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Lancers slip past HUVB in five-set thriller

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WINONA LAKE, Ind. – After nearly a week’s break, the HU volleyball team hit the road to face Grace College Friday night for a contest that ended in a five-set thriller eventually favoring the hosts, 25-22, 27-29, 25-19, 15-25, 15-9.

With this win, the Lancers (9-8) pull even with the Foresters (8-7) in league play with a 4-4 record. These two conference foes along with Marian currently share a piece of fifth place in the Crossroads League standings.

Tonight’s meeting marks the second time these two teams have met this season with HU getting the best of the Lancers 3-1 in non-conference action at the UNOH Silver Spike Tournament earlier this month.

Grace relied on a balanced attack to outhit their visitors 62-52 as four different Lancers registered double digit kills. Sierra Smith posted a match-high 16 kills while Kari Feddema, Marta Bleed and Kelsee Zuidema collected 11 kills each.

The Foresters also enjoyed contributions from multiple players with Danielle Gurwell topping the list with 14 kills and a .407 hitting percentage. Tailor Schultheis added ten kills. Audrey Mallers, this week’s Attacker of the Week, also finished with ten kills to go along with three aces, six digs and two blocks.

At the net defensively, Huntington held a slight advantage, logging 11 blocks to Grace’s eight. Ashli Drewes got the job done in the middle to collect a match-best 4.5 blocks. Kate Cobb took charge of the back court by tracking down 30 digs for HU.

While the two teams posted similar numbers on the night, Coach Shondell is still looking for a little more consistency and fine-tuning from his team. “Both sides handled business at the net, we just didn’t do a good enough job of covering their blockers.

“To win consistently in this league, you need to approach each match with a little more aggression than we came with tonight. But credit Grace, we saw about as a good of a Lancer team tonight as we could have.”

It doesn’t get any easier for the Foresters as they host #23 Indiana Wesleyan University tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. at Platt Arena.

The Huntington University Foresters compete in 17 intercollegiate sports for men and women. In the past decade, Huntington has produced 38 NAIA All-America honors and 254 All-America Scholar Athlete honors. Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S. News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest.