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#3 Grace down’s #6 HU on opening night of CL tourney

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WINONA LAKE, Ind. - A banged up Forester volleyball team headed into the Crossroads League Tournament as the 6th-seed and outlasted 3rd-seeded Grace in set one before dropping the next three to bring a close to their season with a 3-1 loss to the Lancers, 25-27, 25-18, 25-20, 25-15.

The loss is Huntington’s third to GC this season but as has been the case all season, Shondell’s crew didn’t go down without a fight.

“You had two teams that had no intentions of ending their season tonight,” said Shondell. “All you saw was a battle. We were down often in this match but never gave in. I am so incredibly proud of that.”

Freshman Brandy Michie had one of the best outings of her young career by leading the Foresters offensively with a career-tying 12 kills and .400 hitting percentage. Senior Josie Beaver added ten kills in the middle while Danielle Gurwell and Breanna Metz tallied eight and seven kills respectively. Janna Tacosik organized the offense with 38 assists.

Senior Mikayla Carpenter finished her Forester career by saving the best for last with a career-high 21 digs. Ariene Butler tallied eight digs while Emily Hubby registered seven.

“Brandy chose a pretty good time to have the match of her career,” said Shondell. “Grace is still scrambling to find ways to stop her.”

Shondell was also pleased with how his team rallied despite injury. “Given the recent injuries to Tailor and Kate, I was really pleased with Kate’s grit and Brea’s ability to step in there and go after it.”

HU wraps up the year with a record of 13-21 and HU’s skipper was quick to praise his seniors as he already looks forward to 2018-19.

“You can’t say a word about tonight’s effort without making it abundantly clear that the five seniors who  played their final match tonight are worthy of every ounce of praise they receive and that they will undoubtedly serve as the foundation for what we are building her at Huntington.

“This was far from how we drew this match or this season up, but the picture we’ve got now looks awfully good for the future.”

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 274 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.