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Grace slips at home to IWU

WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace’s volleyball team was unable to upset a second straight opponent on Saturday.

The Lady Lancers fell 3-0 to Indiana Wesleyan, spoiling Grace’s Senior Day at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.

Grace had taken down No. 25 Marian on Wednesday, but the Lady Lancers (17-14, 9-6 Crossroads League) could not continue their momentum against IWU, who is receiving votes in the NAIA.

IWU struck late to steal the first set from Grace. The Wildcats (21-8, 14-3 CL) held a small lead for much of the set, but Grace used a 6-1 run to take a 22-20 lead off Kelsee Zuidema’s deadly serving.

The Lady Lancers pulled ahead 24-22 after a thunderous kill from Sierra Smith, but the Wildcats survived two straight set points and scored another to stun Grace with a 25-24 lead.

It was Grace’s turn to survive set points, and they held IWU off three set points. But the fourth set point was finished off by the Wildcats in a thrilling 29-27 win.

The second set was just as close. The score was tied 18-18, but the Wildcats surged ahead with three straight points to force a timeout. Grace was unable to slow down IWU in a 25-21 defeat.

In the third set, Grace slipped into an early 9-4 hole. But a timeout from Grace coach Katie Van Hofwegen gave the Lady Lancers a spark. Grace scored six of the next seven points, including an ace by Sara Miller and kills by Kari Feddema, Alexa Hill and Kelsee Zuidema in rapid succession.

But the Wildcats quickly regained the lead and never turned back. IWU gradually pulled away from Grace, finishing off the sweep with a 25-20 win.

Caylie Teel finished with six kills and 16 digs, and Zuidema added a team-high 10 kills.

Sara Miller led all players with 26 digs to go along with a pair of service aces, Alexa Hill handed out 31 assists, and Gina Novotny amassed 11 digs.

Feddema tallied six kills, and Tori Bontrager had 4 kills, 1 solo block and 3 block assists.

Saturday’s Senior Day honored the six-player graduating class of Bontrager, Feddema, Naarah Foster, Savannah Hart, Miller and Smith. The class has 80 wins to date in their four-year careers.

The Lady Lancers have three matches remaining in the regular season. Grace will travel to Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Wednesday.

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