Grace Men’s Tennis 4, Judson 2
The Lancers men’s tennis team faced a familiar opponent in Judson University and came through with a 4-2 victory. The same two teams faced off in the NCCAA National Championships last spring.
Grace (8-1) got wins at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles to claim the doubles point. David Sandi and Ivan Antinori captured the No. 1 match 6-4, while Nic Graber and Francisco Margaria pulled out a 7-5 win at No. 3
The Lancers dropped a pair of three-set matches in singles, but picked up the three wins necessary to win the match. Fabricio Galvan won 6-1, 6-4 at No. 3 singles and Margaria won 7-6, 6-2 at the No. 5 spot. The overall match was clinched at No. 6 singles where Kye Barrett pulled out a 7-5, 6-4 victory.
Grace will travel to face Marian University in the final Crossroads League match on Saturday. The League tournament begins next week.
Marian Volleyball 3, Grace 1
Grace’s volleyball team could not deal No. 8 Marian its first defeat of the season.
The Lady Lancers lost 3-1 to the Knights as Marian improved to 14-0 on the season.
Grace took the opening set from Marian, handing the Knights their first set defeat of the Crossroads League season.
Grace opened up with a 9-7 lead before Marian ripped off six straight points. The Knights extended their lead to 17-12 before Grace began to rally.
Timely kills from Cassadi Colbert, Jadyn Ross and Katie Swanson allowed Grace to tie the score. Anna Frey took control late, pounding out three kills to propel the Lady Lancers into the lead, and Colbert finished off the 25-23 win with a kill.
Emily Peterson handed out 10 assists in the set, and Frey finished with five kills.
Grace began the second set as the stronger unit and led Marian 13-9 after another kill by Frey.
But the Knights responded with a massive run, winning 11 of the next 14 points to grab control. Marian held on for a six-point win.
The Lady Lancers grew less sharp as the match wore on, and Marian secured the victory by winning the third set (25-18) and the fourth (25-12).
Frey finished with a double-double of 11 kills and 14 digs, and Gina Novotny led all players with 26 digs.
Ross and Colbert both added eight kills, and Jenna Mueller and Swanson finished with seven kills apiece. Mueller also had three block assists.
Peterson amassed 26 assists, 1 ace and 5 digs, and Alisha Leffring had six kills and a solo block.
The Lady Lancers remain at home on Saturday, welcoming No. 22 Bethel to the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center. First serve is slated for 2 p.m.
Cross Country Faces National Competition
The Lancers faced a gauntlet of nationally-ranked opponents at the Ray Bullock Invitational hosted by Taylor University and both the women’s and men’s teams put together strong performances. The women ended up 5th out of 15 teams, while the men came in 4th out of 13 teams. All four teams finishing ahead of the Grace women are ranked in the top 15 of the NAIA national polls, while each of three squads to come in ahead of the men are ranked in the NAIA’s top 10.
Facing both the heat and the strong competition, senior Heather Plastow led the women’s team by placing 11th out of 166 runners in 19:09 on the 5k course. Mallory Hiatt followed in 18th place in 19:25, with Kylie Sauder running 20:10 to finish 36th.
The next pack for the Lancers included Katie Acker in 47th (20:40), Kaelyn Johnson in 56th (20:51) and Anna Hulstedt in 59th (20:56.)
St. Francis (Ill.) came out on top in the women’s meet with 33 points, followed by Cornerstone (Mich) with 65. Host Taylor ended third with 70 and Huntington was fourth with 136. Grace totaled 153 points.
“We knew today would be challenging when considering the course, the weather, and racing back-to-back weekends.” said Coach Jake Poyner. “We had some high expectations, but I really thought we handled everything very well.”
The men’s team placed each of its top five runners in the top 26 overall to score only 87 points. The junior trio of Dimitri Margaritidis (26:53), Bryan Hernandez-Rios (26:55) and Logan Rufenacht (27:05) finished 11th, 12th and 16th, respectively. Freshman Justin Van Prooyen (27:17) was 23rd, while Isaac Beatty (27:24) ended up 26th.
Defending national champion Taylor won the men’s meet with 36 points, followed by St. Francis (Ill.) with 44 and Cornerstone (Mich) with 72.
“Handle the heat, embrace the challenge and learn from–and enjoy–your experience; That was my message to both squads,” said Poyner. “Now it’s back to the process of recovering and training for what lies ahead.”
Both squads will compete in the Greater Louisville Classic on Saturday, Oct. 2.