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Crown Point grad ‘digging’ it at Florida State
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REGION COLLEGIANS

Crown Point grad ‘digging’ it at Florida State

Crown Point Alaina Chacon

Alaina Chacon, a Crown Point grad, plays on court one for No. 2 Florida State. The redshirt junior has been at the top spot for three straight seasons.

It’s good to be at the top, and Crown Point’s Alaina Chacon is enjoying the view.

“Alaina’s been at the No. 1 spot in our lineup for three seasons so that tells you what kind of player she is and what we think of her,” Florida State beach volleyball coach Brooke Niles said. “She is such a skilled, dynamic player. She’s so versatile that we know she can play with anybody and make any player better and has a chance to win with anyone.”

Chacon, a redshirt junior, has been dominating for the nation’s No. 2-ranked beach volleyball team. The Seminoles are 22-1 and just behind USC in the polls.

Florida State started the season 21-0 and is off to the program’s best start in program history.

Chacon and Molly McBain are 15-5 on the season on court one and 27-5 overall playing together.

“Alaina wants to play professionally outside of college and has all the tools to do so,” Niles said. “I think if she works really hard and continues to improve her game she can have a long professional career in beach volleyball.

“She is already an amazing ambassador for our university and our program.”

Chacon’s sister, Morgan, is a member of Florida State’s women’s volleyball team. The duo played on the Bulldogs’ 2016 Class 4A state runner-up team. In a 3-1 loss to Indianapolis Cathedral, Alaina had 19 kills and Morgan followed with 16. The tandem combined for 802 of the Bulldogs’ 1,152 kills that season. Alaina also had three straight seasons of 300-plus kills.

“Alaina doesn’t have many holes in her game and also is an extremely hard worker,” Niles said. “She’s also a captain and an amazing leader on and off the court.

“She’s fiery, dynamic and humble.”

Last season, Alaina was 13-0 on court one with McBain and was named Preseason All-Coastal Collegiate Sports Association for the second straight season.

In three seasons in the No. 1 spot, Chacon is 42-13.

Florida State split with top-ranked USC on Saturday in Los Angeles. Chacon and McBain got the clinching point in a 3-2 win over the Trojans.

Football

Franklin’s Kody Wilkerson (Chesterton) had a career-high 13 tackles in a 26-21 victory over Bluffton. The sophomore also forced a critical turnover in the first half that ended a Bluffton drive near the Franklin goal line.

• Saint Francis (Indiana) linebacker River Walsh (Andrean) had a team-high 12 tackles and added a sack in a 17-13 victory over Indiana Wesleyan. Nick Lucas (Lake Central) added eight tackles.

Softball

Lakeland’s Cheyenne Mathas (Lake Central) is batting .395 and has started all 12 games. The junior outfielder is first on the team with six doubles and is second with nine RBIs.

• Saint Xavier’s Tori Keilman (Bishop Noll) leads the unbeaten Cougars (13-0) with five home runs. The senior has started every game and is also tops on the team with 14 RBIs.

• Marian’s Caitlyn Phillips (Crown Point) is hitting .351 for the NAIA No. 6 Knights (24-8), who started the season on a 14-game winning streak.

• Saint Francis (Joliet) pitcher Madisen Tucker (Lake Central) is 6-0 on the mound with a team-high 39 innings pitched.

• Denison’s Maggie Ballentine (Crown Point) was 4-for-8 with three runs on Saturday in a sweep of Ohio Wesleyan. The team’s table-setter is hitting .354 with 12 runs.

Volleyball

Western Michigan’s Rachel Bontrager (Valparaiso) was named the Mid-American Conference West Division Offensive Player of the Week.

The senior outside hitter, also the league’s Player of the Year, had 44 kills (4.89 avg. per set) with a .476 hitting percentage against Northern Illinois and Kent State.

Bontrager ended the regular season with 18 straight double-digit kills and leads the MAC in kills and kills per set.

Nationally, Bontrager ranks 18th in kills per set and 15th in total points. She’s also in the top 10 in the country in total kills.

Baseball

Wabash’s AJ Reid (Highland) drove in four runs in the second game as the Little Giants swept rival DePauw on Saturday.

Andrew Jumonville (Munster) added three hits for Wabash.

DePauw’s Charlie Patrick (Crown Point) had a two-run homer.

• Indiana’s Ty Bothwell (Boone Grove) went 4 2/3 innings in Saturday’s 5-2 loss to Ohio State. The redshirt freshman allowed just three hits and struck out five.

• UConn’s Austin Peterson (Chesterton) went six innings for the win, striking out eight and only allowing one run in the team’s 11-1 victory over UMass on Saturday.

It was a three-game sweep for the Huskies, who have won have nine of their last 11. Peterson (3-1) has a 2.55 ERA with 40 strikeouts in 35 innings pitched.

Gallery: 50 famous Region athletes

The Times welcomes information about local athletes for inclusion in Region Collegians. E-mail Brian Waddle at bjwaddle@comcast.net.

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