KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Grace’s volleyball team earned its way to Championship Saturday at NCCAA Nationals with a 3-1 quarterfinal win over Oklahoma Wesleyan.
The Lady Lancers (30-11) will make their second appearance in four years in the NCCAA Semifinals against No. 1 seed Trinity Christian on Saturday at 10 a.m. The championship match will be held at 3:30 p.m. Grace also played Trinity Christian in the 2011 NCCAA Semifinals, falling in five sets.
Grace also lost to Colorado Christian 3-1 in the final match of pool play on Friday morning.
Apart from a hiccup in the second set, Grace had little trouble with Oklahoma Wesleyan in the quarterfinals. Grace finished with 19 more kills, four more block points and a hitting percentage of .298 as a team in the 3-1 victory.
The Lady Lancers had double-digit kills in each set, including 14 kills in the opening 25-18 victory. The second set went to extra points and was tightly contested throughout the game. Grace fought off one set point with back-to-back kills by Ellie Harp and Calah Kruse. The Lady Lancers then served two set points at 26-25 and 27-26, but the Eagles rallied for the 29-27 victory.
Grace came out firing in the third set and ran away with the 25-15 win. The fourth set was just as strong for Grace at 25-16 to clinch their berth into the semifinals.
Calah Kruse finished with her fourth double-double in as many games at NCCAA Nationals with 18 kills and 19 digs. Kaitlin Kerrigan pounded out 15 kills on 37 attempts, and Sierra Smith had 12 kills on a .320 percentage. Ellie Harp passed out 51 assists with nine digs, and Sara Miller and Annie Salazar had eight digs apiece.
In the opening match of the day, Grace fell to third-seeded Colorado Christian 3-1 to close out pool play. The Lady Lancers lost 25-18, 21-25, 25-22 and 25-15.
Calah Kruse notched a double-double with 11 kills and 17 digs, and Hannah Clemmons had a match-high 23 digs. Tori Bontrager and Kaitlin Kerrigan tallied seven kills apiece, and Sara Miller had 11 digs.