Grace volleyball downs #RV USF
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace’s volleyball team continued its hot start to the year with a 3-1 win over St. Francis on Saturday.
The match was Grace’s home opener, knocking off the Cougars who are receiving votes in the NAIA Top 25 Poll.
The Lady Lancers (3-0, 3-0 Crossroads League) impressed defensively, limiting the Cougars (0-2, 0-2 CL) to a .099 hitting percentage as a team.
Makaela Lochmueller was nearly unstoppable on both sides of the net. The junior had 15 kills and zero errors for an attack percentage of .625, and she also added one solo block and five block assists.
USF stunned Grace to start the match, winning six of the first seven points. The Lady Lancers recovered with four straight points and regained the lead midway into the set.
Grace held a slight 20-19 edge in the final stages. Lochmueller and Cassadi Colbert produced kills on back-to-back possessions to give Grace breathing room, and Colbert ended the set 25-21 with a kill.
The second set was a picture of efficiency for Grace. The Lady Lancers pounded out 14 kills and two errors in the set (.444 percentage), waltzing off to a 25-12 win.
The Cougars refused to be swept, however. USF took advantage of 11 Grace errors in the third set to win 25-18.
The fourth set featured four critical runs. The first run went to USF, who rode its momentum to a 5-1 lead. Grace quickly countered with five unanswered points, including a block and a kill by Anna Frey.
The Cougars tried to surge ahead again with a 7-1 run, resulting in a 16-12 lead. But again Grace had a decisive answer.
The Lady Lancers unleashed a timely 8-1 run, changing a 19-15 deficit into a 22-20 lead. Lochmueller tallied three kills during that run, and Frey added a kill and an ace.
Paige Eakright sparked Grace late off the bench. The senior had three kills in the final set, including scoring Grace’s 23rd and 25th points in the 25-23 victory.
Frey had a strong performance, amassing 9 kills, 19 digs, 3 block assists and 2 aces. Harrington stuffed the stat sheet with 38 assists, 9 digs, 4 kills and 2 block assists.
Colbert finished with 10 kills, and Makayla Bell chipped in five kills and three block assists.
Julia Nagy led all players with 23 digs. Grace’s back row alongside Nagy shined, including 12 digs by Brittany Baize and 10 digs from Gina Novotny.
The Lady Lancers remain at home Wednesday, taking on No. 7 Indiana Wesleyan at 7 p.m.