably their greatest season in program history. Grace earned its first NAIA national ranking and advanced to the championship of the CL Tournament. The Lady Lancers are the No. 1 seed in next week’s 2014 NCCAA National Championships in Kissimmee, Fla. Grace’s two pool play games are on Monday 2 p.m. against Shorter and Wednesday 2 p.m. against Mid-America Christian.

Lancers soar past Trojans in league opener

November 26th, 2014

A lockdown defensive effort by Grace’s men’s basketball team aided Grace’s 72-52 dismantling of Taylor on Tuesday night.

The Lancers (9-1, 1-0 Crossroads League) held the Trojans to 27 points below their season scoring average of 79.3 per game in the Crossroads League opener.

Logan Irwin and Chad Hoffer shared scoring honors in the contest with 15 points apiece. Irwin contributed five assists and five rebounds, and Hoffer grabbed four rebounds with his two 3-pointers.

Defense was key for Grace in the first half. The Lancers held Taylor to 27-percent shooting in the half as the Trojans had as many turnovers (6) as made field goals (6) before halftime.

Grace jumped ahead 16-6 after nine minutes of action. The Trojans (4-3, 0-1 CL) were stifled into just 18 first-half points and trailed by as many as 17 points. The Lancers led 31-18 at the break, led by eight points off the bench from Chad Hoffer. Grace shot 48 percent from the floor and outrebounded Taylor 20-11 over the first 20 minutes.

Within three minutes of action in the second half, the Lancers opened up a 20-point lead. Irwin converted a fastbreak layup then buried a 3-pointer on the next possession to hand Grace a 41-20 advantage.

The Trojans could only shave a few points off Grace’s cushion in the second half, getting no closer than 50-32 with 12:50 to play. But the Lancers’ game plan proved too much for the Trojans. Head coach Jim Kessler substituted freely in the final five minutes of the contest.

Grace had a distinct advantage in the post, outrebounding Taylor 38-24. The Lancers outscored the Trojans 46-20 in the paint and scored 16 second-chance points. No Trojan player scored more than nine points.

Caleb Featherston stuffed the stat sheet with 11 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals, and Brandon Vanderhegghen scored nine points with two steals. Kyle Fillman chipped in 6 points, 5 boards and 2 blocks, and Niko Read added seven points and four rebounds.

The Lancers will put their 9-1 record to the test after Thanksgiving break, starting with a road matchup at No. 1-ranked and defending national champion Indiana Wesleyan on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Irwin Named CL Player of the Week

November 25th, 2014

After being named the Tournament MVP over the weekend, Logan Irwin was further honored as the Crossroads League Player of the Week on Monday.

Irwin, who won the award along with Goshen’s Brandon Demmings, was named the Tournament Most Valuable Player of the Bennigan’s Terry Polston Hoops for Hope.

He led the Lancers to wins over Grace Bible and IU-East, who is receiving votes in the NAIA preseason poll. Irwin scored 20 points, ripped down five rebounds, and dished out six assists against IU-East in the championship game. For the week, Irwin shot 40 percent from the field (10-for-25) and 44 percent from beyond the arc (4-for-9) while averaging 15 ppg, 4.5 apg, and 3.0 rpg.

The Lancers (8-1) will open up the CL season on Tuesday at 7 p.m. with a home game against Taylor.

NCCAA Nationals Field Released

November 25th, 2014

The seeding and tournament fields have been announced for next week’s NCCAA Nationals Championships in Kissimmee, Fla.

Grace’s women’s soccer team earned the No. 1 overall seed in the nine-team field, and the volleyball squad was No. 2 in the eight-team tournament.

Women’s Soccer, playing in its fourth straight NCCAA Nationals, advanced to the semifinals in 2013 under head coach Michael Voss. The Lady Lancers will play in a pool against No. 9 Shorter and No. 6 Mid-America Christian. Grace will play Shorter onDec. 1 at 2 p.m. and Mid-America Christian on Dec. 3 at 2 p.m. Sixth-seeded MACU was the Central region champion while Shorter was the South region champion.

The winner of the three pools for women’s soccer along with the top second-place finisher overall will advance to the semifinals on Dec. 5 at 3:30 p.m. with the championship slated for Dec. 6 at 5:45 p.m.

Volleyball will be playing in its third NCCAA Nationals in the past four years under head coach Andria Harshman. The Lady Lancers’ pool includes No. 3 Colorado Christian, No. 6 Oakland City and No. 7 McMurry. Grace will play McMurry and Oakland City on Dec. 4 and Colorado Christian on Dec. 5.

The eight volleyball teams will be reseeded after pool play, setting up the quarterfinal round on Dec. 5 at either 4 p.m. or 6 p.m. The semifinals and championship games will be held on Dec. 6.

Lady Lancers Punch Ticket to NCCAA Nationals

November 24th, 2014

pictured are Grace's women's soccer team celebrating Mallory Rondeau's game-winning goal on Saturday. (Left: Meredith Hollar, Mallory Rondeau, Kaitlyn Hayes, Holly Bennett).

Grace’s women’s soccer team clinched its fourth straight trip to the NCCAA National Championships on Saturday, defeating Cedarville 2-0 in the regional championship game.

Saturday’s contest was played in Fort Wayne at the University of St. Francis due to rough playing conditions at Miller Field.

Although Grace controlled the match from start to finish with a 26-3 advantage in shots, the Lady Lancers didn’t net the game-winning goal until the 83rd minute.

Meredith Hollar found Mallory Rondeau at the 82:13 mark for a 10-yard strike to beat Cedarville’s goalkeeper. Hollar found her own goal in the 88th minute, blasting home a shot from close range to secure Grace’s annual migration to Florida.

The Lady Lancers will find out their seed and tournament draw in the coming days for NCCAA Nationals. Grace will be hoping to improve on last season’s semifinalist finish, which was the best in program history.

“The women played some pretty good futbol today. The weather made it a difficult week to stay sharp. We maintained good discipline in possession and were dangerous offensively, but we needed a higher quality of finishing,” said Grace head coach Michael Voss. “It’s rewarding to qualify for the NCCAA national tournament. It’s a fantastic Christian event.  It’s also been very competitive the last few years we’ve been there. We are proud to be a member of the NCCAA.”

In the opening minutes of the game against Cedarville, Grace foreshadowed its dominating performance in the match. Grace fired three shots with a corner kick before six minutes had expired and did not let up for the rest of the half.

The Lady Lancers (14-4-3) took 15 shot attempts with three corners in the first half compared to one shot and one corner for the Yellow Jackets (10-8-1).

Grace tallied 11 more shots in the second half before eventually breaking through with two goals in the final eight minutes. Heather Martin nearly netted the game winner in the 60th minute with a shot that went off the crossbar.

Hollar was an offensive force throughout the game, tallying eight shots to go along with her goal and assist. Rondeau finished with five shots, and Martin and Kaitlan Wiles took three shots apiece.

Freshman Abby Schue posted her 11th shutout of the season as Grace’s goalkeeper, aided by starting defenders Martin, Erica Manchess, Faith Voehringer and Meredith Matson.

Grace has advanced to NCCAA Nationals four straight years and five times in six seasons. Before Coach Voss’s arrival at Grace, the Lady Lancers had reached two national tournaments in their 11-year history.

Halftime Lead Slips Away Against No. 12 Cardinal Stritch

November 24th, 2014

pictured is junior point guard Gabby Bryant driving in the first half against Cardinal Stritch.

Grace’s women’s basketball team let a golden opportunity slip through its fingers on Saturday, losing a second-half lead against No. 12 Cardinal Stritch.

The Lady Lancers (6-3) led by eight points at halftime, but a sloppy second-half performance doomed Grace’s upset bid by the score of 60-44 in the Bennigan’s Terry Polston Hoops for Hope.

Grace’s offense was slow to start the game, managing just two points over the first four minutes of play. But the team was about to spark to life, propelled by a stingy defense.

Grace rattled off a 15-1 run, aided by a trio of 3-pointers by Darian Patton, Kelsie Peterson and Gabby Bryant to go on top 17-7. The Wolves were held nearly seven minutes between made field goals during Grace’s charge.

Cardinal Stritch trimmed Grace’s lead to five with three minutes left in the half, but the Lady Lancers still held a 29-21 advantage at the break thanks to a late driving basket from Heather House.

Grace’s offensive woes began at the onset of the second half. The Lady Lancers were held to three points for the first 7:31 of the period. Cardinal Stritch’s defense continued to give Grace fits as the Wolves eventually built up a 10-point lead.

Kelsey Sule did her best to singlehandedly keep Grace in contention, scoring eight of Grace’s points in a row. But the Lady Lancers could not slow down the Wolves down the stretch. Cardinal Stritch outscored Grace 39-15 in the second half en route to the 16-point win.

Cardinal Stritch hit a sizzling 64 percent of its shots after halftime. Grace, on the other hand, made just five field goals and had 12 turnovers in the second half. The Lady Lancers struggled to a 28-percent shooting percentage over the final 20 minutes.

The Wolves held a dominant 33-18 advantage in rebounding and scored 40 of their 60 points in the paint. Cardinal Stritch also tallied 30 points off Grace’s 22 turnovers.

Sule led Grace with 12 points from the bench. Heather House and Allison Kauffman had seven points apiece, and Kelsie Peterson added six.

Grace opens the Crossroads League season on Tuesday with a road game at Taylor 7 p.m. Grace’s next home game is on Dec. 3 against Indiana Wesleyan.

 

Offensive Barrage Leads Grace Past Tigers

November 24th, 2014

pictured is Logan Irwin against Grace Bible on Friday night

Grace’s opening game of the Bennigan’s Terry Polston Hoops for Hope turned into a rout as Grace’s men’s basketball team blasted Grace Bible 88-66 on Friday night.

The annual home tournament for Grace raises funds and awareness for cancer care in Kosciusko County through the county’s Cancer Care Fund (KCCCF).

Four players reached double figure scoring for the Lancers (7-1) and seven scored at least seven points in the rout.

Grace drained 12 3-pointers and shot a sizzling 52 percent from the floor for the game, led by 17 points and four triples by Niko Read.

It took Grace until the final five minutes of the first half to gain a comfortable lead against the Tigers (4-4). Grace opened up a 35-24 lead on a 3-pointer from Read with 3:49 remaining, going ahead by 16 points at the halftime break.

The Lancers quickly propelled their lead up to 20-plus points in the early stages of the second half and never looked back. Head coach Jim Kessler substituted freely in the final six minutes of regulation, allowing 15 players to see the court and 11 Lancers to score.

Read’s 17 points came with a team-high five rebounds, and Brandon Vanderhegghen notched 14 points, 3 assists and 3 steals. Logan Irwin and Caleb Featherston tallied 10 points apiece.

Adrian Makolli was an efficient 4-for-4 from the floor with 8 points, 2 dunks and 2 blocks in 8 minutes of action. Stephen Halstead racked up eight points in six minutes, and Erik Bowen scored seven off the bench.

As a team Grace posted an impressive ratio of 18 assists and nine turnovers. Grace outscored the Tigers 40-28 in the paint and had 25 points off turnovers.

The Lancers will aim for the championship of the tournament on Saturday at 4 p.m. against IU-East, who is receiving votes in the NAIA poll along with Grace. IU-East held off Clarke 70-68 on Friday.