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  • ´Toppers ousted by St. Pius X again, 3-0

    RIO RANCHO — Fifth verse, same as the first.
    For the fifth time in a row, the Los Alamos Hilltopper volleyball team succumbed to the St. Pius X Sartans in the Class 4A playoffs. The Sartans trailed the Hilltoppers only a couple of times early in the first two sets of Friday night’s Class 4A semifinal and started to pull away from the Hilltoppers midway through the second set.
    Los Alamos’ season ended one match short of the finals for the third time in a row, with the Hilltoppers falling 25-21, 25-16, 25-15.
    St. Pius and Los Alamos, which play similar styles upfront, sustained its attacks better than did Los Alamos and kept Los Alamos on the defensive for most of the night.
    The Class 4A state tournament concluded today at the Santa Ana Star Center. Results from Saturday’s championship match between St. Pius and Piedra Vista, which outlasted defending champion Artesia in a dogfight of a semifinal Friday, were unavailable at press time.
    At No. 9, Los Alamos was the lowest-seeded team to make the semifinals despite a fair number of upsets throughout pool play and the opening round of the tournament, including St. Pius, which was upset by Artesia in pool play Thursday.

  • Volleyball loses to Piedra Vista, splits with Centennial

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper volleyball team went 1-3 in pool play Thursday morning at the state Class 4A tournament.
    Los Alamos lost both sets to Piedra Vista, the tournament's No. 1 seed, by scores of 25-15, 25-18. Against Las Cruces Centennial, Los Alamos lost the first set 25-20, but bounced back to win the second set 25-14.
    The Hilltoppers will play an elimination match at 3 p.m. Their opponent hasn't yet been determined.

  • Hersman named top defender in 2-4A

    Sophomore Elliot Hersman was named the District 2-4A Defensive Most Valuable Player for the 2012 football season.
    The All-District first and second teams were announced earlier this week, with Hersman picking up one of the top two player honors bestowed by 2-4A.
    Hersman led the Hilltoppers in solo tackles (49), total tackles (78) and sacks (3.0) from his linebacker spot.
    Los Alamos placed six players on the district’s first team offense and five on the first team defense for the season. Those 11 total selections were actually more than were earned by the district champion Santa Fe, which got nine All-District nods.
    Santa Fe, which went a perfect 4-0 in district to advance to the playoffs for the first time in 26 years, did earn the Offensive MVP, which went to running back Anthony Abeyta, and Coach of the Year, which was picked up by Ray Holladay for leading the Demons to the long-awaited playoff appearance.
    Hilltopper quarterback Brice Van Etten actually beat out Santa Fe quarterback Jordan Booth-Homer for the first team nod. Van Etten averaged 109 yards throwing and 55.2 yards rushing per game, threw 8 touchdown passes and ran for 14 touchdowns, including 4 in Los Alamos’ Oct. 26 win over Española Valley.

  • Sports Update 11-14-12

    LA hockey plays Friday at Taos

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper hockey season will have its first game of the 2012-13 season Friday.
    Los Alamos will face the Santa Fe Blue Jackets in New Mexico Interscholastic Ice Hockey League play at 7 p.m.
     That game was scheduled to be played in Los Alamos, but due to poor ice conditions at the county’s ice rink, it will be played at the Taos Youth and Family Center.
    The Hilltoppers will play two games this weekend. They will be on the road at Rio Rancho for a 2:15 p.m. Saturday contest.

    Sipapu set to open Saturday

    Sipapu Ski Resort announced that it will open for the season Saturday.
    Sipapu will be the first ski area in New Mexico to open for the 2012-13 ski season. As of this morning, it was reporting only a 5-inch base but will be making snow until Saturday.
    Lift tickets for the weekend are on sale for $20 or less, Ski New Mexico reported. More information about the opening can be found at sipapunm.com.
    Locally, Pajarito Mountain hasn’t yet announced an opening day for the ski season.
    No other ski areas have made announcements for opening dates, either.

    Volleyball playoffs getting underway

  • Steinkamp, Neal and Blair honored

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper soccer teams picked up five of the six biggest honors of the 2012 District 2-4A season.
    The All-District first and second teams were announced this week, with Los Alamos picking up several slots on both the boys and the girls side.
    Among the top honors, the Hilltoppers’ Amy Neal was named girls Offensive Player of the Year and Stephanie Blair was Defensive Player of the Year. Los Alamos’ Henry Steinkamp earned the boys Offensive Player of the Year and both Hilltopper head coaches, Jiri Kubicek and Evan Gartz, picked up Coach of the Year honors.
    The Hilltopper girls once again breezed through the 2-4A season, going a perfect 6-0. The Hilltopper boys, however, had to come back from a game down against the Capital Jaguars on the last day of their regular season to clinch the district title.
    For Capital, which, despite finishing as the runner-up in the 2-4A race in 2012, it had perhaps its best year in program history, stunning Albuquerque Academy in the quarterfinal round of the Class 4A playoffs and advancing to the state tournament semifinals.
    Capital’s Luis Rios-Olivas was the only non-Hilltopper to earn a top honor in 2012. He was named the boys 2-4A Defensive Player of the Year.

  • 'Toppers get No. 9 seed in 4A tourney

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper volleyball team earned a surprisingly low seed in this year’s Class 4A state tournament.

    The brackets for the state volleyball tournaments were released Sunday by the New Mexico Activities Association.

    Los Alamos’ District 2 regular season and tournament championships didn’t seem to impress the seeding committee. Los Alamos finished as the No. 9 overall seed.

    Volleyball pool play will be Thursday at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho. Los Alamos is matched up in pool A play with No. 8 seed Las Cruces Centennial and the No. 1 overall seed, Piedra Vista.

    Piedra Vista (20-1), which won the District 1 championship, defeated Los Alamos 3-1 Sept. 15 in Farmington.
    The Panthers’ only loss this season was to Class 5A Cleveland in late September.

    Centennial (18-3) was the District 3 champion and has won 12 straight matches heading into Thursday’s pool play round. Interestingly, Centennial didn’t play one match this season that went longer than three sets.

    The runner-up in both the District 2 regular season race and tournament, Española Valley, was only afforded the 12th and last seed in the 4A playoffs.

  • LA doesn't earn 4A playoff invitation

    Despite finishing two games above .500 in 2012, the Los Alamos Hilltopper football team was shut out of the Class 4A state playoffs.
    Los Alamos wasn’t invited to this year’s playoffs, missing out on the postseason for the third time in four seasons.
    Only one team from District 2, widely considered the weakest district in the state, was selected for this year’s 4A playoffs. Santa Fe, which won the district race, including topping the Hilltoppers 62-30 in Los Alamos Oct. 19, will be the only District 2 representative in the 4A field.
    District 2 has sent the minimum of one team to state every year since 2009. Los Alamos won the district title in 2011 and advanced to the postseason as the No. 12 seed, but was drubbed by Los Lunas in the opening round.
    Surprisingly, the Demons (5-5) didn’t receive the No. 12 seed in the bracket, as many expected. Instead, the Demons earned the No. 11 seed, while Roswell (5-5), which finished three spots ahead of Santa Fe in the most recent MaxPreps.com rankings – one of the most important determinants for seeding and selection – was given the No. 12 seed.

  • LA downed by overtime PK

     ALBUQUERQUE — After slugging it out for nearly an hour and a half, the Los Alamos-Chaparral boys soccer semifinal was decided by a penalty kick.

    The two teams duked it out in an exciting, back-and-forth battle for the right to advance to the Class 4A championship game, but the game was decided in anticlimactic fashion.

    In the 87th minute, Chaparral’s outstanding forward Jesus Ramos was grabbed and held in the penalty box. Chaparral’s Edgar Lopez had no trouble converting the ensuing penalty kick to knock the Hilltoppers out of the 2012 state playoffs.

    Friday’s loss at the Albuquerque Public Schools Soccer Complex was an unfortunate ending to what had been one of the best games of the Hilltoppers’ season.

    Los Alamos, the No. 3 seed in the 4A playoffs, had high hopes to get back to the state finale for the second time in three seasons. After a 2-1 win Thursday over a scrappy Los Lunas squad Thursday, the Hilltoppers came into Friday’s semifinal fired up.

    Unfortunately, the Hilltoppers had trouble in the first half getting their passing game under control. Playing with a breeze at their backs, many of the Hilltoppers passes went long, resulting in turnovers.

  • ´Toppers blanked by Aztec

     ALBUQUERQUE — It was a disappointing end to the 2012 girls soccer season for the Los Alamos Hilltoppers Friday afternoon.

    Los Alamos, trying to reach its fourth state championship game in five years, couldn’t get over the hump that was the Aztec Tigers in the quarterfinal round at the Albuquerque Public Schools Soccer Complex.

    The two teams slogged through regulation offensively amid a stiff breeze and intermitten showers, but in the 84th minute, Aztec’s Jessica Kresl hit a line drive from the top of the penalty box inside the left post past Los Alamos goalkeeper Bryce Theesfeld to give the Tigers a 1-0 victory.

    It was a quick end for the Hilltoppers in this year’s tournament, especially considering they felt they had a good shot to earn their first championship since 2003.

    “We played sluggish, we had no rhythm,” Los Alamos head coach Jiri Kubicek said. “I don’t know if we were looking ahead or we thought this tournament was going to be easy.”

    For the first time since 2000, a team other than Los Alamos, Academy or St. Pius X made the championship game in Class 4A. Academy and St. Pius met in the other semifinal Friday, with the top-seeded Academy Chargers taking the victory.\

  • LA’s girls come up big at Class 4A meet Saturday

    RIO RANCHO — Adding to its record haul, the Los Alamos Hilltopper girls cross country team earned another state title Saturday and did so in impressive fashion.

    Los Alamos placed five runners into the top 10 individually at the Class 4A state championship meet to earn its fourth consecutive team title.

    Senior Jennifer Mooday and junior Jordan Parker took the Nos. 4 and 5 slots to pace the Hilltoppers at the state title meet. The Hilltoppers finished with 33 team points, just a hair over half the total of runner-up Albuquerque Academy.

    With its fourth consecutive win, the Hilltoppers are now just one state title away from tying its own record of five titles between 2000-04.

    “It’s an honor,” said Los Alamos’ Teresa Sandoval, a senior who has been a part of all four of the winning teams, a streak that started in 2009. “For me, personally, it’s been an honor to run with these girls and with the girls who have come before.”

    Sandoval, who posted a time of 19 minutes, 43 seconds, had to run much of the way fending off not only the other competitors but also a nosebleed she developed about the 1-mile mark.