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Grace impresses at home against SAU

WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace’s volleyball team grabbed sole position of third place in the conference with a 3-1 win over Spring Arbor.

The Lady Lancers (11-7, 6-4 Crossroads League) overcame two injuries early in the match to top the Cougars on Wednesday. Grace is now 6-1 in its last seven matches at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.

The first set was won by Grace but at a cost. The Lady Lancers lost two hitters to injuries just minutes apart in the set. Despite that loss, Grace maintained its focus in a tightly contested match.

Neither team was able to separate itself in the first set. The score was tied 10 times, eventually seeing the Cougars (8-14, 2-8 CL) serve for the set at 24-23. But Alexa Hill was not prepared to lose.

Hill kept the game alive with a crafty kill. She then dialed up two straight service aces to win the set 26-24 for Grace.

The second set was a rout. The Lady Lancers jumped out to a 10-3 lead, forcing SAU to burn an early timeout. Grace’s momentum continued, however, resulting in a 25-15 win.

In the third set, the Cougars scored the first two points and raced ahead to a commanding 19-8 lead. Grace roared back with a 12-3 run. Sierra Smith played an integral role in the charge, including a solo block and a kill on consecutive plays.

The Cougars saw their lead shrink to 22-20, but SAU eventually recovered to hold on for a 25-23 win.

The Lady Lancers secured the victory in the fourth set. Grace seized a 12-4 lead en route to a 25-16 victory. The match ended on a thunderous kill from Caylie Teel, who racked up an impressive double-double of 10 kills and 21 digs.

Smith was dominant in attack, pounding out 14 kills on a .448 percentage. Kari Feddema tallied nine kills without an error, adding two block assists.

Naarah Foster’s eight kills and Savannah Hart’s seven kills helped maintain Grace’s offense, Alexa Hill had 46 assists, 16 digs and 3 aces, and Sara Miller amassed 19 digs.

As a team, Grace hit 54 kills on a .237 percentage while holding the Cougars to a .154 rate.

The Lady Lancers end the week with four games this weekend at the Olivet Nazarene Tournament.