Grace Sweeps Weekly Crossroads League Awards

October 28th, 2014

Junior Mallory Rondeau (left) and freshman Abby Schue (right) were named the Offensive Player of the Week and Defensive Player of the Week respectively for the Crossroads League.

The Lady Lancers concluded the regular season with two victories, securing the No. 2 seed in the CL.

Rondeau (Wawasee grad) assisted on the game-winning goal against Marian in overtime and scored the game-winning goal against Taylor in the regular-season finale. She also assisted on a goal in Grace’s 4-0 win over Taylor. Rondeau finished the regular season by notching either a goal or an assist in seven straight matches. Overall, Rondeau finished the league season with nine goals and six assists in nine CL games.

Schue (Warsaw grad) posted her fifth straight shutout in goal for the NAIA No. 21-ranked Lady Lancers. With two more shutouts last week, Schue has not allowed a goal since October 8th.

The Lady Lancers will host seventh-seeded Huntington on Saturday 7 p.m. at Miller Field in the CL Quarterfinals. With a win, Grace will host the winner of Mt. Vernon Nazarene and St. Francis on Nov. 8.

2014-2015 PREVIEW: Consistency Key for Lancers

October 28th, 2014

2014-2015 team photo for Grace men's basketball

Last winter, the Lancers’ men’s basketball team struggled in consistency. The ups and downs of the 2013-14 season were evidenced by an 0-5 start in the Crossroads League followed by three straight upsets of NAIA Top-25 ranked teams.

Grace found its groove in the postseason, however. As the No. 6 seed in the CL Tournament, Grace advanced to the tournament championship game. As the No. 7 seed at NCCAA Nationals, the Lancers danced their way to the national title game before losing by two.

In his 38th season leading the Lancers, legendary head coach Jim Kessler has racked up 699 career coaching victories. He is hoping to point the Lancers to a more constant performance in 2014-15.

“Consistency will be huge this year. If we can be consistent, we’ll be competitive. We have to develop trust in each other and prepare well,” Kessler said. “This group realizes they need to work hard and work smart to reach their potential. Consequently they’ll get better as the season goes on. We are a work in progress.”

After graduating All-American Greg Miller, the Lancers will be led by junior point Logan Irwin (13.3 ppg, 4.5 apg), who was named to the 2014 NCCAA All-Tournament Team. He’ll be joined by sharpshooting wingmen Niko Read (11.0 ppg) and Brandon Vanderhegghen (8.7 ppg) as well as versatile Caleb Featherston (6.3 ppg) in the backcourt. Vanderhegghen has potential to be “one of the best sixth men in the country,” according to Kessler.

Irwin, Read, Vanderhegghen and Featherston each have the ability to take a game over in Kessler’s opinion. A key, according to Kessler, will be “finding and riding the hot hand” each game from the perimeter. The team will feature a motion offense that moves quickly and shares the ball generously as a collective unit.

The Lancers will not hurt for height this year with senior centers Dennis Williams (6-foot-11) and Adrian Makolli (7-1) manning the paint. The pair has potential to change each game due simply to their presence. “We’ll be as big as anyone in the NAIA – we’ll look great in the airport. Other teams have to be aware of where [Dennis and Adrian] are. They change how you shoot inside with their shot-blocking ability.”

Junior forward Kyle Fillman (5.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg) will team up with freshman Erik Bowen (Kokomo HS) to provide a scoring punch at the power forward position.

Including Bowen, Grace has seven freshmen on the 2014-15 roster. With five new guards, the Lancers will be counting on production from new faces this winter.

“This team is as unknown an entity as I’ve had in a long time. Right now we’re trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together to reach our potential,” Kessler said. “Some choirs aren’t very good because they have talented soloists but don’t sound good as a group. We’ll have to be a group that harmonizes together because we’re not a solo group.”

The Lancers begin the season with the Crossroads Classic on Friday and Saturday. Grace will play Concordia and Andrews in the season-opening tournament at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center. With a win on Friday 8 p.m., Grace will celebrate Coach Kessler’s 700th career coaching victory before Saturday’s home game.

Grace Explodes for Four Goals Against Taylor

October 27th, 2014

pictured is Meredith Hollar on Saturday who finished with a goal and an assist against Taylor

Fireworks painted the night sky above Miller Field on Saturday night after the Lady Lancers’ game with Taylor. During the game, Grace provided the fireworks with a 4-0 rout of Taylor.

The No. 21-ranked Lady Lancers (12-3-2, 8-1 Crossroads League) wrapped up the regular season with one of their most complete games of the season. Grace will be the No. 2 seed in next week’s CL Tournament, facing Huntington on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. With a win, Grace will host the CL Semifinals on Nov. 8 at Miller Field.

Meredith Hollar and Mallory Rondeau each notched a goal and an assist in the win.

Rondeau was the dominant offensive force in the opening half. She produced several scoring chances with her lively runs. Her play paid off in the 27th minute. Meghan Wiles split the defense with a pass on the left side of the field, and Rondeau’s shot beat the goalkeeper from a tight angle.

Kelsey Christner nearly added Grace’s second goal with a long-range effort that just missed the upper-90.

In the second half, the Lady Lancers’ offense exploded. Grace peppered Taylor’s net with 15 shot attempts over the final 45 minutes. Hollar assisted Grace’s second half, squaring a pass across the face of the goal to Mimi Lozano for the point-blank finish in the 64th minute.

Hollar’s goal was one of the shots of the season. After taking in a pass from Holly Bennett, Hollar maneuvered her way into a 20-yard shot on the right side of the field. Her rocket glanced off the bottom of the crossbar and into the back of the net at the 65:15 mark.

Grace finished off the scoring in the 83rd minute. A free kick from Rondeau found Carianne Sobey near the front of the net, and Sobey finished off the goal.

Defensively, Grace limited the Trojans (7-6-4, 4-4-1 CL) to five shots and two shots on goal.

The Lady Lancers wrapped up the regular season with five consecutive shutouts, outscoring their opponents 15-0 in the past five matches.

Defense Leads Grace to Season-Opening Win

October 27th, 2014

pictured is junior Gabby Bryant defending Holy Cross on Saturday

Grace’s women’s basketball team started the 2014-15 season on a positive note with a 53-44 victory over Holy Cross on Saturday.

The Lady Lancers (1-0) used a defensive charge in the second half and 18 points from Allison Kauffman to ease away from the Saints.

Grace’s offense was in a rut to start the contest. The Lady Lancers were scoreless after five minutes of action, finally getting on the scoreboard with a free throw by Lindsey Schaefer. The Saints (0-1) used Grace’s struggles on offense to open up a 15-7 run with 7:34 remaining in the opening half.

The Lady Lancers battled back thanks to a seven-point spurt from Kelsey Sule and trailed 24-22 at halftime.

An intense defensive effort from Grace propelled the hosts into the lead for good. Two shot clock violations and a 10-second halfcourt violation highlighted a 15-2 charge by Grace, handing the Lady Lancers a 41-30 advantage with 9:23 to play. Micah Pollard, Heather House and Sarah Feasby made several key defensive plays during Grace’s run.

Holy Cross clawed back to within three at 43-40 with 4:20 remaining, but back-to-back buckets from Darian Patton gave Grace the breathing room it needed.

“This was probably our best defensive effort in a season opener we’ve had in a while. We need to be a good defensive team to reach our goals this season,” said Grace head coach Scott Blum. “Offensively we executed well but didn’t hit our shots, which gave Holy Cross life. Overall it was a good team win. We have a deep team this year, so it was great to see that production off the bench.”

As a team Grace forced Holy Cross into 20 turnovers, scoring 16 points off those turnovers. Grace had a 19-3 advantage in bench points and 34-16 advantage in points in the paint.

Allison Kauffman finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 assists and 2 steals, and Patton tallied nine points. Gabby Bryant had 4 assists, 3 steals and 3 boards, and Kelsie Peterson tallied four points and two steals in her collegiate debut.

The Lady Lancers’ next game is at IU-South Bend on Wednesday 7 p.m.

Grace College Student Produces Report for WNDU on Warsaw Resident

October 24th, 2014
Grace College student and WNDU Associate Producer John Hanlon recently produced a news report about a Warsaw resident, Chris Sanchez, who flies drones. The interview in John’s report was shot on the Grace campus, and aerial video of Winona Lake is also featured. His story below was originally published on WNDU.com on Oct. 21, 2014.  The Grace family says “Congratulations John” for getting your story aired.  We are proud of you!  

Here is the story:  http://youtu.be/T_eOkcSjQsM

Overtime Goal Sends Grace to Fourth Straight Win

October 23rd, 2014

Despite a 17-7 shot advantage against Marian, Grace’s women’s soccer team needed a golden-goal winner to beat the Knights 1-0 on Wednesday.

The No. 21-ranked Lady Lancers (11-3-2, 7-1 Crossroads League) clinched their fourth straight victory thanks to a 99th-minute goal from Meghan Wiles.

A yellow card from the Knights (8-6-1, 4-4 CL) gave Grace a promising position near the end of the first overtime period. Mallory Rondeau’s set piece found Meghan Wiles in scoring position, and Wiles gave Grace the 1-0 victory with the golden goal winner.

“The women put in a decent team performance today. They were very dominant in possession. They controlled the pace of the match but not at a high enough rate of speed,” said Grace head coach Michael Voss. “Marian was very tactical in eliminating quite a bit of space. We needed to be a bit cleaner, sharper and more direct going to goal. We got good minutes from a majority of players so that was beneficial in the long run. Our work rate was good, and the women produced numerous opportunities eventually resulting in a game winner.”

Grace’s first half saw a 7-3 advantage in shots. Grace nearly took the lead off the foot of Meredith Hollar, but the sophomore’s shot was denied by the crossbar in the 37th minute.

The Lady Lancers continued to assault the Knights’ net, earning a few breakaways from Hollar, Mimi Lozano and Rondeau. But Marian’s goalkeeper denied Grace the game winner in regulation.

Lozano forced a save from Marian’s goalkeeper within 30 seconds of the overtime period, and the team’s offensive edge continued throughout the period. Marian was held without a shot attempt while Grace eventually found the winner at the 98:26 mark.

Grace outshot Marian 17-7 overall in the match, including 8-2 in shots on goal. Marian’s physical play resulted in 18 fouls and four yellow cards being issued against the Knights.

Freshman Abby Schue picked up the shutout in goal for Grace, making two saves in 90 minutes. Heather Martin, Faith Voehringer, Meredith Matson and Erica Manchess made up Grace’s defensive line.

“At this point in the season, all the teams are familiar with us. There is no secret to what we’re doing, and each team has a plan to slow us down,” Voss said. “We need to adjust and find the way out quicker and more efficiently.”

The Lady Lancers wrapped up the No. 2 seed in the Crossroads League Tournament with the win. Grace ends the regular season on Saturday 7 p.m. at Miller Field against Taylor. Saturday’s game will be “Senior Night” and will feature a fireworks display after the match.

Seniors Star on Senior Night for Grace

October 23rd, 2014

A pair of seniors scored to lift Grace’s men’s soccer team to a 2-0 victory over Marian on Senior Night.

The Lancers’ third straight victory vaulted the team into fourth place in the Crossroads League standings. Grace has one match remaining in the regular season at Taylor on Saturday 7 p.m.

Seniors Ben Cahill and Austin Altimus netted for the Lancers (9-5-1, 4-3-1 CL) against the Knights (5-8-2, 1-6-1 CL).

The first half swung Grace’s way for good in the 25th minute. A red card was issued against Marian’s Sterling Steadham, leaving the Knights a man down the rest of the match. It took Grace just three minutes to capitalize.

Gift Sibukome sent Kyle Hamlin free on the left side of the field. Hamlin faked past a defender to the endline and crossed to Ben Cahill, and the senior left his feet for a diving header past the goalkeeper.

Grace had strong looks at the goal throughout the half, outshooting Marian 9-3 before halftime.

The Lancers’ man-advantage was apparent in the second half. Grace increased its possession drastically, producing several clear scoring chances.

Grace’s second goal was sparked by hustle by Austin Altimus. The senior forward forced a defensive miscue, intercepting a back pass and slotting his shot inside the post at the 68:44 mark.

The Lancers continued to pepper the Knights’ goal, tallying 12 shots in the second half. Jon Christensen, Josiah O’Deens, Hamlin and Gift Sibukome each had goal-scoring opportunities in the second half to no avail. The Knights were limited to a few late desperation shots at the end of regulation.

Overall for the match Grace outshot Marian 21-7. Jacob Cole, the reigning NCCAA and CL Defensive Player of the Week, recorded the shutout in goal with three saves. Jon Sands, Danilo Carnelos, Dylan Andersen and Nakilee Weni handled the defensive effort for Grace.

With a win in the regular-season finale on Saturday, the Lancers would secure a home match in the first round of the Crossroads League Tournament next week.

League Tabs Rondeau as Offensive Player of Week

October 21st, 2014

A remarkable week for Mallory Rondeau landed the junior forward as the Crossroads League Offensive Player of the Week.

Rondeau racked up 4 goals and 2 assists during No. 22 Grace’s first week as an NAIA-ranked school. She had a hat trick with an assist against Goshen, and she added a goal and an assist against Bethel. She has now scored 8 goals in 7 Crossroads League matches.

The Lady Lancers wrap up the regular season this week with two matches. Grace will play at Marian on Wednesday at 7 p.m. before hosting Taylor on Saturday 7 p.m. Saturday’s match with Taylor will be “Senior Night” and “Fireworks Night” with a 10-15 minute fireworks display to be held at the match’s conclusion at Miller Field.

Cole Named CL Defensive Player of the Week

October 21st, 2014

After posting two shutouts, senior goalkeeper Jacob Cole was the named the Crossroads League Defensive Player of the Week on Monday.

Cole had a pair of shutouts to boost the Lancers into fifth place in the Crossroads League. Grace defeated Goshen 3-0 and Bethel 1-0 last week. He made five saves against Bethel to help Grace jump the Pilots in the CL standings.

The Lancers conclude the regular season this week with two matches. Grace will host Marian on Wednesday 7 p.m. for “Senior Night” before traveling to Taylor on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Kerrigan, Harp Garner Player of the Week Honors

October 21st, 2014

Following a strong week for Grace’s volleyball team, Kaitlin Kerrigan and Ellie Harp picked up weekly honors from the Crossroads League on Monday.

Kerrigan was named the Hitter of the Week and the Player of the Week for the league, and Harp picked up her third CL Setter of the Week award of the season.

Kerrigan was dominant with 32 kills in two matches for Grace, earning 4.6 kills/set. She had 18 kills and six digs in a victory over Taylor, and she added 14 kills in a sweep of Huntington. For the week she hit at a .316 percentage and had just seven errors in 79 attempts.

Harp impressed last week for Grace, producing 10.6 assists/set, 3.4 digs/set, 1.1 kills/set and 0.5 aces/set. In Grace’s win over Taylor, Harp exploded for 44 assists, 15 digs, 7 kills, 3 block assists and 2 service aces. She tallied 30 assists and nine digs in a three-set win over Huntington.

The Lady Lancers are in second place in the Crossroads League standings. Grace has one match this week at Marian on Wednesday at 7 p.m.