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Volleyball falls in close battle with ABQ Academy

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By The Staff

The Los Alamos Hilltopper volleyball team, which is winless in District 2-5A, took on the top team in the district Wednesday and took it to the wire.
Los Alamos pushed the Albuquerque Academy Chargers to five sets Wednesday in Albuquerque, then was tied with the Chargers 14-14 in that final set.
Unfortunately for the Hilltoppers, Academy was able to come away with the final two points to win the match. Set scores were 19-25, 25-16, 25-17, 19-25, 16-14 in favor of the Chargers.
Prior to its last two matches, to Espanola Valley and Los Alamos, Academy had lost a total of just one set in 2-5A play, but both the Hilltoppers and Sundevils pushed the district leader to five sets and made the Chargers sweat out the fifth.
Playing without its leading hitter, Elodie Thelliez, Los Alamos (4-14 overall, 0-6 in district) actually outhit the powerful Charger lineup Wednesday, earning 48 spike kills to just 44 for Academy.
The Hilltoppers were paced by Natalie Gallegos and Sophia Salazar, who both finished with 12 spike kills, a match-high for both, while Kimberly McKinley added 9 spike kills.
Sophia Greer had 11 spike kills for Academy (12-6, 6-0 in 2-5A), and Academy’s outstanding freshmen duo, Sofia Brito and Zoe Foster, both finished in double-digits hitting.
With the loss Wednesday, the Hilltoppers can finish no better than fourth in the district race, and must win their final two matches of the regular season next week to have a shot at hosting the first round match in the district tournament.
Academy, meanwhile, needs just one win in either of its final two matches, against Del Norte and Capital, to clinch the regular season 2-5A title.