Pictured is Grace’s Maddie Ryman
Pictured is Grace’s Maddie Ryman
RIO GRANDE, Ohio - Grace’s first ever NAIA Tournament run came to end on Wednesday evening in the second round of the tournament.

The 12th seeded Lady Lancers were bested by the fourth seeded Rio Grande (30-3), who served as the host school for the first and second rounds, by a score of 99-55.

Despite the loss Grace’s (22-10) historic season, which includes several win records and the program’s first ever appearance in the NAIA tournament, will continue next week. Grace has earned a bid to the NCCAA Tournament which will be hosted at Grace’s Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.

The Lady Lancers started Wednesday's contests by nudging out to a narrow lead early, as both squads seemed to use the opening minutes to feel each other out.

By the midpoint of the first frame, the game shifted into a track meet, which the Red Storm took advantage of as they flipped the score back in their favor at 14-8.

The Lady Lancers masterfully broke the press on two of their ensuing possessions and Maddie Ryman connected on a mid-range jumpshot to pull Grace back with two points.

The Red Storm’s defensive pressure forced Grace into pair turnovers late in the quarter as Rio pushed their lead 24-13. Kensie Ryman ended the quarter with a corner three to cut the Grace deficit back down to single digits.

The Lady Lancers started the second frame just like they ended the first, with another trifecta. This time it was Maddie Ryman who found her stroke from deep as Grace pulled with 24-19.

The Red Storm took advantage of a pair of Grace turnovers to ignite an 8-0 run to push the Red Storm lead back up to 13 points.

Rio went unconscious from the field in the second quarter which allowed them to build their lead to 20 points with 3:12 left in the half. The Red Storm shot 64 percent in the second frame.

A Bekah Marshall 3-point shot helped Grace to a 9-2 run to end the half and send the Lady Lancers to the intermission down 46-33.

At the halftime break Grace was shooting 37 percent, while Rio connected at a 57 percent clip.

The third quarter proved decisive as Grace went cold offensively and Red Storm expanded their halftime lead.

Kate Rulli got Grace on the board at the 5:42 mark of the frame, but the Lady Lancers struggled to find an offensive rhythm. Grace went 2-17 from the field in the third quarter.

The Lady Lancers offensive struggles were not shared by the Red Storm, as Rio Grande scored 27 points to push their lead to 73-40 entering the fourth quarter.

Every player saw playing time in the contest and in the final quarter senior Kate Schlatter scored on her lone shot.

Rio’s hot shooting continued late in the contest as the Red Storm put the finishing touches on the 99-55 Victory.

The Lady Lancers finished the game 31 percent from the floor while the Red Storm hit at an eye popping 56 percent of their tries.

Grace was outscored 52-24 in the paint. Rulli led Grace with 12 points off the bench.

“All the credit goes to Rio tonight,” said Grace head coach Dan Davis. “They played a great game and this was a learning experience for us. At the end of the day nothing can take away from what these ladies have accomplished this year. We were one of 32 teams to make it this far and they have elevated our program to a new level. I am happy and proud to be their coach.”