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Chloe Chicoine hits her stride with red-hot McCutcheon volleyball team

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McCutcheon's Chloe Chicoine cheers for her teammates during a match against Western Boone on Tuesday in Lafayette, Ind. (Journal-Courier via USA TODAY NETWORK)

Chloe Chicoine has played volleyball in a lot of gymnasiums. From the United States to Mexico, the second-ranked recruit in the nation has traveled the continent in pursuit of her dreams, but the gym she’ll miss the most is the one close to home — at McCutcheon High School in Lafayette, Ind.

The 5-foot-10 outside hitter has racked up quite the reputation in her home state. With Chicoine leading the offense in her senior season, the Mavericks are 13-1, and in two sweeps this week against Western Boone and Harrison, Chicoine amassed 34 kills, 18 digs and five aces, earning JWS Player of the Week honors.

Chicoine leads the team in kills with 227, averaging 6.0 kills per set. She’s also hitting .448 on the year and is second on her team with 21 aces and 125 digs.

This year, she says she’s improved not only her hitting but also her passing.

“It’s always been good, but I think I’ve taken it to the next level,” Chicoine said.

McCutcheon's Chloe Chicoine dives for the ball during a match against Hamilton Southeastern on Aug. 13. (The Indianapolis Star via USA TODAY NETWORK)

Chicoine was named Gatorade Indiana Volleyball Player of the Year last season after leading the Mavericks to their first state title victory. As a junior, she recorded 440 kills, 196 digs and 20 aces.

“I was super surprised and excited,” Chicoine said about receiving the honor. “It was a lot of firsts for our high school.”

Then, in June, Chicoine helped guide the U.S. women’s U21 national team to a gold-medal finish at the Pan American Cup in front of a huge crowd in Baja Sur, Mexico. It was the second time the U.S. has won the title, and Chicoine was named Best Spiker of the tournament. Prior to that, she didn’t think she’d even make the team.

“I was 17 going in,” Chicoine said. “I went into the tryout with the expectation not to make it.”

She didn’t just make the team — she earned a starting spot, playing alongside players she’s watched play college volleyball. She even roomed with a player from Purdue, Raven Colvin, with whom she will team up again next year when Chicoine officially becomes a Boilermaker.

Purdue has been integral to Chicoine’s development as a volleyball player. When she started volleyball in the second grade, she attended a clinic held by a Purdue coach. Around age 10, she attended her first Purdue women’s volleyball match with her mother, Jessica Holloway, who played volleyball at Northwestern.

“When I told them I was going to Purdue, they cried,” Chicoine said. “They were super excited because they can come watch me.”

Purdue’s campus in West Lafayette is only a 15 minute drive from home, but for now, Chicoine is focused on finishing her senior year at McCutcheon, with hopes of winning back-to-back state championships.

“I wouldn’t be where I am without my amazing teammates, friends, and coaches,” Chicoine said. “I’ve gotten pretty lucky, and I hope we can make it to state this year and win it all again.”

Nika Anschuetz is a contributing writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @nlanschuetz.