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The Hilltopper volleyball team will open up its 2014 season under its new head coach Tuesday.
Los Alamos won’t be easing into the season, either. Los Alamos will take on the St. Pius X Sartans at Griffith Gymnasium.
Along with taking on a tough opponent, Los Alamos will be showing off a junior-heavy roster this season, although most of those juniors will have a fair amount of playing experience.
Last season the Hilltoppers went 13-9 and advanced to the Class 4A playoffs before being bounced in the opening round by Santa Fe.
Los Alamos was guided by head coach Robin Reynolds, but Reynolds stepped down shortly after 2013, his only season in the big chair.
Longtime assistant coach Sharleen Espinoza was hired for the job and will also make her head coaching debut Tuesday.
This will be the second year in a row Los Alamos faces St. Pius to open. St. Pius won in 2013, 3-1.
The Sartans were also a first-round casualty in the 2013 playoffs, to the surprise of some. They fell to Artesia early in the playoffs, just one year after winning the Class 4A title.
The Hilltoppers, Sartans and most of last year’s schools in the 4A classification were bumped up to 5A for 2014.
Los Alamos will have a corps of solid hitters returning, including Brianna Montaño and Sierra Foley on the outside. Adding to that is recent transfer student from Española Valley, Ashlynn Trujillo, who plays both on the outside or can play on the back line.
The Hilltoppers will have to find suitable passers to fill the void left by Alyssa Tedder and Venessa Martinez. Sam Melton will return as the setter for her junior year.