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Grace’s streak snapped by USF

WINONA LAKE, Ind. – A four-game winning streak came to an end on Saturday for Grace’s volleyball team.

The Lady Lancers lost 3-0 to St. Francis, who is receiving votes in the NAIA and currently second in the Crossroads League.

The Cougars (14-5, 6-1 CL) could not be slowed on offense, picking up 11 more kills than the Lady Lancers (8-10, 4-3 CL) at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.

The first set was evenly played, but unforced errors by Grace lost the set. The Cougars held a slight lead for much of the game and led 24-21. But Grace rallied with a kill by Makaela Lochmueller and a block point to make the score 24-23.

USF’s attack was headed out of bounds on the next rally, but the Cougars were saved by a blocking error from the Lady Lancers to secure the set 25-23. The Lady Lancers had eight attack errors which helped to nullify their 14 kills.

Grace could not slow down USF’s offense in the second set. The Cougars erupted for 19 kills at a .586 percentage, easing away to a 25-20 victory.

For the first time in the match, Grace started out strongly in the third set. Grace jumped out to a 7-0 lead to force an early timeout by USF. Gabbey Harrington and Corynne Aelker both had two kills, and Lochmueller added three block assists.

But the Cougars showed poise to battle back. USF managed to tie the score 9-9 to erase Grace’s strong start.

The momentum continued for USF as the Cougars rolled to another five-point win to cement the sweep.

Harrington led all players with 12 kills on a .320 percentage, and Lochmueller added six kills and six block assists.

Alexa Hill tallied 28 assists, 8 digs and 3 kills, Emily Sharp had 10 digs, and Aelker added five kills and five digs.

The Lady Lancers are on the road next week, playing at Huntington on Friday night.