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Grace spikers pull out five-set thriller at SAU

SPRING ARBOR, Mich. – Grace’s volleyball team secured a hard-fought 3-2 win at Spring Arbor on Wednesday.

The Lady Lancers (13-5, 7-3 Crossroads League) jumped ahead 2-0 after a pair of convincing wins, but Grace had to hold off the pesky Cougars (14-6, 5-5 CL) in five sets on the road.

Grace’s offense was dynamic in the opening set. The Lady Lancers had 14 kills on just three errors in a 25-16 win. Marta Bleed ended the set with a kill on the final two plays.

In the second set Grace led by six points at 19-13, but SAU rallied back to tie the score 20-20. The Lady Lancers turned to Caylie Teel, and the senior delivered. Teel had a part in four of Grace’s final five points in the set, including three kills and a block assist with Makaela Lochmueller in a 25-21 victory.

SAU got revenge in the third set, opening up a lead early and cruising to a six-point win. The Cougars also won in the fourth set to force a tiebreaker. The teams stayed close throughout the fourth set, but SAU stayed alive with a 26-24 victory.

In the tiebreaker, Grace again turned to its seniors. Teel had a pair of kills early, and Kelsee Zuidema added two quick kills and an ace as Grace went ahead 7-3. The Lady Lancers’ momentum continued all the way to the final 15-8 scoreline, helping Grace lock up a season sweep of the Cougars.

Teel had a busy evening, racking up 19 kills, 8 digs, 2 aces, 1 solo block and 2 block assists, Zuidema had 12 kills, and Bleed added 11 more kills.

Gina Novotny just missed a career high with 26 digs to lead all players, and Alexa Hill had 40 assists and 12 digs. Lochmueller produced six kills and three block assists, and Deborah Michalski tallied 12 digs.

The Lady Lancers will be in Illinois this weekend for a tournament at Olivet Nazarene on Friday and Saturday.