Volleyball: Toppers swept in state 4A semifinal

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By Mike Cote

RIO RANCHO — For the third year in a row, the Los Alamos Hilltopper volleyball team ends its season with a loss to the St. Pius X Sartans.
After surviving a back-and-forth contest Friday morning against the Roswell Coyotes in the Class AAAA quarterfinals, the Hilltoppers took the Sartans down to the wire in each of the first two sets in Friday night’s semifinal.
However, the top-seeded Sartans, who advanced to Saturday night’s Class AAAA championship match, prevailed in each of the first two sets despite Los Alamos’ best efforts. They would go on to win in three games Friday, 26-24, 27-25, 25-16.
The Class AAAA championship tournament concluded Saturday night with the Sartans taking on the second-seeded Artesia Bulldogs for the 2010 state title. Results from the title match were unavailable as of press time.
St. Pius featured tall, quick hitters up front who excelled at directional hitting, complicating matters considerably for Los Alamos, which put together some spurts offensively to counter but was able to land very few of the big shots it was able to do throughout its regular season.
Los Alamos head coach Garry Maskaly, who has guided the Hilltoppers to a pair of postseason wins in two seasons helming the program, said he couldn’t fault the effort his team put out Friday night.

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