• Val T.

Brooke signs with Purdue Northwest, Blickenstaff with Ohio Christian

Pioneer baseball starts season with poll recognition


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

Volleyball

Pioneer senior setter Olivia Brooke signed a letter of intent to continue her volleyball and academic careers at Purdue Northwest Wednesday.

Brooke was the Hoosier North MVP and a member of the Pioneer team that won the Class 1A state title in November.

She is also ranked No. 4 academically in the Pioneer senior class.

Purdue Northwest is an NCAA Division II school and a member of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference. They have campuses in Hammond and Westville. Home matches are played at John Friend Court in Hammond.

Also, teammate Madison Blickenstaff officially signed her letter of intent with Ohio Christian University to continue her volleyball and academic careers. Blickenstaff verbally committed to Ohio Christian in November.

Ohio Christian is an NAIA school located in Circleville, Ohio.

Blickenstaff has played in six state championship contests in volleyball, basketball and softball in her prep athletic career.

Girls basketball

Brooke, Blickenstaff, Walker earn Academic All-State honors: The Indiana Basketball Coaches Association has named Pioneer senior Olivia Brooke one of 35 girls basketball players statewide first-team Academic All-State.

In addition, teammates Madison Blickenstaff and Mackenzie Walker were named honorable mention Academic All-State.

They were among 267 girls basketball players statewide to earn honorable mention status.

“The IBCA Academic All-State program is one where academic prowess and athletic prowess both are considered in the selections,” the IBCA said in a statement. “Items such as grade-point average and academic class rank are considered along with athletic performance in areas such as points per game, rebounds per game and assists per game.”

Coaches may nominate seniors who meet criteria that include a 3.5 GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale and a class rank in the upper 25 percent of one’s class.

“Once nominations were received, an IBCA committee reviewed the information and determined awards for first team and honorable mention,” the IBCA said.

Baseball

Pioneer receives poll votes: Pioneer was among “others receiving votes” in the first Indiana Baseball Coaches Association Class 1A poll of the year Monday.

They were the only team in Sectional 52 to receive any poll recognition.


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