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LAHS volleyball knocks off Del Norte to advance in district tourney

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By The Staff

The Los Alamos High School varsity volleyball team has a long road to toe if it wants to get back to the Class 5A playoffs this season.

On Monday, the Hilltoppers got that journey on that road started on the right foot.

LAHS had one of its best performances of the entire 2017 season Monday in Albuquerque. The Hilltoppers, the No. 5 seed in the District 2-5A tournament took on the Del Norte Knights, the No. 4 seed, in the opening round and earned a sweep.

The Hilltoppers, who had only taken one set off the Knights in two previous 2-5A matches, earned a close 25-22 victory in the first set. The other two sets, however, were decisive Hilltopper victories – LAHS won those 25-17 and 25-16 to pull off the sweep.

With the upset win, Los Alamos moves on to Tuesday night’s quarterfinal round of the district tournament, where it will face Española Valley.

In Monday’s win over Del Norte, Los Alamos (6-15 overall, 2-7 in 2-5A) got 11 spike kills from junior outside hitter Sophia Salazar.

However, LAHS had a balanced attack throughout the contest, with Natalie Gallegos finishing with 8 spike kills and Emme Segler and Kimberly McKinley both earning 6 spike kills.

Del Norte (11-8, 3-6 in 2-5A) started out the district season winning 3 out of 5 – two of those wins came over the Hilltoppers – but dropped four straight, including getting swept by Española Valley’s Sundevils in the regular season finale to drop to the No. 4 position in the 2-5A standings.

Tuesday’s winner will advance to Thursday’s semifinal round to face Capital, a team LAHS has struggled against this year, with the winner of that match taking on regular season 2-5A champ Albuquerque Academy for the tournament title.