Women’s Soccer Gets Four on Prestigious CoSIDA Academic All-America®

November 24th, 2015

Carianne Sobey

Abby Schue

Erica Manchess

Mallory Rondeau












The distinguished CoSIDA Academic All-America® Team awarded Grace’s women’s soccer team with four honorees.

Abby Schue and Carianne Sobey were named to the 11-player First Team, and Erica Manchess and Mallory Rondeau were named Second Team.

The Lady Lancers were the only team with representatives on both the First and Second Teams. Grace also had twice as many representatives as any other school on the prestigious teams (Keiser, 2 honorees). Grace was also the only Crossroads League team to earn a place on the All-America® teams.

Schue was the only underclassman on the First Team. She has a 3.97 GPA as an Exercise Science/General Science major. Sobey, the program’s career leader in assists, has a 3.96 GPA as a Business and Facility/Event Management major.

On the Second Team, Manchess (3.98 GPA) and Rondeau (3.95 GPA) are both Health Science majors.

The Lady Lancers are in the midst of their first NAIA National Championship appearance in program history. Grace won the NAIA Opening Round on Saturday against Park, advancing to next week’s Second Round game against Westmont (Calif.) in Orange Beach, Ala.

“Supermarket Sweep: Give ‘til You Drop” 2015 Most Successful Ever

November 23rd, 2015

Grace College students with President Katip at Supermarket Sweep 2015. Pictured left to right are Tyler Rothhaar, Evan Kilgore, Dr. Bill Katip, Elizabeth Manko, Tyler Tillett, and Jonah Stouffer.

Grace College and Seminary and Mission Point Community Church sponsored Supermarket Sweep: Give ‘Til You Drop at Owen’s Supermarket on Nov. 18.  Throughout the day, Grace students, members of Mission Point and community members bought non-perishable food and baby items for area non-profit organizations including Combined Community Services, Our Father’s House, The Salvation Army and Heartline Pregnancy Center.

This fifth-annual event was the most successful ever, generating $26,124 in food and products for those in need.  According to Kearstin Criswell, coordinator of student involvement for Grace College and Seminary, “We are delighted with the great community response and student involvement in Supermarket Sweep this year.  At the end of the day, about half of the donations came from Grace students and half from the community – a true team effort to help those who need assistance in our area.”   Nearly 450 Grace students participated in this year’s event, one of several outreach events organized by SERVE, Grace College and Seminary’s student-led community service ministry, each year.

Sponsors of this year’s Supermarket Sweep: Give ‘Til You Drop included Grace College and Seminary, Mission Point Community Church, DePuy Synthes, Nextremity Solutions and Wildman Business Group.


Lancers Beat Roberts Wesleyan in Regional Championship

November 23rd, 2015

Pictured is Nakilee Weni on Saturday.

Grace’s men’s soccer team earned an automatic bid into the NCCAA National Championships on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Roberts Wesleyan.

Goals from Nakilee Weni and Damon Binkley propelled the Lancers to the championship of the NCCAA Midwest Region Tournament at Miller Athletic Complex.

The match was snow-filled from start to finish and included three second-half red cards — all on the visiting RedHawks (10-7-2).

“The team faced the challenge of the weather with a positive mindset and just decided to win tonight,” said Grace head coach Matt Hotchkin. “We didn’t think the game would be pretty, and we had to take what we could get. The guys weren’t able to fully play our style, but they adapted and got the job done.”

The first half was tame compared to what was in store. The opening 45 minutes included 10 shots — 6-4 in favor of Roberts Wesleyan. But neither side could score on the slick, snowy surface.

Jon Christensen cleared a ball off the goal line defensively for Grace, but chances were few and far between as the half ended scoreless.

The match dramatically picked up intensity in the second half. Six cards were issued over the first 15 minutes after halftime, including five on the RedHawks and one on the Lancers (14-6-2).

The match reached a climax in the 75th minute. Colin Cape unleashed a vicious shot from outside the penalty box. His shot was saved by a diving effort and deflected onto the crossbar. The rebound fell to Nakilee Weni, who converted the close-range effort for the game’s first goal. In the aftermath from Weni’s goal, two RedHawks were dismissed from the game with straight red cards.

Roberts Wesleyan managed to put together an offensive attack over the final 15 minutes, despite playing 11v9. Robbie Barnhill had four saves in the second half, including several key stops as Grace clung to its 1-0 lead.

The match was secured in the final minute. A loose ball at the top of the box fell to Damon Binkley, and the freshman knocked in the decisive second goal for the Lancers.

“The guys have a story that they can tell the rest of their lives. One more memory made and more to come in Florida,” Hotchkin said. “I’m so thankful for the grounds crew guys that literally gave their whole day to us. Thanks to all who came out and supported the guys tonight!”

Overall for the match, 10 cards were handed out — nine on Roberts Wesleyan and one for Grace. The RedHawks were given a third red card at the end of the contest.

The Lancers are making their third trip in five years to NCCAA Nationals. Grace will await its seeding and opponent for the tournament, revealed on Sunday.

Grace earned its 14th win of the season against Roberts Wesleyan. Grace’s 14 wins is tied for third-most in program history and is the highest win total since 1983.

Grace Wins NAIA Opening Round in Snowstorm

November 23rd, 2015

The first NAIA tournament game in Grace’s history just happened to be one of the most memorable matches in program history.

The Lady Lancers advanced to the “Sweet Sixteen” with a 2-1 victory over Park (Mo.) on Saturday in a snowstorm during the NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship Opening Round.

Grace used goals from Mallory Rondeau and Meredith Hollar to defeat the Pirates (14-6) at Miller Athletic Complex. The Lady Lancers advance to play No. 8 seed Westmont (Calif.) on Nov. 30 in Orange Beach, Ala.

The match was played on several inches of snow, shoveled clean on the boundary marks. The blizzard-like conditions never slowed, resulting in slick conditions throughout the match.

Mallory Rondeau broke onto the scoreboard first for Grace. Darcy Johnston sent in a long pass behind Park’s backline, and Mallory Rondeau outran the defenders. Rondeau then converted her 1v1 opportunity for Grace’s first NAIA tournament goal in team history at the 6:54 mark.

Meredith Hollar came on as a substitute and single-handedly caused havoc on Park’s backline. Hollar fired off three shots and scored Grace’s second goal, which turned out to be the game winner. Johnston chipped a through ball to Hollar from the left sideline, and Hollar slotted in her shot past the charging goalkeeper at the 39:33 mark.

Park had two chances to score in the opening period. The first was a breakaway by Emily Key which was saved by goalkeeper Abby Schue. The second was a build-up inside the penalty box, but Clair Snodgrass blocked Park’s shot from close range.

Grace entered halftime ahead 2-0. The Lady Lancers (15-2-3) outshot Park 12-4 in the first half, taking six shots on goal before halftime.

The Lady Lancers continued to attack the Pirates in the second half, firing off 10 more shots over the final 45 minutes. Jordan Hairgrove, Rondeau and Shelby Fort each had decent looks at goal that were denied.

Park’s Emily Key gave the match a dramatic late turn with a terrific individual effort. Key found the back of the net in the 78th minute to make the score 2-1. The Pirates, fueled by that goal, found renewed energy in their attack. Park pressed and had a few dangerous opportunities over the final 10 minutes, but Grace’s defense remained stout. The Pirates were unable to get off another shot attempt after their goal.

As a team Grace held a 22-9 advantage in shots. Rondeau led all players with five shots, and Kristen Bellinger took four shots and three on goal for Grace. Park was led by Key with four shots and Isabel Sullivan with three.

Clarke Hands Lancers First Loss in OT

November 23rd, 2015

DUBUQUE, Iowa – Grace’s men’s basketball team dropped its first game of the season on Friday, falling 75-71 at Clarke in overtime.

The Lancers (7-1) struggled with their shooting touch throughout the contest, hitting a season-low 39 percent from the floor. Grace also hit just 9-of-28 from the 3-point line and 10-of-20 from the free throw line.

Despite Grace’s shooting woes, the Lancers had a chance to beat Clarke in regulation. Grace trailed the Crusaders (4-4) by five with less than three minutes to play, but Erik Bowen converted a three-point play to make the score 65-63 with 2:01 remaining.

Bowen then made a steal on Clarke’s next possession, and a layup by Josh Ruggles tied the score. The game remained deadlocked at 65-65, and Grace got a defensive stop with 30 seconds left to take the final shot. The play never formulated for Grace, however, and a desperation 3-pointer by Bowen in the final second was off the mark.

Grace twice led by three points in the overtime period, but a late drought doomed the Lancers. Clarke ended the game on a 7-0 run over the final 2:00, turning a three-point deficit into a four-point win. Grace’s three possessions in the final two minutes were a trio of missed 3’s, and Clarke scored on three of its final four possessions to rally for the OT win.

Bowen muscled his way to the only double-double of the evening, leading all players with 19 points and 15 rebounds. Brandon Vanderhegghen produced 13 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals, and Logan Irwin added 12 points, 4 assists and 4 steals.

Ruggles scored eight points off the bench, and Kyle Fillman had seven points and five boards.

Stephen Halstead, fresh off his program-record 10 3-pointers on Thursday against Lincoln Christian, continued his hot shooting by hitting both of his 3’s for seven points.

Next up, the Lancers will transition to the start of the Crossroads League season. Grace hosts Taylor on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the league opener.

Grace Opens Hoops for Hope With Win

November 23rd, 2015

Backcourt scoring lifted Grace’s women’s basketball team to a 71-61 win over Rochester on Friday.

The game was Grace’s opener in the annual Bennigan’s Terry Polston Hoops for Hope, held at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.

Grace’s offense got off to a fast start, outscoring the Warriors 23-13 in the first quarter. Kelsie Peterson scored 10 of her 16 points during the first stanza, and Brooke Sugg added seven more over the final 3:55 to aid the Lady Lancers (4-3).

Rochester held Grace to just nine points in the second quarter, rallying to trim Grace’s advantage to 32-27 at halftime.

The Warriors (5-4) eventually earned a two-point lead in the third quarter before Grace began to put the game out of reach. The Lady Lancers’ guard play sparked a 16-2 run over the final 3:00 of the third quarter and the first 3:00 of the fourth. Sugg had eight of Grace’s points during the run, and Maycee Davis and Kelsey Sule scored four apiece to help the Lady Lancers to a 59-46 lead with 7:15 to play.

Four free throws in the final minute by Grace secured the 10-point win over Rochester.

Sugg exploded for a game-high 21 points. She hit 8-of-14 from the floor, 3-of-6 on 3-pointers and also grabbed six rebounds.

Peterson produced 16 points, 2 assists and 2 steals, and Davis added nine points and two steals in 13 minutes off the bench.

Gabby Miller tallied nine points and three rebounds, and Haley Richardson chipped in four points and six boards.

Grace shot a lower percentage from the floor than Rochester (38 percent to 42 percent), but the Warriors were forced into 23 turnovers. Grace also won the rebounding battle by four and took nine more free throws than Rochester.

The Lady Lancers will conclude the Hoops for Hope classic against Roosevelt on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Indiana Senate Honors Amanda Banks with Sagamore of the Wabash

November 19th, 2015
The Indiana State Senate today honored Amanda Banks with the Sagamore of the Wabash for serving as State Senator of District 17 during the 2015 legislative session.
Banks was recognized for her willingness to fill her husband’s seat while he was deployed to Afghanistan. During her time at the Statehouse, Banks championed legislation aimed at reducing Indiana’s veteran unemployment rate by allowing private sector employers to adopt a veteran hiring preference.
State Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek) presented the Sagamore to Banks at the Statehouse where lawmakers gathered for Organization Day.
“Amanda’s readiness to serve the residents of Senate District 17 did not go unnoticed,” Hershman said. “She sacrificed time away from her young family and stepped into a new role in order to represent her fellow Hoosiers. She is also responsible for legislation that will help employ Indiana’s veterans, and for all this we are extremely grateful.”
“It was an honor to serve my community and my state in this capacity,” Banks said. “With the help of my colleagues in the General Assembly, I was able to work on veteran, education and pro-life issues – three areas of public policy I am very passionate about. I am extremely humbled by this award and am thankful to my colleagues for their support through my time as a state senator.”
Following the 2015 legislative session, Banks accepted a position with Grace College as their Director of Public Relations.
“Amanda served the Senate with passion and integrity,” said Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne). “She brought her unique experiences and perspectives as a policy analyst, military wife and mother to the Statehouse, and we are thankful for her service to the state. Amanda is deserving of this prestigious award and we wish her the best.”
Dating back to the 1940s, the Sagamore of the Wabash Award was created by former Gov. Ralph Gates. It is the highest honor the governor can bestow, and is only presented to distinguished Hoosiers who have made significant contributions to the state.

Five Grace Spikers Earn All-League Recognition

November 17th, 2015

Following a fourth-place finish in the Crossroads League, Grace had five players receive All-League status.

Tori Bontrager, Sara Miller, Sierra Smith and Kelsee Zuidema earned a spot on the Second Team All-League, and Kari Feddema was honorable mention for All-League. Additionally, Zuidema was named to the seven-player All-Freshman Team.

The Lady Lancers are currently 19-17 under head coach Katie Van Hofwegen and reached the CL Tournament semifinals. Grace will seek to qualify for the 2015 NCCAA National Championships on Saturday with the regional tournament at Indiana Wesleyan.

Miller was one of the top liberos in the league this year. She racked up 640 digs (4.8/set) to rank 30th in the NAIA. Her dig total already ranks in the top-10 in program history for single-season digs.

Zuidema’s 290 kills paced Grace’s attack. She averaged 2.5 kills/set and hit at a .187 percentage. Her 2.6 kills/set in league play was ninth-highest in the CL.

Bontrager, Smith and Feddema were high-percentage options at the net for Grace. All three players hit at least .188, including Smith’s .204 percentage. Bontrager led Grace’s blocking efforts with seven solos and 95 assists, and she also served up a team-best 34 aces.

Women’s Soccer Earns Historic First NAIA Postseason Berth

November 17th, 2015

For the first time in the history of Grace’s women’s soccer, the Lady Lancers will participate in the NAIA National Championships.

Grace earned an at-large bid into the 32-team tournament, announced on Monday by the NAIA national office.

Additionally, Grace will host an Opening Round match for NAIA Nationals. The Lady Lancers will play Park (Mo.) at Miller Athletic Complex at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The Opening Round game marks Grace’s first time hosting an NAIA event.

With a win over Park, Grace would then advance to the final NAIA site at Orange Beach, Ala., for the “Sweet Sixteen” of the tournament.

“The GCWS is very excited to enter the NAIA tournament. Praise Jesus for this opportunity. The women have worked relentlessly for seasons to get to where we are this year, and this team has taken us the final step,” said Grace head coach Michael Voss. “Our focus through the tournament will be to glorify the Lord through playing fantastic futbol. Each opponent will be quality, and the road will challenge us. We will take one match at a time and focus on our redemptive collective potential.”

Grace boasts a record of 14-2-3 under Voss. The Lady Lancers have been to five NCCAA National Championships in six years under Voss’s guidance, but 2015 will mark Grace’s first NAIA appearance in the 20-year history of the program.

The Lady Lancers are led by Crossroads League Offensive Player of the Year Mallory Rondeau and CL Midfielder of the Year Carianne Sobey. Grace’s remarkable nine-player senior class has already racked up 61 wins over their career (tied for program record), and they amassed a 27-5-6 record in league contests.

Park (Mo.) enters the tournament with a 14-5 mark, including 10-2 in the American Midwest Conference.

For more information, including links for brackets/game coverage, click here.


Late Goal Spoils Lancers’ Championship Dreams

November 16th, 2015

Damon Binkley fought for a loose ball in the second half on Saturday.

Grace’s men’s soccer team may have outshot Indiana Wesleyan on Saturday night, but the Wildcats saved their most important shot for last.

Indiana Wesleyan netted in the 85th minute to defeat the Lancers 2-1 in the 2015 Crossroads League Tournament championship.

“I’m proud of the work that the guys did tonight. I thought they played with heart and class. We struggled early in the match, and I’d give the first half to IWU. I thought we controlled the second half with the exception of about five minutes,” said Grace head coach Matt Hotchkin. “We had some very good opportunities that we didn’t convert tonight. Some nights those go in, and tonight they didn’t. But these guys represented Grace well.”

Grace, playing for the program’s first NAIA National Tournament bid since 1982, erased a one-goal lead at halftime and nearly netted the go-ahead goal in the second half.

The first half was evenly played. The teams were each credited with four shots, but the Wildcats (15-5) struck first. IWU sent a deep free kick into the penalty box in the 22nd minute, and the ball remained untouched and found its way into the back of Grace’s net.

Kyle Hamlin had a pair of chances in the first half. The first was a blast from outside the 18-yard box that was saved in the eighth minute. The second came late in the half when a rebounded effort from close range went wide of the net.

The Lancers (12-6-2) came out as the aggressors in the second half and dominated time on the ball. Grace scored its equalizer at the 50:41 mark. Damon Binkley drove along the right sideline and crossed a ball into a dangerous position. An IWU defender deflected the cross into his own net to level the score at 1-1.

Hector Torres and Josiah Osborn each had shots saved in the final 15 minutes, but Grace’s best chance at a winner came in the 77th minute. Nakilee Weni gained position at the top of the penalty box and attempted an acrobatic bicycle kick. His effort beat the outstretched gloves of IWU’s goalkeeper, but the shot clanged off the crossbar.

The Wildcats found their winner in the 85th minute, cleaning up a loose ball in the penalty box. Binkley tried a last-minute shot from 20 yards out, but his effort was saved.

“It’s tough to lose a big game like that, pick yourself back up, put it in perspective, learn from it, grow and move onto what is next. I think we have a great group of men,” Hotchkin said. “Now we have a big week ahead as we work to earn an NCCAA region title. I know these guys will bounce back.”

As a team, Grace outshot IWU 9-6 with five shots on goal. The Lancers also had a 6-4 advantage in corner kicks.

The Lancers will transition to qualifying for the NCCAA National Championships. Grace hosts Oakland City on Tuesday at 4 p.m. in the Midwest region semifinals. The championship game will be played on Saturday at Grace if the Lancers beat Oakland City.