Archive for the ‘Feature Stories’ Category

Men’s Tennis Marches onto CL Semifinals

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

Grace’s men’s tennis team used a dominant doubles’ performance to top Taylor 6-3 on Tuesday in the quarterfinals of the Crossroads League Tournament.

The No. 4 seeded Lancers (6-4) won all three doubles’ points to advance to a matchup with regular-season league champion Marian on Thursday. The semifinal contest will take place in Indianapolis.

Although the Trojans (5-7) dropped all three matches during doubles’ competition, two of the matches were battles. Danila Kurkulin and Ethan Grove pulled out a 9-8 win at No. 1 doubles, and Adam Yoder and Caleb Yoder won 8-6 at No. 3. Uros Pajic and Gabe Vervynckt had the easiest route with an 8-1 victory at No. 2 doubles.

Grove went on to cruise 6-1, 6-2 at No. 3 singles, and Vervycnkt clinched the win by taking a 6-1, 6-4 decision at No. 5.

Adam Yoder had the final point for Grace at No. 6 singles with a three-set victory.

The Lancers are making their fifth straight appearance in the CL semifinals, producing a 2-2 record in that round over the past four years.

Grace vs. Spring Arbor to be NAIA Game of the Week

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

Grace’s No. 8-ranked women’s soccer team will travel to No. 9 Spring Arbor on Wednesday 7 p.m. for the NAIA Game of the Week.

The NAIA Top 10 clash is a meeting of perennial Crossroads League powers. The Lady Lancers (10-0-1) are one of four undefeated teams remaining in the NAIA. Grace is off to its best start in program history under head coach Michael Voss.


Grace currently boasts the No. 4-ranked defense in the NAIA, surrendering just 0.45 goals/game. The Lady Lancers have beaten six teams already who were ranked or receiving votes in the NAIA Top 25.

Spring Arbor has yet to taste defeat in the league season, entering Wednesday’s match with a 9-2-1 record (3-0 CL). The Cougars have won 21 straight regular-season league matches, and they currently lead the NAIA with 26.1 shots/game.

Grace held at No. 8 in Tuesday’s edition of the NAIA poll – the squad’s 11th consecutive national ranking.

The Lady Lancers will also travel to No. 20 Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Saturday to round out a challenging week.

Schue Named League Defensive Player of the Week

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

Grace goalkeeper Abby Schue picked up her fourth Crossroads League Defender of the Week award for the 2015 season on Monday.

Schue, a former Warsaw Tiger goalie, had two more shutouts last week for No. 8 Grace’s women’s soccer team. She made a combined 12 saves in 180 minutes in goal. Grace blanked St. Francis 3-0 and Huntington 2-0 to maintain an undefeated record of 10-0-1. The Lady Lancers are off to their best start in program history through 11 games and are one of just four undefeated teams left in the NAIA.

Schue’s seven shutouts on the season ranks No. 3 in the NAIA, and she has a goals against average/game of 0.45.

The Lady Lancers travel to No. 10 Spring Arbor on Wednesday 7 p.m. for a high-profile matchup.

Grace Spikers Claim Weekly League Honors

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

A pair of Grace volleyball players were honored by the Crossroads League on Monday.

Sara Miller was named the league’s Defender of the Week while Kelsee Zuidema was the Attacker of the Week following strong performances.

Grace went on the road to beat Bethel in four sets on Wednesday, thanks in large part to Miller and Zuidema. Miller did not make a mistake in Grace’s win against Bethel. She had 23 digs, made 17 pass receptions without an error and was perfect in 14 serves — even adding two aces. She has topped 20 digs in five of her past eight matches.

Zuidema pounded out 15 kills on just 25 attempts for a .520 percentage, leading Grace offensively. She also added 6 digs, 4 service aces and 3 block assists in a well-rounded effort.

The Lady Lancers host Goshen on Wednesday 7 p.m. at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center. Grace has won five of its past six CL matches.

Seniors Score Twice on Senior Night

Sunday, October 4th, 2015
Pictured is Grace senior Mallory Rondeau firing her first-half goal against Huntington on Saturday

No. 8 Grace’s women’s soccer team continued its unbeaten streak to start the year, defeating Huntington 2-0 on Saturday.

Two seniors scored and another had an assist to propel the Lady Lancers (10-0-1, 2-0-1 Crossroads League) on Senior Night at Miller Athletic Complex.

Despite taking 20 shots and 12 shots on goal in the match, Grace’s scoring was all done in an 18-minute span in the first half.

Mallory Rondeau opened the scoring in the 12th minute. The senior forward made a sneaky run to fool Huntington’s defense, beating two defenders and the Foresters’ goalkeeper to a loose ball and passing her shot into an empty net.

A nice run from Rondeau nearly produced a second goal minutes later. Her hard shot rebounded inside the penalty box and fell to the feet of Darcy Johnston, and Johnston’s shot forced a diving save by the Foresters (6-6, 0-3 CL).

Huntington nearly equalized in the 20th minute. A long shot by the Foresters took a deflection, and Grace goalkeeper Abby Schue slipped on the soaked turf. The shot rolled wide of the goalpost, however, preventing an unlikely equalizer.

In the 29th minute, Grace found an insurance goal. Carianne Sobey beat a defender on the left endline and squared a pass to Jordan Hairgrove, and the senior had a simple finish in front of the goal at the 28:39 mark. Sobey’s assist was the 42nd of her career, extending her program record for most assists.

The half ended 2-0 in Grace’s favor. The Lady Lancers had a 13-5 advantage in shot attempts.

Huntington stepped up its attack in the beginning stages of the second half, but Grace’s defense held firm. The Lady Lancers recorded their second straight shutout and seventh shutout of the year. Schue made nine saves in goal for Grace in 90 minutes.

Grace had a 20-12 advantage in shot attempts. Rondeau fired seven shots with five being on goal.

“We had a decent showing today on Senior Night. We were composed and creative executing our game plan well,” said Grace head coach Michael Voss. “The chance creation was creative and calculated. In general we just need to be sharper. The whole crew stayed the course this evening, and I’m proud of the women for that.”

The Lady Lancers face one of the biggest matchups of their season on Wednesday. Grace travels to No. 10 Spring Arbor on Wednesday night for an NAIA Top-10 rivalry game.

Harris’s Bicycle Goal not Enough Against Huntington

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

An acrobatic bicycle-kick goal from Dominic Harris was not enough to save Grace’s men’s soccer team from defeat on Saturday.

The Lancers (7-4, 2-1 Crossroads League) suffered their first loss of the league season, falling to Huntington 2-1 on the road.

Grace outshot the Foresters (6-5-1, 1-2 CL) 26-15 in the match, but Huntington made their shots count.

The opening half was scoreless despite a combined 16 shot attempts. The Lancers tried 11 shots in the first 45 minutes, but none found the back of the net. Grace also had a commanding 8-2 advantage in corner kicks, but each attempt went for naught.

Huntington pulled ahead less than 10 minutes into the second half, taking a 1-0 lead in the 52nd minute.

In the 72nd minute, Grace was whistled for a foul in the penalty box. Huntington converted the penalty kick for a 2-0 lead.

The Lancers did their best to battle back. Grace took 15 shots in the second half, including eight on frame. Grace thought it had earned a PK of its own, but the Lancers’ penalty appeals were denied.

The breakthrough came too late for Grace. Dominic Harris trapped a high headed ball near the top of the box. After sensing some space, he attempted a bicycle kick. The ball looped high over the outstretched arms of the Foresters’ goalkeeper and into the back of the net at the 85th minute.

Harris’s magical moment proved to be too late, however. Grace was unable to find an equalizer before the final buzzer.

Grace had 11 more shots than Huntington in the match and also had eight more corner kicks. Harris had six shots to lead all players, and Kyle Hamlin and Nakilee Weni took three shots apiece.

“We had an opportunity to stay at the top of the conference, and we fell short. It’s not the end of the world, but we did miss a chance to prove some important things to ourselves. I felt like we controlled the game, but we fell short in the most important statistics. We need to regroup and refocus attention to the next match,” said Grace head coach Matt Hotchkin. “The officials had a major impact on this match. The PK call against us was questionable, and he also waived off what seemed to be an obvious PK for us against Damon.”

The Lancers welcome No. 24 Spring Arbor to Miller Athletic Complex on Wednesday.

Grace Runners Take on Huntington Invite

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

Grace’s cross country team got a preview of the Crossroads League Championships with a race at Huntington on Saturday.

The Lady Lancers placed fourth out of nine teams while the men were ninth out of 11 at the Huntington Invitational, ran at the same course as the CL Championships on Nov. 7.

Katelyn McCullough led all Grace runners with a fourth-place showing, ending the race in 19:34. Freshman sisters Ariel Arellano (20:26) and Raven Arellano (20:40) were second and third respectively for Grace, and Julia Neal crossed the finish line in 21:21.

Emma Mitchell, Karla Singer and Sarah Hoff also finished the race with sub-22 minute times. The ladies finished third among Crossroads League teams, beating out league foes Bethel, St. Francis and Goshen in the process.

“We had cool and windy conditions, but our ladies fought through it pretty well. Katelyn McCullough ran a very good race. Even though it wasn’t her best time, it might have been her best race when you factor in the weather and a fairly tough course,” said Grace coach Jeff Raymond. “I also want to compliment Julia Neal for her continued improvement and Sarah Hoff for a solid race after coming back from injury.”

The men’s team ran less than full strength as the team battled injuries. Only five players ran for the Lancers.

Joel Bertelsen had a strong race in 27:25 to finish in 13th place. Sam Hall was next in line for Grace in 28:41, and Tyler Houvener was not far behind in 28:54. Tim Drew (32:19) and Reid Fouty (33:36) completed Grace’s lineup.

“Joel [Bertelsen] went out with the leaders and remained in close contact throughout the race. I was very pleased that he was not afraid to run toward the front,” Raymond said. “We held out a few guys to protect some minor injuries which obviously affected our overall performance. We hope to be closer to full strength next week.”

The Lancers will travel north on Friday for the Bethel Invitational.

Grace Continues Hot Streak with Win at Bethel

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Grace’s volleyball team continued its climb up the Crossroads League standings with a 3-1 win at Bethel on Wednesday night.

The Lady Lancers (13-9, 5-5 CL) have now won five of their past six matches, recovering from an 0-4 league start to jump up to fifth place after Wednesday’s victory.

Grace’s offense was in peak form, hitting 55 kills on a .230 percentage for the match. The Lady Lancers’ offense was in full force in the opener. Grace pounded out 12 kills with just one error en route to a 25-15 win.

Bethel evened up the match with a 25-18 win in the second, but Grace claimed a six-point victory in the third game at 25-19.

The fourth set proved to be the tightest. Grace called a timeout trailing 22-21, and the strategy from head coach Katie Van Hofwegen paid off. Grace scored three of the next four points to go ahead 24-23 on a kill by Kelsee Zuidema.

Bethel recovered with a kill to send the set to extra points. Kari Feddema got a kill on the next rally to make the score 25-24, and the Pilots (13-10, 6-4 CL) were called for a violation on the next point to give the match to Grace.

Zuidema was an offensive force in the match, leading all players with 15 kills on a .520 percentage. She also racked up 3 aces, 6 digs and 3 block assists. Feddema tallied nine kills and two block assists, and Kaitlin Kerrigan had eight kills and 12 digs.

Sara Miller finished with a match-high 23 digs. Laken Chaney and Taylor Baird both had double-doubles from the setting position with Chaney producing 28 assists and 12 digs.

The Lady Lancers continue play on Oct. 7 with a home match against Goshen at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.

Grace Nets Three Second-half Goals vs. USF

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

After falling behind 1-0 to St. Francis, Grace’s men’s soccer team scored three unanswered on Wednesday night.

The Lancers (7-3, 2-0 Crossroads League) stayed at the top of the league standings, joining Marian as the only 2-0 teams in the CL.

The first half saw chances from both sides, but the match remained scoreless after 45 minutes.

Seven minutes into the second half, the Cougars (0-9-1, 0-1-1 CL) broke onto the scoreboard to go ahead 1-0. Grace equalized two minutes later.

In the 55th minute, Damon Binkley was fouled near the top of the penalty box. Kyle Hamlin stepped up to take the 20-yard free kick, and his low shot deflected into the back of the net.

Grace used Hamlin’s goal to fuel its attack. Minutes later, Binkley got free on the right side of the field but fired his shot just wide. On Grace’s next attack, Dominic Harris made several nifty moves in tight spaces and played a cross in front of goal, but Binkley’s headed effort went high.

In the 78th minute, Hamlin tracked back from his forward position to make an interception. He passed to Nakilee Weni who juked his way toward the top of the box. Weni found enough space to unleash a 22-yarder with his right foot, and his low drive slammed inside the far post to give Grace its first lead.

Grace thought it had a penalty kick a few minutes later, but the referee judged that Binkley was fouled at the outside edge of the box. The ensuing 18-yard free kick sailed high.

The Lancers did not take long to tack on a third goal, however. Weni chipped a pass over USF’s back line to Harris who beat his defender to the near post and slipped in a shot past the goalkeeper at the 85:45 mark.

Grace had a dominant 21-10 advantage in shots, including 15-5 in the second half. Grace also had an 8-5 advantage in corner kicks.

Robbie Barnhill earned the victory in goal for Grace, making three saves in 90 minutes. Harris led all players with six shots and four shots on goal, and Weni had five shots. Binkley and Nikola Djordjevic notched two shots apiece.

“Our guys were resilient tonight. I felt like St. Francis was anticipating better than us in the first half, and we were chasing too much. The second half was much better,” said Grace head coach Matt Hotchkin. “Even though we got scored on first, I felt like we were controlling the play. Our wingers Damon and Dominic were very dangerous tonight. They opened up the game, and our midfielders possessed the ball and set things up. Praise the Lord for a fun night and some great teamwork.”

The Lancers will travel to Huntington for a road league match on Saturday at 4 p.m.

Grace College and Seminary Offers New Virtual Tour Option for Prospective Students

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Grace College Virtual Tour

Grace College and Seminary has partnered with YouVisit, LLC to build a complete virtual walking tour of the college, giving prospective students, their families, alumni, and the community unlimited access to Grace’s scenic campus.

High school students, as well as their families and counselors can now explore Grace College’s campus at their convenience via the website. As an additional option to a live campus visit, the tour also allows visitors to take further action to inquire or apply for admission. The virtual tour is part of a continued effort to move forward as Grace continues to innovate with new methods and programs. Among them are Grace’s 3-year accelerated degree program and its new Measure of Grace initiative. The latter offers a tuition decrease to main campus, traditional, undergraduate students for each consecutive year of enrollment at Grace and free textbook rentals for those students as well.

“We are pleased to be able to partner with YouVisit in order to provide yet another option for students and families to explore all that Grace has to offer,” said Cindy Sisson, vice president of enrollment management at Grace. “Grace offers a high quality, affordable, faith-based education on a beautiful campus. We understand that a personal visit isn’t always possible or practical. The virtual tour provides a way to explore what Grace offers to those who otherwise might not have such an opportunity.”

YouVisit equips colleges and universities across the country with virtual tours on three key platforms: Facebook, Mobile (Android, iPhone, and iPad), and college and university websites. The tour includes 35 videos, 30 different 360 degree views, 179 photos, and 18 unique campus and community tour stops.

Visitors can access the tour at: