Grace shocks No. 7 IWU with emphatic sweep
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace’s volleyball team was hungry for a win over Indiana Wesleyan, and the Lady Lancers delivered on Wednesday night.
Grace dismantled No. 7 IWU, winning 3-0 to move into first place in the Crossroads League standings.
The Lady Lancers (4-0, 4-0 CL) snapped an 18-game losing streak to the Wildcats (3-1, 3-1 CL), a drought dating back to 2012. And Grace broke the streak in dominant fashion.
IWU was held to a .000 attack percentage as a team thanks to a dominant team defense. Grace had four players reach double-digit digs in just three sets, including 11 digs by Anna Frey and Julia Nagy as well as 10 digs from Gabbey Harrington and Brittany Baize.
Frey was lethal, amassing a double-double with a match-high 11 kills, 11 digs and 3 block assists. Paige Eakright was also impressive with six kills, including several timely winners.
The Wildcats had no answer to Grace’s defense in the first set. IWU racked up 12 errors in Grace’s 25-13 win.
Grace jumped out to a 17-5 lead in the opening set and cruised to victory.
The second set was the only close one. The teams could scarcely be separated as IWU grabbed a slight 20-18 margin. Eakright and Katie Swanson responded with kills on consecutive plays to tie the score.
The set went to extra points after IWU fended off two set points, but Grace showed resolve to pick up the pivotal second game at 26-24. The final point came on a stellar block from Makaela Lochmueller and Frey.
IWU seemed shellshocked and could not recoup in the third set. Grace scored the first four points and never looked back.
The Lady Lancers ended the match on a 7-1 run. Eakright put the exclamation mark on the sweep with a thunderous kill to end the match 25-13.
Harrington finished with a double-double of 21 assists and 10 digs, and Lochmueller added 5 kills, 4 digs and 3 block assists. Makayla Bell tallied four kills on a .364 percentage, and Gina Novotny chipped in eight digs.
The Lady Lancers will take their 4-0 record on the road Saturday, facing Huntington at 7 p.m.