WINONA LAKE – Grace’s women’s soccer team maintained its position in the NAIA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll.

The Lady Lancers remained at No. 17 ahead of a Top-20 clash on Saturday. Grace will travel to No. 15 Marian on Saturday at 4 p.m. for the semifinals of the Crossroads League Tournament.

The winner of the CL Tournament receives an automatic bid to the NAIA National Championships.

Grace advanced to the semifinals by beating Spring Arbor (now ranked No. 23) in a penalty kick shootout. Grace has played a challenging end-of-the-year schedule, facing off against a ranked or receiving votes team in seven of the past eight matches.



VB?Sweeps Huntington On Senior Night

WINONA LAKE - Grace’s volleyball team wrapped up the regular season on a high note, sweeping Huntington 3-0 on Wednesday.

The defense for the Lady Lancers (16-17, 10-8 Crossroads League) was stifling, holding Huntington to an attacking percentage of .050. Conversely, Grace had 38 kills on a .220 percentage.

To start the match, Grace built a comfortable lead but had to withstand a rally from the Foresters (14-19, 6-12 CL). The Lady Lancers exploded at the start for a 12-4 lead.

Jadyn Block had five kills during Grace’s start, including a kill on three straight plays. After Block’s fifth block, Huntington burned its second timeout of the set.

The Foresters responded impressively, chopping Grace’s cushion down to 15-14. Deborah Michalski helped slow Huntington’s run with a kill on the next play, and the Lady Lancers refused to surrender the lead.

Grace held on for a 25-22 victory after a final kill from Makaela Lochmueller.

The Lady Lancers repeated the effort by going ahead 5-0 to start the second set, forcing an early timeout by Huntington.

The Foresters struggled to slow Grace; the Lady Lancers remained in control for the full set en route to a 10-point victory.

Grace had 14 kills in the second set while holding Huntington to just seven. The Foresters also had seven attack errors in the set.

The third set started much more evenly with Grace holding a slight 10-9 lead. But Grace raced ahead with six straight points, keyed by a kill and a block from Lochmueller as well as an ace from Caroline Mayer.

The Foresters tried to stay alive with five unanswered points late in the set, but the damage was already done. Gabbey Harrington pounded out a kill for Grace’s 24th point of the set, and Lochmueller and Michalski combined for a block to secure the sweep.

Grace’s seniors performed well in the sweep. Alexa Hill amassed a double-double with 32 assists and 15 digs, Michalski added eight kills and four digs, and Mayer tallied seven digs and an ace.

Block led Grace with 10 kills on a .474 percentage, and Harrington had 9 kills, 4 digs and 2 block assists.

Gina Novotny led all players with 23 digs, moving into ninth place in team history for career digs in the process. Lochmueller added 6 kills, 1 solo block and 3 block assists, and Makayla Bell chipped in three kills and three block assists.

The Lady Lancers will shift toward the postseason quickly. Grace will play at third-seed St. Francis on Saturday in the quarterfinals of the Crossroads League Tournament. The winner of the CL Tournament receives an automatic bid to the NAIA National Championships.