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The Los Alamos Hilltopper volleyball team will look to get its District 2-4A season started on the right foot Wednesday night.
The Hilltoppers will take on the Bernalillo Spartans in their 2-4A opener. That match, which will be in Bernalillo, is scheduled for 6 p.m.
This season’s district race could be a tight one, with four of the five teams that could figure into the mix — only Capital, which is struggling this season, isn’t likely to factor into the race.
While, heading into the race, only two teams in the district have records above .500, that may not be a good indicator of where the teams end up.
Los Alamos is currently 5-4 but all four of those losses have come to the same two teams, St. Pius X and Pojoaque Valley. Los Alamos lost to both teams early in the season, then fell to them again this weekend at the Rio Rancho Volleybash.
At Rio Rancho, a high-level tournament hosted by the Rams, the Hilltoppers were on the wrong end of a sweep against both St. Pius and Pojoaque Valley. The Elks topped Los Alamos handily in two of the three sets, 25-12, 25-16 and 25-20, while St. Pius won, albeit in closer contests, 25-21, 25-13, 25-22.
The team with the best record in 2-4A heading into the start of that season is Santa Fe. The Demons are 10-2 right now and ranked No. 4 in Class 4A according to MaxPreps.com, but haven’t faced the kind of schedule either Los Alamos or its district-opening opponent Española Valley (5-5) has.
The best win Santa Fe has in 2013 was in its opener over Valencia, a 3-2 decision. It has just two other wins over Class 4A opponents, Los Lunas and Del Norte, both of whom are south of .500 on the year.
Bernalillo, meanwhile, hasn’t had a particularly impressive nondistrict season, but has given Los Alamos fits in recent meetings. Bernalillo very nearly upset Los Alamos at Griffith Gymnasium in 2010 and played the Hilltoppers very tough in 2011, although it struggled with several young players in 2012.
This season, the Spartans (4-6) have a more seasoned roster with three seniors and five juniors.
The Hilltoppers and Spartans met earlier this season in a nondistrict affair at the Moriarty Invitational, with Los Alamos holding on for a 3-2 victory — four of the five sets were very tight, including the final set won by Los Alamos 15-11.
Meanwhile, Española Valley, which had a very good summer season, has played a very tough schedule, which included a trip to a tournament in San Diego last month.