Goshen traveled to Grace College for their season finale as they took on the Lancers. For GC, it would be the last match as Maple Leafs for four seniors: Sydney Cruz, Meghan Manley, MacKinnon Tracy and Hallie Vanitvelt.The hosts started fast as they jumped out to a quick 4-10 lead in the first set. A kill by sophomore Jennifer Richie stopped the bleeding for the time being until the Lancers stretched the game to their largest lead of the night at 7-15.
The Maple Leafs would not go away easily, however, as sophomore Taylor Eash concluded a 6-1 Goshen run to bring the game within two, 16-18.
From there, miscues from the Lancers and timely kills from seniors Cruz and Vanitvelt led the Leafs to a nail-biting first set victory with a score of 25-23.
A back-and-forth start to the second set found the Lancers on top midway through, 10-13. Three consecutive kills from the Leafs drew the game back even until Grace responded with a four-point run of their own to take command of the set.
From there, the Leafs couldn’t quite crawl their way back to regain the lead as they dropped the second set by a score of 21-25.
The tie-breaking third set was as exhilarating as the previous two. With six ties and lead changes, neither team wanted to drop the most important set of the night.
A neck-and-neck opening was taken over by the Lancers as a 6-5 lead for Goshen turned into a 8-14 lead for Grace.
Despite the 9-2 run, the resilient Leafs found a way back once again. They slowly chipped away at the margin until sophomore middle hitter Elizabeth Breckbill surged the Maple Leafs to a 21-19 lead off back-to-back kills.
At 23-23, Vanitvelt finished the job with one of her 16 kills to take the third set, 25-23.
Building off momentum from the previous set, Goshen fought early on as Breckbill put away a set from first-year setter Naomi Willis to extend their lead to 12-9.
That set the tone for the Maple Leafs as they ended the fourth and final set on a 6-1 run to finish off a hard-fought match by a score of 25-16.
“Wednesday they proved to themselves and everyone how good they could be,” said head coach Jim Routhier. “They will take this win and build on it for next season.”
Vanitvelt paced the GC attack with a match-high 16 kills; Breckbill added 11; Cruz and Eash chipped in 10 apiece. Willis and junior setter Ally Roehr had two career-best nights with 27 and 25 assists respectively. Senior MacKinnon Tracy ended her collegiate volleyball career with a team-high 19 kills.
The Maple Leafs end their season with an overall record of 9-25 and a 3-15 record in conference.