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Lady Lancers sweep twice on opening day

WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace’s volleyball team celebrated its season opener in style, sweeping both of its matches on Friday at the Lancer Classic.

The Lady Lancers (2-0) beat Governors State 3-0 in the afternoon match before sweeping Robert Morris in the nightcap.

Grace ends its home tournament with two more matches on Saturday. Grace will play IU Kokomo at 11 a.m. and Indiana Tech at 3 p.m.

Grace’s offense was dynamic to start the season. Grace amassed 45 kills in the opener against Governors State and hit at a .254 percentage.

Anna Frey, in particular, was a one-player wrecking crew. Frey posted an impressive double-double in her first collegiate match with 15 kills and 15 digs, and she added four block assists.

Late in the first set, Grace used a 5-1 spurt to gain separation. Makayla Bell picked up three kills in short succession to give the Lady Lancers momentum en route to a 25-19 win.

The Jaguars jumped out to an early 8-2 lead in the second set. The Lady Lancers responded with seven straight points to erase the deficit.

The set remained close until Bell ended the scoring with back-to-back kills in a 25-21 victory.

Grace owned the third set; the Lady Lancers racked up 15 kills on a .289 percentage compared to just eight kills for Governors State.

Offensively for Grace, Bell had nine kills on 12 attempts; she also added three block assists.

Makaela Lochmueller tallied six kills and two block assists, and Corynne Aelker and Caroline Mayer each had four kills.

Alexa Hill handed out 39 assists with three kills and five digs, and Gina Novotny tied for match honors with 16 digs.

Grace’s final match of the day was a clinic. The Lady Lancers were rarely threatened and coasted to a three-set win by the scores of 25-17, 25-13 and 25-14.

The Lady Lancers substituted freely and used 14 players in the rout. Mayer produced nine kills and nine digs, and Frey also had nine kills.

Hill had 21 assists and four digs in two sets, and Gabbey Harrington added five kills and eight assists.

Four freshmen — Katie Swanson (4 aces, 2 kills), Autumn Deshetsky (4 assists), Jadyn Block (3 kills) and Grace Erwin (1 ace) — saw the first extended playing time of their young careers