Volleyball Bounces Back to Win Finale at Carnegie Mellon Invitational

Ana Grunewald poses for a portrait. Adair Cutler poses for a portrait. by Alan Babbitt

Ana Grunewald showed some mettle in the Steel City for the Hope College volleyball team — with an assist from setter Adair Cutler.

The sophomore outside hitter from Grand Rapids, Michigan (East Grand Rapids HS) buried a career-high 21 kills to help the 13th-ranked Flying Dutch conclude the Carnegie Mellon Invitational in Pittsburgh on a winning note on Saturday.

Cutler, a junior from East Lansing, Michigan (Lansing Christian), pictured left, added a career-high 37 assists as Hope defeated Case Western Reserve University in four sets and finished the two-day tournament with a 2-2 record. Earlier in the day, the Flying Dutch lost to No. 10 Carnegie Mellon in four sets.

Hope is now 7-3 on the season.

Grunewald, pictured right, completed the Case Western Reserve match with a .404 kill percentage during the 25-17, 25-14, 24-26, 25-19 victory. She recorded only two errors in 47 chances.

The school record for kills in a four-set match using a 25-point set is 28. Katie Rietberg set the mark last season against Albion College.

Hope hit .288 as a team. Sophomore middle hitter McKenna Otto of Wheaton, Illinois (Wheaton North) totaled 14 kills in 26 chances for a .443 kill percentage.

Sophomore setter Tracy Westra of Clarendon Hills, Illinois (Timothy Christian) added 17 assists and eight kills against Case Western Reserve (3-7).

Against Carnegie Mellon, Grunewald and Otto topped Hope with 15 and 14 kills, respectively, during the 25-23, 23-25, 25-20, 25-21 loss. The Flying Dutch hurt themselves with 29 attack errors — their second-highest total of the season.

Senior libero Gabbi Vachon of Grand Rapids, Michigan (Jenison) led Hope with 21 digs against Carnegie Mellon (10-1).

Hope next plays on Friday-Saturday, September 20-21 at the Illinois Wesleyan University Invitational.

Hope.edu | PO Box 9000, Holland, Michigan 49422