USF gets better of Grace Volleyball

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Grace’s volleyball team dropped a hard-fought match at St. Francis on Monday.

The Cougars swept the match 3-0, but all three sets were hotly contested.

Gina Novotny was one dig away from a career high with 33 digs in the match, Paige Eakright led all players with 11 kills, and Gabbey Harrington finished with 32 assists, 5 kills and 4 digs.

Grace started the match well with a 4-1 lead thanks to kills from Eakright, Cassadi Colbert and Makayla Bell.

Grace still led 15-9 until USF scored six straight to tie the score. The opening set remained close for the rest of the way. But the Cougars (7-9, 7-9 Crossroads League) recorded a kill on the final two plays to win 25-23.

In the second set, the Cougars tried to pull away with a 19-12 advantage in the final stages.

But Grace battled back. The Lady Lancers (7-6, 7-6 CL) went on a 10-5 run to give themselves a shot, but USF held on for a 25-22 victory.

Grace still refused to fade. The Lady Lancers won six of the first eight points to start the third set and held a small lead through most of the set.

But with Grace holding a 20-18 lead, the Cougars scored four straight points to steal momentum. USF went on to eke out a two-point win (25-23) to finish off the sweep.

Makaela Lochmueller finished with seven kills and two block assists, Colbert had seven kills, and Bell added five kills.

Grace Erwin tallied 15 digs, and Brittany Baize and Emily Sharp each added 10 digs.

The Lady Lancers will wrap up the regular season at home this week. Grace hosts Spring Arbor on Wednesday at 7 p.m. and Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Saturday at 3 p.m.