WINONA LAKE – In a battle for first place in the Crossroads League, the Grace College volleyball team let a 2-0 lead slip away against Indiana Wesleyan on Saturday.
The Wildcats (14-3, 9-0 CL) battled back to win three straight sets, rallying for the 3-2 victory at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.
Grace won the opening set 25-20 and looked in good position to sweep the match with a 26-24 victory in the second game. The Wildcats were serving to win the set at 24-23, but Grace rallied thanks to two late kills from Grace Woolsey to win 26-24.
The Wildcats responded well in the third set, claiming an early 6-1 lead. IWU continued its momentum with a 25-12 victory. The fourth set also belonged to the Wildcats as IWU eased away for an eight-point win.
In the tiebreaking fifth set, Grace jumped out to a 7-5 lead to force a timeout from the Wildcats. Indiana Wesleyan came out roaring from the timeout, however, outscoring Grace 9-2 after that point to grab a 14-9 advantage. The Lady Lancers (16-5, 7-2 CL) fought off two match points before the Wildcats clinched the comeback victory in the match with a 15-11 win.
Grace finished the game with 40 kills on an attacking percentage of .043. IWU finished the night with 51 kills on a .157 percentage.
In the absence of Calah Kruse, sophomore Kaitlin Kerrigan led Grace’s offense with eight kills. Ellie Harp tallied 31 assists, 7 kills, 9 digs and 3 service aces, and Sierra Smith had seven kills on a .211 percentage.
Grace Woolsey ended the match with 6 kills, 1 ace and 4 block assists. Hannah Clemmons paced Grace’s defense with 19 digs, and Sara Miller produced 16 digs.
The Lady Lancers resume league play on Wednesday 7 p.m. with a home match against Spring Arbor.