'Toppers win 3 at Moriarty, face Pojoaque Valley tonight

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By The Staff

The Los Alamos Hilltopper volleyball team broke into the win column last weekend with three wins in the silver bracket of the Moriarty Pinto Invitational.
Los Alamos picked up three straight wins at the Pinto tournament Friday and Saturday, including topping the host Pintos and District 2-4A rival Bernalillo to earn the bracket victory.
The Hilltoppers won’t have much time to celebrate their first three wins of the season, however, as they will take on the Pojoaque Valley Elks tonight in Jacona.
At the Pinto Invitational, Los Alamos couldn’t grab one of the top two spots in pool play Friday morning and went into the silver bracket.
But Los Alamos (3-1) bounced back to top Moriarty 3-2 Friday night. The sets were tight, with the Hilltoppers falling in set two 27-25 before rebounding in the third set to win 25-23.
Los Alamos, which won the first set handily over Moriarty, dropped the fourth set 25-18, but won the decisive final set 15-6.
In the bracket semifinals, the Hilltoppers got a decisive 3-0 win over the Estancia Bears, 25-11, 25-15, 25-14, before advancing to play Bernalillo.
Bernalillo, the most improved team in 2-4A for the past two seasons, gave Los Alamos all it could handle in the silver bracket championship match. The Spartans won the first set 26-24 and was step-for-step with Los Alamos in the second set, which the Hilltoppers won 26-24.
Los Alamos would ultimately go on to win 3-2, needing a 15-11 fifth set decision to take the silver bracket title.
The tournament’s gold bracket was won by Portales, which topped Santa Fe 3-1 in the final.
The Hilltopper offense was led by middle hitter Sam Fenner against both Moriarty and Estancia. Fenner finished with a team-high 9 spike kills to help lift Los Alamos over Moriarty, then paced the team with 8 kills against Estancia.
Fenner also had two blocks against Moriarty, while libero Allyssa Tedder had 4 ace serves.
Tonight, Los Alamos will play its second defending championship team from 2012, Pojoaque Valley. The Hilltoppers dropped their first match of the season last week to St. Pius X, last year’s 4A champion.
The Elks won the Class 3A crown under Joey Trujillo last year, but this year are under new coach Eric Zamora.
They split their first two contests of the season, topping Sandia Prep 3-0 but losing to St. Pius 3-2 Thursday night in Albuquerque.