HUNTINGTON, Ind. – The Grace College volleyball team might have dominated the stat sheet against Huntington, but the Lady Lancers needed all five sets to escape the Foresters.
The Lady Lancers (15-3; 6-0 Crossroads League) had 17 more kills, 17 more digs and 3 more blocks in the match, and Grace edged out the Foresters for a 3-2 victory on Friday night.
In the opening set, Grace broke open a tie and built up a 20-14 lead to force a timeout. The Lady Lancers’ momentum did not stop there, however. Ellie Harp ended the set with an emphatic kill to win 25-16.
The second set had little separation until the Foresters (1-5, 1-5 CL) snuck ahead 20-17. Grace rallied twice down the stretch to within a point, holding off three set points. But Huntington eventually won the set out of a timeout, 25-23.
Grace reasserted itself immediately in the third set with a 6-2 lead. The Lady Lancers maintained a slight cushion and were ahead 20-15. The Foresters rallied with four points to come within 20-19, forcing a Grace timeout. Kaitlin Kerrigan smashed a kill to end Huntington’s momentum, and the Lady Lancers went on to win 25-20 on another Kerrigan kill.
Huntington held a slight cushion over Grace for much of the fourth set. Grace called a timeout with a 21-18 deficit, and the break seemed to work. Calah Kruse and Grace Woolsey combined for a pair of momentum-shifting block points, and the Lady Lancers ripped off five unanswered points. Grace was serving for the match at 24-22, but Huntington benefitted from three straight attacking errors on the Lady Lancers and rallied with a 26-24 victory.
The tiebreaker started in Grace’s favor with a 3-0 lead, and the Lady Lancers refused to let the Foresters sniff the lead the rest of the way. Harp put the final touch on Grace’s 15-8 victory in the tiebreaker with a kill, just as she did in the opening set.
Harp excelled as Grace’s setter with 49 assists. She also pounded out 12 kills on a match-best .455 percentage to go along with six digs.
Hannah Clemmons racked up 32 digs, and Kruse added 16 kills and 17 digs. Kerrigan finished with 16 kills on a .317 percentage, Woolsey had 10 kills and five block assists, Sierra Smith had seven kills and five block assists, and Sara Miller chipped in with 10 digs.
The Lady Lancers, winners of five straight, will take on Goshen College on Wednesday in Goshen.