WINONA LAKE – The Grace College volleyball team made short work of St. Francis on Saturday, sweeping the Cougars to give Grace head coach Andria Harshman her 100th coaching victory for the program.
The Lady Lancers (15-5; 7-5 Crossroads League) recorded twice as many kills as the Cougars, pounding out 44 kills on a .243 percentage.
The match also featured a deeper mission as Grace’s Cancer Care Game. The Lady Lancers donned special pink uniforms for the match.
“A big injury last night caused us to switch up several starting positions for us, but I feel like we couldn’t have responded any better than we did today,” said Grace head coach Andria Harshman. “We changed up our lineup and focused on maintaining our energy and emotion. We have a better system going now to help us peak at the right time.”
Grace jumped out to a 10-3 lead to kick off the match and never looked back. The Cougars (11-11; 5-6 CL) clawed back to within four points of Grace’s lead before ultimately falling 25-16.
A dominant defensive effort fueled Grace in the second set en route to a 25-12 rout. The Cougars were stifled into a negative team hitting percentage of -.081.
The Lady Lancers claimed another sizeable lead early in the third set, leading 12-3. St. Francis battled back to trim Grace’s lead to 17-15, but a huge kill from Dana Johnston gave Grace a boost. Grace clinched the match 25-20 on a kill from libero Hannah Clemmons.
Taylor Baird produced 37 assists in three sets to spearhead Grace’s attack. She helped Johnston to 13 kills and Calah Kruse to 11 kills. Johnston also notched four of Grace’s 10 block assists.
Megan Johnson finished with seven kills, and Kaitlin Kerrigan added five kills on 13 attempts.
Hannah Clemmons led all players defensively with 15 digs, and Jessica Scherb chipped in with 13 digs.
Harshman had earned her 99th coaching win on Friday in Grace’s sweep of Spring Arbor to set up the century-mark victory on Saturday. After Saturday’s victory, Harshman’s career record at Grace is 100-93.
“It really is an honor to reach the 100-win mark. The honor really goes to the team,” Harshman said. “We recruited the right players, and this milestone is a testament to how the team performed. I’m just really proud of our players.”
The Lady Lancers will aim to keep their momentum into next week’s match at Taylor on Wednesday.