FORT WAYNE – The Grace College volleyball team won its second match in as many days with a 3-2 victory at St. Francis on Saturday.
The Lady Lancers (8-8, 3-4 Crossroads League) got back to .500 on the season thanks to balanced production.
The Cougars (2-13, 1-6 CL) grabbed an early lead with a 25-19 win in set one. St. Francis’s offense had a sizzling 15 kills on a .297 percentage in the opener.
St. Francis scored the first three points of the second set, but Grace battled back to tie the score. The Cougars still threatened to go up 2-0 by holding a late 23-20 advantage. Grace responded with four straight points, sparked by blocks from Kari Feddema, to regain control. The set ended 26-24 in Grace’s favor on a kill by Sierra Smith.
Grace carried that momentum into the third set, coasting to a seven-point win. The Lady Lancers’ defense limited the Cougars to a negative hitting percentage of -.061.
St. Francis got revenge with a seven-point win of its own in the fourth set, setting the stage for a dramatic game five.
Early kills from Feddema, Smith and Marta Bleed put Grace ahead early in the tiebreaker, 5-2. Smith went on to have cisfour kills in the set, including the final swing of the match to win it for Grace at 15-12. Smith had a team-high 14 kills in the match, adding six block assists.
“Today was a good win for us. We were inconsistent in a lot of areas but consistently won the serving battle,” said Grace head coach Katie Van Hofwegen. “Our aggressiveness at the service line allowed us to keep them out of system and win several key points.”
Feddema was a dominant blocking force with a solo and eight block assists to go along with six kills.
Kelsee Zuidema finished with 13 kills, 8 digs and 2 aces, and Bleed had 10 kills on a .214 percentage.
Taylor Baird produced 42 assists, 8 digs and 4 kills as the setter, and Caylie Teel had 25 digs and two aces. Tori Bontrager served up five aces, and Sara Miller finished with 11 digs.
The Lady Lancers will hope to extend their winning streak next week with two home matches. Grace hosts Huntington on Friday night and Marian on Saturday.