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The pressure is officially off.
Combined with an upset loss by the Española Valley Sundevils against the Capital Jaguars, the Los Alamos Hilltoppers clinched the District 2-4A title with its victory over the Santa Fe Demons Wednesday.
Los Alamos had little trouble with Santa Fe at Griffith Gymnasium, taking a 25-14, 25-11, 25-19 sweep. The win improved Los Alamos’ record to a spotless 6-0 in district.
Española Valley, meanwhile, was the only team left in 2-4A that had a mathematical shot at Los Alamos, albeit a slim one. That shot evaporated with its three-set loss to Capital. Prior to that victory Wednesday night in Santa Fe, Capital had been winless on the district season.
The Hilltoppers (15-3 overall) have just two regular season contests remaining, against Española Valley Saturday and Capital next week, before the District 2-4A tournament.
With their regular season championship, the Hilltoppers not only get to host the 2-4A tournament championship match Nov. 5, they also earn an automatic bid into the state Class 4A playoffs.
Los Alamos got its big hitters involved early and often.
Middle blocker Chase Ealey was virtually unstoppable after getting dialed in midway through the first set. Ealey finished with a match-high 16 spike kills, half of those coming in the second set against the Demons, who at one point in the match stopped putting much more than a token block on her.
Ealey had a big night, hitting to virtually any spot on the floor and even throwing in a couple of change-up hits for good measure.
Following her, Alicia Rendon and Erin Kirk both finished with six spike kills, while Claire Stewart had four spike kills and Allyssa Tedder, who missed several matches this season with a concussion, even got into the act with a pair of spike kills.
Tedder was penciled in this season as the starting libero, but during her missed time, Danielle Ortiz was switched to the spot. Tedder said that was just fine with her.
“I’m not used to playing up front, but it was fun,” she said. “It doesn’t matter to me. I’ll play anywhere.”
Los Alamos has won 18 of 19 sets it has played during the 2-4A season. It swept both Española Valley and Capital in its first meetings with the teams.