Archive for the ‘Feature Stories’ Category

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:

Three Players Score in Lady Lancers’ Route

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Pictured is Mallory Rondeau on Tuesday. The senior scored her sixth goal of the year against St. Francis.

Grace’s women’s soccer team cruised to a 3-0 win over St. Francis on Tuesday at Miller Athletic Complex.

The NAIA No. 8-ranked Lady Lancers (9-0-1, 1-0-1 Crossroads League) outshot St. Francis 19-5 in the match and remain unbeaten for the season. The Cougars (7-4, 1-1 CL) were receiving votes in the latest NAIA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll.

“It was great to see the women bring composure back to its appropriate level. They got the ball moving and kept the pace moving quickly,” said Grace head coach Michael Voss. “I’m pleased that those we asked more from today really came through.”

Grace dominated time on the ball in the first half, keeping continual pressure on the Cougars’ backline. The Lady Lancers took several shots from inside the penalty box. Jordan Hairgrove, Kaitlyn Hayes and Mallory Rondeau each had multiple shot attempts in the opening half, but Grace could not find the mark.

Meredith Hollar came in as a substitute with 14 minutes left in the half, and it did not take long for her to make an impact. She gained an advantage on a defender on the right side of the field and dribbled hard toward the end line. After eyeing up the goalkeeper’s position, Hollar lofted a 20-yarder above the goalie’s hands just below the crossbar for the game’s first goal in the 36th minute.

The game remained 1-0 at halftime despite Grace holding a heavy 11-1 advantage in shots. The Lady Lancers also had three of the four corner kicks in the opening 45 minutes.

Grace pulled away in the second half after converting two penalty kicks. Hayes was fouled inside the box, and Carianne Sobey made the score 2-0 after scoring on the ensuing PK.

Two minutes later, Grace had another penalty kick. After Kristen Bellinger was felled in the box, Rondeau stepped up and converted her PK at the 58:13 mark.

The Cougars took four shots in the second half, but St. Francis was unable to puncture Grace’s net. Goalkeeper Abby Schue picked up her sixth shutout of the season, making three saves in 90 minutes.

Grace outshot St. Francis 19-5 in the match. Twelve of Grace’s shots were on goal. Grace also used 21 players in the match.

The Lady Lancers remain at home on Saturday for a 7 p.m. match against Huntington. Saturday’s game will be Senior Night to honor the squad’s nine seniors, and a fireworks show will follow the action at the soccer stadium.

Men’s Basketball to Play at Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

If you'd like to cover this event, contact Josh Neuhart or A.D. Chad Briscoe directly to obtain credentials.

Grace’s men’s basketball team will be showcased at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Dec. 11.

The Lancers will take on IU-Southeast at the home of the NBA’s Indiana Pacers at 2:30 p.m. The Pacers will host the Miami Heat at 7 p.m. that evening. Fans purchasing a ticket to Grace’s game with IU-Southeast will receive a combo pass to the Pacers-Heat game that night.

“We are honored for our basketball program to be given the chance to play at Bankers Life Fieldhouse,” said Grace athletic director Chad Briscoe. “This will be a great memory for our coaches and athletes to play at one of the top facilities in Indiana, and we are excited for alumni and fans to have this experience as well.”

The Dec. 11 game is a rematch between the Lancers and Grenadiers. The teams faced off at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Nov. 16, 2010.

Ticket prices are $40.70 for a lower balcony seat and $24.20 for an upper balcony seat. Tickets are purchased for the Pacers-Heat game, but fans will need to show that ticket to have access to the Grace game in the afternoon. Fans may sit anywhere in the lower bowl for the Lancers’ contest.

“It’s always a thrill to play in an NBA arena. It’s really neat to play on the same floor that the best players in the world play on,” said Grace men’s basketball coach Jim Kessler. “It should be a very competitive game as well, which will make the day even better.”

To purchase tickets at the discounted rate, contact Grace’s athletic office at (574) 372-5100 ext 6266 or Tom Pritchard, Pacers Group Events Specialist, at (317) 917-2870 or email A fan bus for Grace students will be arranged. For details, contact Grace’s Student Affairs office at (574) 372-5100 ext 6466.

Women’s Tennis Wins Crucial Match at Bethel

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Grace’s women’s tennis team claimed a critical late-season win over Bethel 6-3 on Saturday.

The Lady Lancers jumped the Pilots in the Crossroads League standings with the victory and assured themselves a spot in the league tournament.

Although the Pilots (6-5, 1-5 CL) won at No. 1 doubles, the Lady Lancers (3-5, 2-5 CL) picked up the slack at No. 2 and No. 3. Gabrielle Lawrence and Mariah Zumbrun teamed up for an 8-5 win at No. 2, and Jenna Jackson and Katie Etter won convincingly 8-2 at No. 3 doubles.

Etter made short work of her opponent 6-1, 6-0 at No. 6 singles, and Natalia Kurkova and Jayna Huber claimed identical 6-4, 6-1 wins at No. 1 and No. 5 singles respectively.

Jackson earned the final point for Grace, winning 7-5, 6-3 at No. 3. Molly Fitzpatrick dropped a hard-fought three-setter at No. 2 singles.

The Lady Lancers have one league match remaining in the season – Tuesday 4 p.m. at home against Goshen. Grace will also play a nonleague match at home on Monday against Trine at 3:30 p.m.

Lancers Score Three Against IWU on Homecoming

Monday, September 28th, 2015

pictured is Dominic Harris celebrating Grace's third goal against Indiana Wesleyan on Saturday

Three second-half goals propelled Grace’s men’s soccer to a Homecoming victory over Indiana Wesleyan on Saturday.

The Lancers won the opening game of the Crossroads League season in front of a packed grandstand at Miller Athletic Complex.

After an uneventful first half, the game did not lack for excitement over the final 45 minutes.

The first half was a midfield battle. The Wildcats (4-4, 0-1 CL) had four of the six shots taken in the first half, but Grace’s defense was organized and was never seriously threatened.

The first chance of the half fell to Grace. Nakilee Weni found space on the right side of the penalty box, but his hard shot whistled above IWU’s goalpost.

Ten minutes into the second half, Grace found the back of the net. Kyle Hamlin maneuvered around two defenders on the left side of the field and took aim from 22 yards. The IWU goalkeeper could not get a glove on Hamlin’s shot as his left-footed blast soared just below the crossbar for the game’s first tally in the 56th minute.

The Wildcats equalized with a penalty kick at the 61:43 mark after Grace committed a foul at the edge of the penalty box.

It did not take long for the Lancers (6-4, 1-0 CL) to reestablish a lead. Jon Christensen sent in a cross from the right side of the field, and Nikola Djordjevic rose above his defender to deflect in his shot in the air in the 69th minute.

Grace continued its attack on IWU’s goal with a handful of chances. The insurance goal came in the 81st minute. Thomas Tydeman made a run on the right side of the field and played a low ball across the face of the goal. Dominic Harris made an acrobatic play to stab in the goal at the far post and celebrated with a somersault in front of an elated red-clad crowd.

Robbie Barnhill made four saves in 90 minutes to earn the win in goal for Grace. The Lancers were outshot 11-7 in the match, but Grace had six shots on goal compared to five for the Wildcats.

Saturday’s win also culminated Grace’s Homecoming weekend, which had a special focus on the Lancers’ 50th season of competition. Members from the original 1965 and 1966 teams were in attendance in events throughout the weekend, marking a memorable few days for the program.

The Lancers continue league play on Wednesday with a trip to St. Francis at 7 p.m.

Volleyball Beats Huntington in Five Sets

Monday, September 28th, 2015

A five-set thriller against Huntington lifted Grace’s volleyball team two spots in the Crossroads League standings on Friday.

Despite a dominant statistical advantage against the Foresters (4-4, 4-4 CL), Grace needed five sets to dismiss the hosts.

The Lady Lancers (12-8, 4-4 CL), winners of four straight, had 29 more kills, 25 more assists and 8 more digs than the Foresters in the match, but the outcome was not decided until the fifth set.

Grace won the opener 25-22 after holding Huntington to nine kills and eight errors. Grace held a late lead in the second set as well, but the Foresters rallied to win 25-23 and even the match.

Huntington was on the verge of taking a 2-1 sets advantage with a 20-11 lead in the third. But Grace ripped off eight unanswered points on the strength of its blocking and serving, forcing Huntington to use a timeout. The break did little to slow Grace’s momentum, however, as the Lady Lancers won the set in extra points 26-24.

The Foresters survived 17 kills from the Lady Lancers in the fourth set to win 25-22, sending the match to one final game.

The final stanza belonged to Grace. The Lady Lancers had kills on nine of their 15 points. Grace also stifled the Foresters into a negative hitting percentage of -.040 in a 15-7 win. Savannah Hart clinched the match with a kill on the 15th point.

Grace, who sat in sixth place before the match began, climbed into fourth in the CL standings with the win over Huntington. Only unbeaten Mt. Vernon Nazarene (16-0) has a longer winning streak in the CL than Grace’s current run of four matches.

Three players for Grace tallied double-doubles, including a rare 20-20 double from Taylor Baird. Baird had 27 assists and 21 digs and shared the setting duties with Laken Chaney, who produced 33 assists and 13 digs. Kaitlin Kerrigan had the third double-double of the match with 14 kills and 23 digs.

Kelsee Zuidema led all players with 16 kills on a .227 percentage, and Sierra Smith had 13 kills on a .281 percentage. Naarah Foster tallied a career-high 10 kills, Tori Bontrager finished with eight kills and seven block assists, and Sara Miller led Grace defensively with 23 digs.

For the match Grace hit at a .187 percentage compared to Huntington’s .081.

The Lady Lancers will go for their fifth straight win on Saturday with a trip to Marian at 5 p.m.

Women’s Cross Country Earns Spot in NAIA Poll

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

For possibly the first time in program history, Grace’s women’s cross country team has made an appearance in the NAIA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll.

The Lady Lancers are in the “receiving votes” section of the poll, earning the 35th-most points in the NAIA.

“It’s nice to be recognized, and I hope we can live up to that recognition. I know there are many good teams in the Crossroads League, so we will find out where we stand as the season progresses,” said Grace head coach Jeff Raymond. “With no seniors on the squad and three freshmen among our top five runners, we have a good foundation for not only this season, but also future years.”

The Lady Lancers have not been ranked according to the NAIA’s database, dating back to the 1999 season.

Grace fields a roster with zero seniors and eight underclassmen. The team has consistently had four freshmen place among the team’s fastest six runners this fall under Raymond’s leadership.

The Lady Lancers’ next competition is Huntington Invitational on Oct. 3.

Grace Netters Top Indiana Tech

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Grace’s women’s tennis team held on for a well-deserved 5-4 win over Indiana Tech on Wednesday.

The Lady Lancers (2-5) grabbed a crucial advantage after winning two of three doubles’ points. Natalia Kurkova and Molly Fitzpatrick won 8-1 at No. 1, while Katie Etter and Jenna Jackson teamed up for an 8-2 victory at No. 3. Gabrielle Lawrence and Mariah Zumbrun battled to an 8-5 loss at No. 2.

Lawrence at No. 5 singles and Etter at No. 6 singles put Grace on the verge of victory with each claiming identical 6-0, 6-1 wins against the Warriors (0-2). Kurkova then secured the win for Grace with a comfortable 6-2, 6-1 victory at No. 1.

Jayna Huber dropped a hard-fought three setter at No. 4 singles, 6-4, 2-6, 2-10, and Jackson lost a close 4-6, 3-6 match at No. 3.

The Lady Lancers continue league play on Saturday with a trip to Bethel at 12 p.m.