Volleyball: Toppers head into pool play round

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By Mike Cote

Before the Class AAAA state volleyball pools were announced, Hilltopper head coach Diana Stokes had a feeling she might end up in the same pool as the top-seeded Moriarty Pintos.

Her feeling was spot-on.

Los Alamos, the seventh overall seed in the AAAA playoffs, will take on the No. 1 seed, defending state champion and odds-on title favorite Moriarty in Pool A play Wednesday.

Pool play will be held at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho. The two-game, 15-point matches will start at 1 p.m.

Along with the Pintos (19-2), Los Alamos will square off against the sixth-seeded Del Norte Knights (15-7) and 12th-seeded Albuquerque Academy Chargers (8-14).

In the pool, the Hilltoppers (13-8) will be the odd-man out, as they’re the only team not coming out of District 5. Moriarty won the district, Del Norte finished as the runner-up and Academy was third in the four-team district.

“It’s not anything big to me,” Stokes said. “The other teams will have to play each other for the third or fourth time, though.”

Heading into pool play, Los Alamos will be hoping to come out either second or third. Ultimately, it would like to get placed into the elimination-play bracket on the opposite side as the Pintos so they won’t have to face them again until the final.

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