Grace 3, Spring Arbor 1
Grace’s volleyball team wrapped up the first half of Crossroads League play with a win on Friday night.
The Lady Lancers defeated Spring Arbor 3-1 in front of an energetic crowd at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.
Grace’s offense soared with 64 kills at a .248 percentage. Anna Frey was dominant with 19 kills, 14 digs and 5 block assists, and Cassadi Colbert was equally explosive with 15 kills.
Two of the four sets went to extra points on Friday, and every set was decided by three or fewer points.
Frey and Kate Sperry started the opening set with two kills apiece. The teams could scarcely be separated in the set, however, with 13 tied scores and eight lead changes.
Grace served for the set at 24-22, but SAU rallied with a pair of points to even the count at 24-24.
The Lady Lancers went on to secure the set at 26-24 thanks to a kill from Colbert and an attack error by SAU.
The Cougars had plans to even the match in the second set. SAU opened up a 22-18 lead, setting the stage for a dramatic comeback.
Grace rattled off seven straight points to claim the set at 25-22. Gina Novotny had an ace, and Frey, Jenna Mueller and Katie Swanson all had kills during Grace’s surge.
The Cougars stole Grace’s tactic with a late comeback of their own in the third set. Grace pulled ahead 24-22, but SAU countered with four straight points to win 26-24 and keep the match alive.
The fourth set was another nailbiter. Grace remained in front for much of the set, gaining separation late at 17-11.
But the Cougars showed resolve, using a 12-4 charge to stun Grace and seize a 23-21 lead.
With the match on the verge of going to a tiebreaker, Grace turned to its most dangerous hitters in the clutch. Colbert pulled Grace to within one with a kill, Grace Erwin served up an ace, and Frey climaxed the win with two kills.
Novotny was a magnet for the ball defensively, racking up a match-high 29 digs, and Erwin added 13 digs of her own.
Mueller produced 11 kills, 1 solo block and 5 block assists, and Alisha Leffring added 7 kills, 2 solo blocks and 3 block assists.
Emily Peterson and Morgan Syoen had identical stat lines of 23 assists and seven digs while sharing Grace’s setting responsibilities. Riley Owens entered in set four and produced eight timely assists as well.
The Lady Lancers will hit the road for their next two matchups, playing at Taylor on Saturday and at Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Wednesday.