'Toppers struggle in state pool play

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By Mike Cote

ALBUQUERQUE — It was not the kind of start to the state tournament Los Alamos was hoping for.The Hilltopper volleyball team managed just one win in its six contests Wednesday during the pool play round of the state Class AAAA volleyball tournament.That put Los Alamos at the bottom of Pool C among the four other pool teams.However, finishing fourth will mean Los Alamos will face a familiar foe in today’s first round. Los Alamos was scheduled to meet up with Espaola Valley, which finished third in Pool A. That game, which was scheduled for midmorning today, hadn’t concluded by press time.Should Los Alamos pick up a victory against its District 2AAAA rival — the Hilltoppers beat the Sundevils in two of their three regular season meetings this season — it would go on to play in tonight’s semifinal round against Goddard, the winner of Wednesday’ Pool B competition.Hilltopper head coach Diana Stokes said beating the Sundevils a third time wouldn’t be that easy, despite her team’s decisive victories in their last two meetings.“They want revenge,” Stokes said of the Sundevils. “They want to beat us. The pros of playing them again are that we know all their weaknesses, but they know all of mine, too.

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