Grace Volleyball 3, Lincoln 0
Grace 3, Trinity International 0
Grace’s volleyball team began its home Lancer Classic on an impressive note.
The Lady Lancers won both matches in three sets, sweeping Lincoln and Trinity International at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.
Anna Frey and Cassadi Colbert produced a lethal 1-2 offensive punch in the opening set against Lincoln. Grace tried to pull away multiple times in the set, but the Lynx continued to claw back into contention.
Grace led 20-15, but four straight points by Lincoln brought the set within reach. The score was tied at 21, 22 and 23 before late kills from Frey, Colbert and Jenna Mueller gave Grace a 25-23 win.
Grace’s defense was stout to begin the second set, dominating the Lynx at the net thanks to Mueller and Alisha Leffring.
The Lady Lancers allowed only four kills in the entire set, allowing Grace to roll to a comfortable 25-12 win.
The third set was similar to the first. Grace maintained a lead throughout the set, but the Lynx refused to go down without a fight. The Lady Lancers led 24-19, but three straight points from Lincoln gave Grace a scare. But a service error ended the match with a 25-22 score.
Frey was electric with 19 kills and nine digs, and Leffring added 11 kills, 1 solo block and 2 block assists.
Mueller produced seven kills and two block assists, Colbert added six kills and five digs, and Gina Novotny led all players with 17 digs.
Morgan Syoen amassed 22 assists, 6 digs and 2 aces, and Emily Peterson added 13 assists.
In the second match against TIU, Grace continued its sweeping trend with another 3-0 win.
Neither team could grab a significant lead in the opening set. Grace tried to pull away late with a 23-21 lead, but TIU scored twice, tying the score at 23, 24 and 25.
The Trojans proceeded to earn a 26-25 edge, but Grace then rallied with three straight points to win 28-26 thanks to kills from Jadyn Ross, Colbert and Mueller.
Grace survived 11 attack errors in the set by recording 17 kills. Frey was a force by amassing nine first-set kills.
The Lady Lancers slowly and steadily built a lead in the second set as the home team began to find its rhythm. Grace eventually opened up a nine-point lead and rolled to a 25-16 win, ending on an emphatic kill by Colbert.
Grace forced another early timeout by TIU in the third set with a 7-3 edge. The early break seemed to work as the Trojans pulled to within one.
But the Lady Lancers soon flexed their muscles, earning a lead and never looking back. Grace secured the sweep with a 25-17 win.
Frey had a double-double with 13 kills, 10 digs, 1 solo block and 5 block assists. Ross produced 10 kills, and Leffring had 7 kills, 2 solo blocks and 3 block assists.
Colbert had 7 kills, 3 digs and 2 block assists, Mueller had four kills and four block assists, and Novotny tallied 11 digs.
Syoen notched a double-double with 18 assists and 11 digs, and Peterson passed out 22 assists.
The Lady Lancers will end the tournament on Saturday with two more matches. Grace will play Cumberland at 9 a.m. and St. Xavier at 1 p.m.
Grace XC Competes In South Bend
The women’s cross country squad placed three runners in the top 10 and finished as the runners-up at the Bethel Invitational, hosted at St. Patrick’s Park in South Bend.
Heather Plastow crossed the line in third individually with a time of 19:05 on a course softened by rain throughout the week. Kylie Sauder was a few places back in sixth, posting a time of 19:15. Mallory Hiatt also grabbed a top-10 finish, placing seventh in 19:19.
The next three finishers for the Lancers were Katie Acker in 28th (20:16), Anna Hulstedt in 42nd (20:42) and Elizabeth Moore in 47th (20:56.)
“The ladies competed well and we had a handful of personal bests on a course that was certainly not conducive to fast times,” said Coach Jake Poyner. “We’re continuing to emphasize recovery and composure during this time full of academic stress and some very solid workouts.”
Highly-ranked Indiana Wesleyan finished in the top spot out of 15 teams in the event. Grace was second, followed by St. Francis (Ill.), Indiana Tech and Michigan-Dearborn.
Grace will be back in action on October 23 at the Great Lakes Challenge in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The weather became a factor for the men’s race at the Bethel Invitational, hosted at St. Patrick’s Park in South Bend. Lightning in the area and heavy rains delayed the start of the race and caused some slippery conditions. The Lancers pushed through, finishing seventh out of 13 full teams in the race.
The top seven runners for No. 21-ranked Grace sat out the competition after racing just six days ago in Louisville.
Sophomore Macallister Cheek paced the squad, placing 31st with a time of 28:06. Hayden Mullett was close behind in 28:12, with Jose Quinones finishing in 28:31. Rounding out the top six were Nathan Woolery in 28:52, Luke Smith in 29:00 and Derek O’Connor in 29:47.
“The men had a very memorable day with the rain delays and weather,” said Coach Jake Poyner. “Given the conditions on the trail portion of the course, we competed well. This will be a valuable experience as we get ready for the rest of the season.”
The Lancers will race again on October 23 at the Great Lakes Challenge in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The event will include numerous nationally-ranked NAIA teams from around the Midwest.