DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Grace College volleyball team showcased a lethal offense on Friday at the Embry-Riddle Tournament as the Lady Lancers defeated Cardinal Stritch and Montreat.
Dana Johnston and Jessica Scherb reached career-high marks on Friday as Grace improved to 6-0 in the 2013 season.
In Friday’s opener, 33 assists from Ellie Harp carried Grace past Cardinal Stritch in three sets.
The Lady Lancers (6-0) had their hands full with the Wolves (2-1) in the first set as the score was never more than two points in either team’s favor. Cardinal Stritch gained late momentum when they took a 24-22 lead. But back-to-back kills from Calah Kruse turned the tide as the Lady Lancers went on to win 29-27.
Grace won handily by the score of 25-18 in the final two sets.
Dana Johnston had a well-rounded match with 11 kills, 6 digs, 3 solo blocks and 1 block assist, and Hannah Clemmons notched 20 digs to lead all players.
Kruse finished with 7 kills, 7 digs and 2 service aces, Alix Underwood added eight kills on a .389 percentage, and freshmen Megan Johnson and Grace Woolsey tallied five kills apiece.
The second set against Montreat seemed to be headed Grace’s direction early on with a 2-0 set advantage. But the Cavaliers’ blocking pulled Montreat back into contention.
The Cavaliers forced a fifth set by winning 25-23 and 25-22 in the third and fourth sets.
Montreat had Grace against the ropes as they held a 13-9 lead late in the decisive fifth set, but Grace proved its mettle by winning six points in a row to claim the victory. Johnston and Kruse tallied two kills during Grace’s final six-point swing.
Johnston was a force to be reckoned with, amassing a career-best 27 kills to go along with a solo block and four block assists against the Cavaliers. The offense of setter Ellie Harp led to 70 team kills and 59 assists for Harp. Montreat, on the other hand, had 46 kills.
Scherb’s 17 digs was a career mark, and Hannah Clemmons’s 20 digs led all players. Scherb also had two service aces.
Kruse recorded a double-double with 11 kills and 13 digs, Megan Johnson had 12 kills, and Kaitlin Kerrigan reached 10 digs for Grace.
The Lady Lancers will hope for a second straight undefeated tournament with matches against Talladega and Southern University of New Orleans on Saturday.