Grace enjoys sweep of SAU

WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace’s volleyball team picked up a crucial late-season win on Wednesday, sweeping Spring Arbor 3-0.

Paige Eakright had a dominant outing, pouring in 17 kills on a .343 percentage, while Gabbey Harrington had 32 assists, 4 kills, 4 digs, 1 solo block and 1 block assist.

At the onset of the match, the Lady Lancers (8-6, 8-6 Crossroads League) struggled to get on track. SAU won three of the first four points and grabbed a 9-5 advantage.

Grace found life thanks to timely hitting from Eakright and Makaela Lochmueller, but the Cougars (5-7, 5-7 CL) refused to give up the lead.

The Lady Lancers called a late timeout as they still trailed 19-16. Katie Swanson produced a kill out of the timeout. Back-to-back kills from Eakright gave Grace its first lead at 22-20.

A solo block by Harrington sealed the first-set victory for Grace at 25-22. Eakright had six kills on just eight attempts in the first set.

The second set was Grace’s turn to start well. The Lady Lancers grabbed a 6-2 lead.

The Cougars wasted little time rallying and took the lead at 14-13. SAU still led at 19-17, but Grace won five of the next six points to go in front. A kill from Eakright — her 10th of the night — lifted Grace to a 22-20 lead.

Harrington ended the set again, this time with a kill to lift Grace to a 25-23 win.

The third set was Grace’s best. The Lady Lancers had 13 kills on a .242 percentage and were in control during a six-point win to secure the sweep.

For the match Lochmueller tallied seven kills and three block assists, and Katie Swanson added five kills.

Gina Novotny finished with 10 digs and two aces, Emily Sharp had eight digs, and Grace Erwin and Brittany Baize each finished with six digs.

Wednesday’s win puts Grace in the driver’s seat for the No. 4 seed in the upcoming Crossroads League Tournament. A win in the regular season finale clinches the No. 4 seed; a loss in the finale could still mean Grace finishes fourth, depending on the results from the rest of the league.

The Lady Lancers end the regular season at home, hosting Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Saturday at 3 p.m. The match will also be Grace’s Senior Day to honor the graduating class.