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  • Volleyball heads to Albuquerque tonight

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper volleyball team got neither the win it needed or the help it needed to move up from the District 2-5A basement to get a home match.

    Los Alamos fell in three sets to Capital Saturday and the Espanola Valley Sundevils defeated the Del Norte Knights, relegating the Hilltoppers to the No. 5 seed in the district tournament, which starts tonight.

    The Hilltoppers will take on Del Norte's Knights in Albuquerque this evening. The winner of tonight's match will meet Espanola Valley, which ended up third in the 2-5A standings, Tuesday night in the valley.

    Los Alamos finished the regular season with a record of 5-15 and won just one regular season district match. Del Norte took both contests between the two teams, winning six of the seven sets they played against each other.

  • Boys U14 win, U11 split in youth soccer action

    In Duke City Soccer League action at the New Mexico State Soccer Complex in Bernalillo, the Boys U14 LAFC Lasers played Real Azteca with only 13 players and were able to pull out a 2-1 win.
    The Lasers played with the wind in the first half and were able to score two goals, both by Aaron Philip, a new player on the team this year.
    In the second half, the Lasers played against the wind and found it difficult to move the ball up the field.
    With solid defense and excellent goalkeeping by Daniel Chertkov, Real Azteca only scored one goal. The Lasers move to 2-1 on the season.
    The boys U11 LAFC Krypton Lasers lost 5-4 to the NM Rush Blue, and beat the Clovis White 8-3.
    Against the Rush, the Lasers went down early 4-1, but battled back, narrowly losing 5-4.
    Dhruv Thulasidasan scored two medium range goals, while Brendan French and Taelin Stanfield had one apiece.
    In the team’s second match, the Lasers controlled the game against Clovis from the start, going up 3-0 in the first 20 minutes.
    James Ito was player of the match with two goals and two assists. Other goal scorers included Hayden Watkins, French, Sammy Brown-Salazar, Stanfield and Liam Cunningham.

  • LAHS XC among leaders at home meet

    For the first, and only, time in 2017, the Los Alamos High School cross country teams had the opportunity to run in front of a hometown crowd, and the runners did not disappoint, finishing among the leaders in every race.
    More than 400 runners and 15 teams came together at the Los Alamos County Golf Course for the annual Los Alamos Invitational, which marks the end of the regular season for the Hilltoppers.
    The varsity boys finished third, and the girls finished in fourth place. More importantly, though, is that among Class 5A schools, LAHS finished second in both races, behind only Albuquerque Academy.
    LAHS head coaches Rob and Kathy Hipwood are encouraged by how well their team performed, and feel that the runners continue to improve at every meet.
    “I think we feel good about the direction we are going,” Kathy Hipwood said.
    Academy topped the Hilltopper boys by 12 points, and the girls by 15 points, setting up interesting matchups at the district meet this weekend, and the state meet at the beginning of November.
    Rob Hipwood believes the Hilltopper boys will be one of the top three teams at the state competition, along with Albuquerque Academy and Kirtland Central, and that all three have proved to be capable of winning the championship.

  • Boy’s soccer wins district finale

    The Los Alamos High School varsity boy’s soccer team is heading into the state tournament with momentum, as it defeated district rival Capital High School 2-1 at home Thursday to finish the regular season.
    It was an important game for the Hilltoppers, currently ranked fourth in Class 5A, as it solidifies the team’s chances of earning a top-four seed in the state tournament. In the tournament, the top four seeds receive a bye directly to the quarterfinals, leaving them three games from a potential championship.
    The bracket for the state tournament will be revealed this weekend.
    While head coach Ron Blue does not yet know where his team will end up in the tournament, he said he is proud of the way his players have performed this season to be in consideration for a top seed.
    “It shows that we really do have talent in this group, and the depth is pretty impressive,” Blue said. “We have had a ton of guys step up big this year, and it shows what kind of character we have.”
    From the opening whistle, it seemed the Hilltoppers understood the importance of Thursday’s matchup. The team kept good possession in the early going, and was able to get good runs toward goal, as Capital had a difficult time stopping the duo of Tristan Semelsberger and Arthur Steinkamp.

  • Girls soccer: Hilltoppers defeat Capital to end regular season

    In the regular season finale, the Los Alamos High School girl’s soccer team did exactly what it needed, defeating Capital High School 6-0.
    The win gives them a boost heading into the upcoming state tournament, which begins next weekend. The Hilltoppers are currently ranked fifth in Class 5A.
    If that ranking holds, the team would host a first-round tournament game at Sullivan Field for the right to advance to the quarterfinals.
    Head coach Ann Cernicek believes her team has made great progress this season, but still has some work to do to compete with the best in the state.
    “I think with this team, we have all the big things figured out,” Cernicek said. “Now it’s just the little things that we need to do consistently.”
    It was a slow start for the Hilltoppers against Capital, a team that has struggled since district play began.
    Though LAHS was able to keep control of the ball without much difficulty in the early going, the team was unable to get much going toward the net, as Capital did a good job of clearing away attempts at long passes through the middle of the field

  • Volleyball falls in close battle with ABQ Academy

    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.

  • LAHS golf keeps rolling through fall tournaments

    The highly successful fall season continued for the Los Alamos High School’s boy’s and girl’s golf teams this week at Arroyo del Oso Golf Course. The boys picked up their third victory in a row, and the girls once again had two girls earn state qualifying legs, while finishing in third as a team.
    The boys finished with a score of 317, winning the tournament over second-place La Cueva by six strokes, which finished with a score of 323. The Hilltoppers were 19 strokes ahead of third-place Rio Rancho.
    While the boy’s head coach, Andy Ainsworth, was pleased with the win, he felt the team could have performed even better.
    “It’s good for the boys to get another win in a quality field in Albuquerque,” Ainsworth said. “As a team, we didn’t have our best stuff for most of the day.”
    The team’s best score came from Sean Rau, who finished with a 75. The score was good enough for second overall, behind Bowen Davis of Manzano, who shot a 71.
    “Sean’s 75 could have easily been a 68 or 70 if a few putts had gone in,” Ainsworth said. “He made nothing all day outside of five feet and still shot 75.”
    The other Hilltoppers put together good rounds as well, as the four other scorers all shot 85 or lower.

  • Girl’s soccer struggles against top-ranked 5A team

    In one of the most important games of the district season, The Los Alamos High School varsity girl’s soccer team fell to Albuquerque Academy 3-0, the Hilltoppers’ second loss to the Chargers in two weeks.

    Though the scoreboard may not show it, LAHS head coach Ann Cernicek felt her team played much better than the first times the two teams met.

    “I thought the first half was really good,” Cernicek said. “And we were able to fight until the bitter end. We were able to create opportunities and just couldn’t convert them unfortunately.”

    The Hilltoppers came out strong in the first half, as an early shot from Anna Rose Matuszak went just wide of the net.

    Her shot came from the high energy of LAHS in the early going, as they understood how important getting off to a good start is against Academy, which has been consistently ranked as the top team in Class 5A.

    Though Academy kept most of the possession in the first half, the back line of LAHS, led by Jaci Linn, Vianey Terrazas and Valeri Li, were successful at keeping the ball out of the dangerous areas.

    That began to change 15 minutes into the game, as Academy started lofting passes high into the air and over the head of the defense, while the forwards from Academy used their speed to get behind the defense.

  • LAHS boy’s soccer loses to Chargers for second time

    The Los Alamos High School varsity boy’s soccer team walked onto Sullivan Field Friday evening hoping to get revenge against Albuquerque Academy from a 3-1 loss two weeks ago in Albuquerque.

    Though LAHS played better in Friday’s rematch, the scoreboard read 1-0 in favor of Albuquerque Academy as the final whistle blew. The game clinched the district title for Academy and put the pressure on the Hilltoppers as they try to lock up a top-four seed in the upcoming state tournament.

    As the game began, it appeared the Hilltoppers had learned some valuable lessons from the first matchup against Academy, controlling much of the early action.

    Arthur Steinkamp, the Hilltoppers’ leading scorer, nearly put his team on top just two minutes into the game, as Jesse Prime made a pass to him in the middle of the field that gave him a one-on-one opportunity against the goalkeeper.

    Steinkamp got a good shot off, but it sailed high over the goalkeeper and the net.

    He nearly scored again 10 minutes later, as the Hilltoppers were given a free kick from 35 yards away. He measured the shot and had plenty of power, but it sailed just wide.

    LAHS head coach Ron Blue said he has been impressed with the way Steinkamp has played this year, especially since the start of district play.

  • Football rolls past ABQ Academy

    ALBUQUERQUE - Saturday’s game against Albuquerque Academy was a must-win for the Los Alamos High School varsity football team, and the Hilltoppers delivered with a 50-0 victory.

    After falling to Del Norte the previous week 51-25, LAHS needed a victory over Academy to remain competitive in the race for District 2, where dropping to 0-2 would have all but eliminated the team.

    Instead, the team sits at 1-1 in the district, and is still alive in the race.

    The Hilltoppers came out with a sense of urgency in this game, and were firing on all cylinders from the opening kickoff.

    LAHS got the scoring started early, as quarterback Dylan Irish, known primarily for his running ability, fired a deep pass across the middle of the field on the team’s first possession.

    The pass was perfect, dropping right into the arms of the wide-open Wyatt Saeger, who was sprinting down the middle of the field for a 69-yard touchdown to give the Hilltoppers a 7-0 lead.

    Carson Schramm came up with an interception on the next Charger possession, setting LAHS up at midfield, and the Hilltoppers took advantage.

    On the first play of the drive, Jack Stewart took a handoff and ran 48 yards for a touchdown, dragging a defender with him the last 15 yards, extending the LAHS lead to 14-0.