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Grace stumbles on second day of Lancer Classic

WINONA LAKE, Ind. – One day after starting the season with two sweeps, Grace’s volleyball team was unable to produce similar results on Saturday.

The Lady Lancers lost twice by a 3-0 score at the season-opening Lancer Classic, losing to IU Kokomo and Indiana Tech.

Grace’s season kicked off on Friday with a pair of 3-0 victories against Governors State and Robert Morris.

Grace and IU Kokomo battled tightly in the first set on Saturday. The Cougars managed to stay in front for the majority of the set, although the lead was never more than three.

The Lady Lancers tied the score late 23-23 after back-to-back kills from Makayla Bell and Caroline Mayer. But the Cougars won the next two points to escape with a 25-23 win.

In the second set, Grace fell behind by five at 16-11 and never rallied. Nine attacking errors by Grace handed IUK a 25-15 win.

The third set saw Grace fall into another hole as IUK opened up a 19-15 edge. The Lady Lancers then turned to freshman Anna Frey, who had four kills during a 4-1 spurt.

Grace pulled to within 23-22 after a well-placed attack from Katie Swanson. But the Cougars cliched the match by winning the next two points thanks to a block and a kill.

Frey led all players with 14 kills to go along with 6 digs, 2 aces and 2 block assists. Gina Novotny had a match-best 21 digs, Caroline Mayer had seven kills and seven digs, Alexa Hill handed out 33 assists, and Corynne Aelker had five kills on four attempts.

In the final match of the tournament, Indiana Tech muted Grace’s offense. The Lady Lancers had 11 attacking errors in the first game, and the Warriors racked up five blocks in a 25-15 win.

The second set was hotly contested. Grace seemed on its way to another defeat, facing a 23-19 deficit. But a well-placed timeout by head coach Katie Van Hofwegen changed momentum.

Grace scored four straight points thanks to kills by Makaela Lochmueller and Gabbey Harrington, and a kill by Deborah Michalski tied the game at 24-24.

But the Warriors again found an answer, producing a kill on back-to-back plays to win 26-24.

Indiana Tech led for the entirety of the third set. The Warriors had 20 kills at a .341 percentage in the game to end the match 25-19.

Lochmueller had eight kills to lead Grace’s offense, and Frey tallied seven kills and four digs.

Hill finished with 33 assists and seven digs, Novotny had 16 digs, Emily Sharp chipped in nine digs, and Mayer added six kills and seven digs.

Frey was named to the All-Tournament Team at the conclusion of her first collegiate weekend.

The Lady Lancers will play in another tournament next weekend at the Trinity International Invitational.