Archive for the ‘Grace College’ Category

Grace Secures Historic Win Over No. 2 UNOH

Monday, September 21st, 2015

pictured is junior Meredith Hollar celebrating her first-half goal during Grace's upset of No. 2 UNOH

Grace’s women’s soccer team secured its position as a national contender on Saturday night.

Goals from Meredith Hollar and Mallory Rondeau propelled No. 15 Grace’s women’s soccer team to a monumental 2-1 win over No. 2 Northwestern Ohio in front of an electric Miller Athletic Complex.

The win completes a perfect nonleague season for the Lady Lancers (8-0). It also marks the highest-ranked win in program history.

“Overall this was just a very good match. UNOH is a quality group, solid technically and tactically. They play good football,” said Grace head coach Michael Voss. “On the day the Grace women were composed, kept the ball well and finished well. This group is beginning to find their redemptive potential. I’m impressed with the entire group and their consistent joy and work rate to systematically play ‘possession attacking futbol.’”

Grace started the match sharply, threatening the Racers’ goal twice in the first six minutes. In the third minute, Mallory Rondeau got free behind UNOH’s back line. The Racers’ goalkeeper charged out, but Rondeau got a shot past her. The ball rolled too slowly, however, as a UNOH defender tracked back to save the ball from crossing the goal line.

Two minutes later Grace opened the scoring. Mallory Rondeau played a well-placed ball to Meredith Hollar in the penalty box, and Hollar sliced her shot to the left of the Racers’ goalkeeper at the 5:36mark.

The rest of the first half was a battle in possession with each side taking a fair share of ball control. The Racers took four first-half shots with the closest being a headed effort that was caught cleanly by goalkeeper Abby Schue. The teams entered halftime with Grace holding a 1-0 advantage.

UNOH managed to tie the game in the 58th minute. Grace thought they had caught the Racers offside, but no call was made and UNOH leveled the game from close range.

The game-winning moment for Rondeau came in the 72nd minute. Kristelle Jadoo found Rondeau outside the penalty box, and the senior forward split two Racer defenders and turned toward goal. After a slick move to sidestep UNOH’s goalkeeper, Rondeau calmly slotted her shot inside the right goalpost.

The rest of the second half belonged to Grace. The Lady Lancers’ midfield moved the ball efficiently and had the Racers pinned back in their defensive half for large periods of time.

Schue improved to 8-0 as Grace’s goalkeeper, making six saves in 90 minutes. The Racers had a slight 7-5 advantage in shots while each squad took two corner kicks.

Grace’s perfect nonleague season included wins over No. 2 UNOH, No. 11 The Master’s and No. 16 Bellevue as well as two teams (John Brown, Oklahoma City) who are receiving votes in the NAIA Top 25. The second edition of the poll will be released Sept. 29.

The Lady Lancers start Crossroads League play Sept. 26 at rival Indiana Wesleyan. Grace returns to Miller Athletic Complex on Sept. 29 against St. Francis.

Lady Lancers Win Third Straight

Monday, September 21st, 2015

pictured is Grace freshman Caylie Teel getting low for a dig against St. Francis on Saturday

After a slow start to the Crossroads League season, Grace’s volleyball team has found its stride after beating St. Francis 3-1 on Saturday.

The Lady Lancers (11-8, 3-4 CL) won their third consecutive match, recovering from an 0-1 deficit to beat the Cougars (3-11, 0-6 CL) at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.

In the opening set, St. Francis held a slight three-point lead at 20-17 when Grace coach Katie Van Hofwegen called timeout. Her adjustments worked as Grace won three of the next four points to climb within one, forcing a timeout by the Cougars. Grace continued its momentum, scoring the next two points to bring about another USF timeout. The Cougars finally got the edge, however, taking four of the final five rallies to win 25-23.

Grace jumped out to an early advantage in the second set, leading 11-7. The Lady Lancers would not let its late lead slip this time, cruising to a 25-19 win to even the match.

The third set was a nailbiter with each team taking turns pulling ahead. The score was tied 22-22 when Grace seized control. Tori Bontrager pounded out a kill, and Taylor Baird followed that up with an ace. St. Francis held off one set point, but Kaitlin Kerrigan crushed the final kill to the back line to lift Grace to a 25-23 win.

Grace finished matters in the fourth set with a 25-20 victory. The Lady Lancers had their most explosive offensive set in the fourth, racking up 17 kills on just five errors in the game-clinching win.

Kelsee Zuidema had a season-high 19 kills on a .429 percentage to lead all players. Kerrigan tallied 11 kills on 28 attempts, and Sara Miller notched 19 digs.

Caylie Teel notched 13 digs, Sierra Smith added eight kills, and Naarah Foster finished with four kills and three block assists. Baird (23 assists) and Laken Chaney (22 assists) shared setting duties, and Kari Feddema chipped in four kills and three block assists.

The Lady Lancers continue league play next weekend with a pair of away contests. Grace will play at Huntington on Friday and at Marian on Saturday.

Cross Country Takes On Challenging Field at Cedarville

Monday, September 21st, 2015

Grace’s cross country team measured itself up against several NCAA Div. I and II teams at Cedarville’s Friendship Invitational on Saturday.

The men finished 10th out of 12 teams, and the women were 8th out of 12 teams in a similarly challenging field. NCAA Div. I schools in the meet included Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Dayton, Wright State, Cleveland State, Valparaiso and Northern Kentucky.

Katelyn McCullough was the top overall finisher for Grace, finishing 36th out of 128 runners with a time of 19:40. Ariel Arellano was not far behind in 20:03 for 46th place, and her twin sister Raven Arellano crossed the finish line in 20:26.

Emma Mitchell, Karla Singer, Julia Neal and Sarah Hoff rounded out Grace’s top seven.

On the men’s side, Joel Bertelsen had a strong showing. The freshman ran a time of 27:51 in the 8k, ending up in 48th place out of 115 runners.

Tyler Houvener was next for the Lancers at 28:25. Sam Hall finished in 29:08, and Brandon Smith ended in 30:13. Tim Drew was Grace’s fifth runner in a time of 33:38.

“We were shorthanded on the guys’ side after injuries, but our top three women had decent races on a fairly tough course,” said Grace head coach Jeff Raymond. “I am pleased the team responded well despite a tough week of workouts and a couple who overcame illness.”

To see complete race results, click here.

The Lady Lancers take two weeks off from competition before taking on the Huntington Invitational on Oct. 3.

Grace Spikers Sweep Spring Arbor

Monday, September 21st, 2015

pictured is Grace's volleyball team during the team's sweep of Spring Arbor on Friday night

Grace’s volleyball team outmuscled Spring Arbor in three sets for the team’s second straight Crossroads League victory.

The Lady Lancers (10-8, 2-4 CL) made short work of the Cougars, winning 3-0 on Friday night at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.

Grace clicked on all cylinders in the match, holding the Cougars (4-12, 0-6 CL) to a negative team hitting percentage of -.012. Grace had at least nine kills in every set en route to the sweep.

In the opening set, Grace’s offense proved too much for Spring Arbor to handle. Grace pounded out 13 kills on a .440 percentage, blowing out Spring Arbor 25-10.

The second set was similar to the first. Grace had 13 kills on a .458 percentage in a 25-12 win. Tori Bontrager was the central figure in the game with 4 kills, 2 aces and 2 block assists.

The final set proved to be the closest. Grace led for the majority of the game, but the Cougars clawed back late. The Lady Lancers still managed to pull out the three-point win 25-22 to clinch the sweep.

Bontrager led all players with eight kills, needing just 10 attempts to reach that mark (.700 percentage). She also notched three aces and three block assists.

Naarah Foster tallied four kills and two block assists, and Kelsee Zuidema and Kari Feddema also had four kills. Taylor Baird finished with 16 assists and seven digs, and Sara Miller produced a match-high eight digs.

The Lady Lancers will look to make it three straight wins on Saturday when Grace hosts St. Francis at the MOCC at 3 p.m.

Lady Lancers Score Major Win Over Taylor

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Pictured is Grace's volleyball team celebrating winning a point against Taylor on Wednesday.

Grace’s volleyball team secured a much-needed win, taking down rival Taylor 3-1 on Wednesday.

The Lady Lancers (9-8, 1-4 Crossroads League) used balanced production to take down Taylor, who is receiving votes in the NAIA Top 25.

Four players reached double-digit kills for Grace, led by Kelsee Zuidema’s 13 kills. Tori Bontrager had 12 kills on a .435 percentage, and Kari Feddema and Sierra Smith each notched 11 kills.

For the match Grace hit at a .205 percentage. The Lady Lancers had 22 more kills than the Trojans (6-6, 3-1 CL), 19 more assists and 17 more digs.

Grace started the stronger of the two teams in the opening set, forcing Taylor to burn a timeout after just the ninth rally. The Lady Lancers maintained their lead throughout the game, however, easing away to a 25-20 win.

Taylor held a slight lead for much of the second set. Grace nearly recovered from a four-point hole late in the game, but the Trojans managed to tie the match 25-21.

In the third set, Grace found itself in trouble. Taylor scored eight of the first 10 points and still led 13-5 when coach Katie Van Hofwegen called her first timeout. Her strategy seemed to pay off as Grace battled to within three at 20-17. A Taylor timeout could not stem Grace’s momentum, however, as the Lady Lancers scored four straight points to take the lead 21-20 on a kill from Kelsee Zuidema. Taylor fought off two set points, but Kari Feddema ended things with an emphatic kill in the middle to win it 25-23.

The fourth set was hotly contested throughout the game. Grace’s offense eventually helped the Lady Lancers pull ahead down the stretch with 18 kills and just seven errors. Sara Miller made an outstanding defensive play on the final point, leading Grace to a match-clinching 25-22 win.

“We played great tonight. We’ve made a lot of changes in practice, and the girls responded well. We came out with energy and fire, and it made all the difference,” Van Hofwegen said. “Our hitters connected well with the setters, which kept the defense off-balance. Sara [Miller] and Caylie [Teel] played great defense and passed solidly for us, and we served tough. Everything we’d been working hard in practice all week transitioned onto the court tonight. We’re excited to see how that progresses.”

Taylor Baird (27 assists) and Laken Chaney (26 assists) split the setting duties on the night. Miller topped her career-high with 32 digs, and Kaitlin Kerrigan added eight kills and 17 digs. Caylie Teel had nine assists, and Naarah Foster chipped in four kills.

The Lady Lancers have two more home matches remaining this week. Grace hosts Spring Arbor on Friday at 7 p.m. and St. Francis on Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.

Women’s Golf Places Second at First Home Tourney

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

pictured is freshman (Elkhart Central grad) Libby Tully on Tuesday.

Tuesday marked a memorable day for Grace’s women’s golf team with the program’s first home tournament.

The Lady Lancers finished second out of four Crossroads League teams at the Lancer Invitational, held at Stonehenge Golf Club.

“Today was a learning experience for our young team. We didn’t perform at the level we expect of ourselves, but it’s clear we’re making steady progress,” said Grace head coach Denny Duncan. “Our freshmen are making so many life adjustments that some level of inconsistency is understandable. We just can’t let that become acceptable. We’ve had tremendous effort and enthusiasm from the first day. What we need now is to raise the level of our intensity and focus during practice.”

Lauren Keiser posted the lowest score of the tournament for Grace with an 87. Libby Tully was next in Line with a 99, and Kate Adams was third on the team with a 100.

Stevie Luebbert carded a 104 to round out Grace’s scoring, and Amanda Gifford shot 122. Alex Noppert (116) and Emily McDermit (117) played as individuals for Grace.h

Grace’s next tournament is Saturday with the Manchester Invitational at Honeywell Golf Course.

Grace’s Schue Repeats as League Defensive Player of the Week

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

For the second straight week, Grace’s goalkeeper Abby Schue was named the Crossroads League Defensive Player of the Week.

Schue has had a remarkable start to the Lady Lancers’ season, helping NAIA No. 15 Grace to a perfect 7-0 start.

Last week Schue picked up her sixth and seventh wins of the season as Grace’s goalkeeper, helping the Lady Lancers to a pair of wins over teams receiving votes in the NAIA Top 25. She made three saves against John Brown and four more against Oklahoma City to maintain Grace’s perfect start.

Grace already has five shutouts this season — good for second in the nation. Schue has a goals against average of 0.43 per game, which leads the league.

The Lady Lancers face their stiffest test of the season on Saturday when Grace welcomes No. 2 Northwestern Ohio to Miller Athletic Complex at 7 p.m.

Kessler to Be Inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Legendary Grace men’s basketball coach Jim Kessler will add another milestone to his impressive career — NAIA Hall of Fame.

Kessler will be inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015, announced on Tuesday by the national office.

The NAIA Hall of Fame was established in 1952 and recognizes an individual’s service to intercollegiate athletics, the NAIA and their sport. Induction into the NAIA Hall of Fame, and the ensuing title of Hall of Famer, is the highest individual honor bestowed by the Association.

“I am honored to be recognized by the NAIA and my peers. This is not something I set out to do when I began coaching, but I’m thankful the Lord blessed my work at Grace,” Kessler said. “I’m thankful to Grace College for the opportunity to make a career coaching basketball. I have been blessed with supportive presidents, administrations and athletic directors who have stood by me through the ups and downs of a coaching career. No one achieves anything of note without the contributions of others, and I have countless people to thank for this award.”

Kessler was the 45th coach in the history of men’s college basketball to win 700 games, eclipsing the milestone in the first game of the 2014-15 season. He is set to begin his 39th season in charge of the Lancers and has racked up a career record of 722-539.

Under Kessler’s leadership, the Lancers have reached nine NAIA National Championships and seven NCCAA National Championships. He has won 13 games at the NAIA tournament, including the 1992 NAIA Div. II national championship season.

Additionally, Kessler has 17 seasons with 20 or more wins and three seasons with 30 or more wins. He has won five Coach of the Year awards, 10 Crossroads League titles and has been inducted into the NCCAA Hall of Fame and the Lancer Hall of Fame. He was named the NAIA Coach of the Year once (1992) and the NCCAA Coach of the Year twice (1983, 1992).

“I have known Jim for nearly 45 years. His life has been one long continuity of integrity, humility, outstanding accomplishments and service,” said Grace president Dr. Bill Katip. “His coaching numbers speak for themselves, but it is the enormous personal impact Coach Kessler has made on our campus that endears him to us. He is a man of integrity and a role model to countless young men. I am honored to work with him at Grace College, and he is worthy of this recognition in every way.”

Kessler annually organizes tournaments designed to give back to the local community, impacting the surrounding area and local organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and the Kosciusko County Cancer Care Fund. For his contributions to the lives of the youth in the Warsaw area, he received the Pete Thorne Memorial Award in 2005. He also was given the NABC Guardians of the Game National Award for Service in 2006.

“Jim continues to be a standard of Christian excellence in the arena of athletics. His leadership and servant-like attitude has been a foundation within our athletic department, and he daily impacts our campus and community,” said Grace athletic director Chad Briscoe. “He is a revered coach of character who is respected by his peers in the collegiate ranks. Jim’s entire coaching career in the NAIA and his body of work is fully deserving of this award.”

Kessler is only the second individual from Grace to be inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame. Chet Kammerer, former men’s basketball coach at Grace and Westmont (Calif.), received the honor in 2000.

Keiser qualifies for NCCAA Nationals for Women’s Golf

Monday, September 14th, 2015

pictured is Grace women's golf coach Denny Duncan with Lauren Keiser

Grace’s women’s golf team competed in its first NCCAA Midwest Regional as a program on Friday and Saturday.

The Lady Lancers finished third out of three teams at StonyCreek Golf Club, but freshman Lauren Keiser qualified as an individual for NCCAA Nationals in a dramatic playoff.

Keiser, who fired an 83 in the first round, came back to shoot 86 in the second round and tie for the top individual finisher outside of the team champ Indiana Wesleyan. Keiser then clinched a spot at NCCAA Nationals thanks to beating her opponent in a playoff.

“The team struggled a bit, especially yesterday when it rained throughout the day,” said Grace head coach Denny Duncan. “We are extremely proud of Lauren [Keiser], who showed a lot of confidence to win a playoff to represent Grace at NCCAA Nationals in Florida.”

As a team, Grace improved 13 strokes on the second day. Libby Tully was the most consistent performer for Grace, carding a 97-94.

Stevie Luebbert made the biggest jump between rounds, improving eight strokes with a 104-96. Aspen Rogers finished with a 101-96, and Kate Adams had 108-101 in her first collegiate tournament.

The Lady Lancers’ next tournament is also Grace’s first home tourney as a program. The Lancer Invitational will start on Sept. 15 at 10 a.m. at Stonehenge Golf Club.

Women’s Soccer Wins in NAIA Network Game of the Week

Monday, September 14th, 2015

Pictured is Mallory Rondeau celebrating her first-half goal against Oklahoma City on Saturday. Photo provided by John Brown University

The national spotlight did not prove to be too bright for Grace’s women’s soccer team to handle. The Lady Lancers beat Oklahoma City 2-1 on Saturday in the NAIA Network Game of the Week.

No. 15 Grace improved to 7-0 on the season, polishing off the Stars (2-2) who were receiving votes in the NAIA Top 25. The Lady Lancers have now beaten four teams who are ranked or receiving votes in the NAIA during the nonleague season.

Grace will take a week off before returning to Miller Athletic Complex on Sept. 19 for a high-octane matchup against No. 2 Northwestern Ohio.

In Grace’s match on Saturday, all three goals were scored in first half. The Lady Lancers wasted little time getting on the scoreboard against the Stars. Aubrey Feipel gained an advantage on the left side of the field and centered a pass into the center of the penalty box. Mallory Rondeau then coolly slotted in her shot at the 6:21 mark, stunning OCU.

The Stars equalized on a counter-attack, turning a defensive clearance into an unassisted goal from 21 yards away in the 16th minute.

The game winner was struck in the 36th minute. Heather Martin lofted a free kick into a dangerous position close to the Stars’ goal, and Carianne Sobey headed in the goal from close range at the 35:16 mark.

In the second half, Grace truly asserted its possession muscles. The Lady Lancers maintained close to 60 percent of the possession and had numerous attacks at OCU’s goal, but the Stars denied Grace an insurance goal. Rondeau broke free on a long run, but dragged her shot wide. Kaitlyn Hayes and Maile Grout also had strong looks at OCU’s goal to no avail.

The Lady Lancers ended the match with a 15-10 advantage in shots and 4-3 advantage in corner kicks. Sobey and Rondeau took three shots apiece, and Hayes and Grout each took two shots.

Abby Schue won her seventh game of the year as Grace’s goalkeeper. The sophomore made four saves in 90 minutes and was defended well by Heather Martin, Meredith Matson, Faith Voehringer and Kristelle Jadoo.

“Today’s match was very similar to Thursday for us. We played decently but never really fired on all cylinders. We worked hard, were composed at times and were dangerous, but we never really opened up to full-throttle ‘possession attacking futbol,’” said Grace head coach Michael Voss. “I’m impressed at the creation of the four 1v1s, but it’s necessary we finish those chances. Overall this was a good trip to take. It challenged us in ways outside of the field, and we grew.”