Volleyball: Toppers down Robertson in five

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The Los Alamos Hilltopper volleyball team, it seems, has a flair for the dramatic.

By Mike Cote

The Los Alamos Hilltopper volleyball team, it seems, has a flair for the dramatic.


Less than a week after pulling out a thrilling come-from-behind victory over the St. Michael’s Horsemen, the Hilltoppers grabbed a big road win against Las Vegas Robertson Tuesday night in Las Vegas.

Los Alamos went down 2-1 in the match, but bounced back to take the final two games of the contest, the same feat it pulled in the win over the Horsemen at home Sept. 16.

It was the third time this season Los Alamos has gone to five games, all of which were come-from-behind victories for the Hilltoppers.

While it can make for a long evening, Los Alamos is glad to get a taste of tough competition as it inches closer to its District 2AAAA opener a week from today.

“Robertson is a fantastic team,” Los Alamos head coach Garry Maskaly said. “They’re one of the best teams in the state. Going five games with them is not horrible. It’s not like we’re playing a weaker team and we’re going five games when we don’t need to.”

Robertson’s Cardinals will have a dogfight in their hands in District 2AAA with teams such as St. Mike’s and Pojoaque on their agenda.

Los Alamos dropped games two and three Tuesday but got things turned around in time to take a 25-19, 18-25, 21-25, 25-12, 17-15 win.

Hilltopper middle blocker Taylor Ealey made her first appearance of the season Tuesday as she works through a nagging knee injury.

Ealey made her presence felt in her season debut. Ealey, Nicole Moore and Oksana Tretiak, who all spent time in the middle, combined for 15 block kills against the Cardinals (3-2), half-again better than Maskaly said he was hoping for going in.

With the match tied 1-1, Los Alamos found itself down 17-7 in the third game, but battled back to within two points twice late before Robertson closed the contest out.

Despite dropping that third game, the tide seemed to shift in the Hilltoppers’ favor.

Alex Nichols, one of Los Alamos’ big hitters on the outside, led the offensive effort Tuesday with 17 spike kills.

“She was hitting harder than I’ve seen yet this season,” Maskaly said of Nichols’ final two games.

On the other side, Sabrina Little added 10 spike kills. Sophomore Alicia Rendon, who was called into action at the libero spot Tuesday, came through big with 13 digs.

The win was the third straight for Los Alamos (7-3) and the fourth in its past five contests.

Maskaly said things are starting to click for his team like he’d hoped they would.

“The girls played a great match,” he said. “I feel like this is a turning point. They’re playing as the team I know they are. They’re playing excellent volleyball. ”