Grace sweeps Trojans in league tournament

WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace’s volleyball team beatTaylor for the third time this season, trouncing the Trojans 3-0 in the quarterfinals of the Crossroads League Tournament.

The Lady Lancers, playing without their All-American setter Alexa Hill, were sparked by a strong performance by Gabbey Harrington and Lexy Oppenhuis.

Harrington, who filled in for Hill as Grace’s setter, nearly produced a triple-double while leading Grace’s attack. She finished with 37 assists, 8 kills and 9 digs. Her .571 hitting percentage led all players.

Oppenhuis added seven kills on 15 attempts, many of which lifted Grace in key moments.

The score was knotted 13-13 in the first set when Grace scored four straight, aided by an ace from Gina Novotny.

Taylor fought back and only trailed 23-21, but senior Marta Bleed ended the set with back-to-back kills in a 25-21 win.

The Trojans (17-17) seemed poised to even the match in the second set. Taylor scored seven unanswered points to claim a comfortable 13-5 lead.

The Lady Lancers (20-15) countered with a 12-4 run of their own to even the score at 17-17. Oppenhuis had three kills during Grace’s charge, and Harrington had back-to-back kills.

Taylor maintained a slight lead and pulled ahead 23-21, but Grace still had plenty of fight left.

The Lady Lancers stunned the Trojans with four straight points to take the set. Kelsee Zuidema and Makaela Lochmueller produced kills to give Grace the lead, and Oppenhuis ended the scoring at 25-23 with a kill.

The third and final set was tightly contested as well. Taylor led 19-17 late, but Grace went on a 6-1 run to steal momentum. Harrington had two more kills during that game-changing spurt.

Caylie Teel ended the match with a kill on the final swing of the evening, giving Grace a 25-23 win.

Teel led Grace with nine kills and added 15 digs, and Zuidema produced 8 kills, 10 digs and 2 aces.

Overall, no player for Grace had double-digit kills; but six Lady Lancers recorded six or more kills in the three-set win.

The Lady Lancers had 48 kills on a .236 percentage compared to 44 kills on a .203 rate for the Trojans.

Lochmueller had seven kills at a .467 clip to go along with two block assists, Novotny led all players with 23 digs, and Bleed had six kills.

The Lady Lancers advance to the semifinals of the CL Tournament, playing at top-seeded Marian on Wednesday at 7 p.m