by Alan Babbitt
The pair combined for 42 assists for the Flying Dutch in their 25-15, 25-18, 16-25, 25-12 victory at Trine University in Angola, Indiana.
Hope improved to 14-4 overall and 3-1 in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association play.
Cutler, a sophomore from East Lansing, Michigan (Lansing Christian HS), recorded a team-high 22 assists. She is pictured at left.
Westra, a freshman from Clarendon Hills, Illinois (Timothy Christian), had 20 assists along with four kills. She is pictured at right.
"Tonight was a big step in a positive direction with the complexity of our offense," head coach Becky Schmidt said. "Our offense up to this point has been relatively simple. Tonight was one of the first times we were, on a consistent basis, pushing tempo and running crossing plays. We were using some hitters in different ways than we have all season."
In the fourth set, Cutler and Westra combined for seven assists to fuel the Flying Dutch's 8-3 start. Trine (8-10, 1-4 MIAA) never got closer than two points.
"We got control in the serve-and-pass game," Schmidt said. "We started serving them out of system and got in system ourselves. That allowed us to set the middles a little more and kept their defense off-balance."
Freshman middle hitter McKenna Otto of Wheaton, Illinois (Wheaton North HS) produced a match-high 13 kills with a .600 kill percentage.
Senior middle hitter Grace Ditzenberger of Centennial, Colorado (Chaparral) finished with nine kills.
Hope returns to action on Saturday in Bluffton, Ohio, with non-league matches against Rose Hulman Institute of Technology and Bluffton University.