• LAHS boy’s soccer hosts Goddard in first round

    The Los Alamos boy’s soccer team begins its state tournament run on Saturday.
    The fifth-seeded Hilltoppers will host No. 12 Goddard at 10 a.m. at Sullivan Field in the first round of the Class 5A state tournament.
    “We’re going to come out and play hard,” Los Alamos senior defender Tristen Roach said. “We’re going to try to get up in the first half. We’re not going to stand back on watch, we’re going to play all the way through.”
    Los Alamos goes into the first-round matchup at 13-5-2 overall, and closed the regular season with a 1-0 win at No. 1 Albuquerque Academy and a 0-0 tie at No. 3 Capital.
    Defensively, the Hilltoppers have been solid and tallied 11 shutouts during the regular season. The defensive success this season is due to the solid play of Roach, senior goalkeeper Seth Hailey and junior defenders Kye Jones and Adam Listwan. Los Alamos has outscored its opponents 53-15 this season.
    “It’s been phenomenal with our goalkeeper Seth (Hailey) communicating with us and helping us press forward,” Roach said. “That’s where part of our success came from... Holding the backline and doing our job.”    

  • Prep football: ’Toppers face Sundevils Friday night

    Despite having decades of success against Española Valley, the Los Alamos football team still finds motivation in facing its area rival.
    The Hilltoppers will look to continue that success against the Sundevils when both teams face off at 7 p.m. tonight in Española.
    “This game is the same as every week,” Los Alamos coach Garett Williams said. “We have our process that we go through every week to prepare. It’s always fun to prepare for these guys. It’s always a good rivalry game.”
    Los Alamos is coming off an open week and goes into the contest at 4-4 overall and 1-1 in District 2-5A, after a 44-7 win against Albuquerque Academy on Oct. 14.
    During district play, the Hilltoppers have amassed 717 yards of total offense (402 rushing, 315 passing). Against Academy, Los Alamos had its biggest passing of the season with quarterback Nick Quartieri throwing for a career-high 245 passing yards. Using Quartieri’s arm could be key against a lowly Española secondary that’s allowed numerous big plays.

  • Prep soccer: LAHS girls get bye, boys receive 5 seed

    Last season, the Los Alamos boy’s soccer team benefited from a first-round bye en route to a state championship appearance.
    This season, the Hilltoppers will have to play an extra game to get there, as they were selected as the No. 5 seed for the Class 5A state tournament, the New Mexico Activities Association announced Sunday.
    “When we knew that we finished third in our district, we knew that it was going to be tough for us to get the bye,” Los Alamos coach Ron Blue said. “We were prepared for it.”
    Los Alamos, which finished the regular season 13-5-2 overall and 3-2-1 in District 2-5A, will host a first-round matchup against No. 12 Goddard at 10 a.m. Saturday at Sullivan Field.
    “We felt like our last two games were playoff games,” Blue said. “Goddard has a losing record so it’s odd that they made it. But with that being said, we know that we’re a pretty solid team and we should be able to go out and play our game.”
    District 2-5A members Albuquerque Academy and Capital both received a first round bye. Academy was selected as the No. 1 seed, while the Jaguars were selected as the No. 3 seed.

  • Prep cross country: ’Topper boys, girls finish 4th at home meet

    The Los Alamos cross country teams are beginning to inch closer to Albuquerque Academy.
    But, the Chargers continued to have the upper hand in Friday’s Los Alamos invitational at the Los Alamos Municipal Golf Course. Academy finished in first on the boy’s side, while the Charger g-irls placed second.
    Both Hilltopper teams finished fourth, respectively.
    The Academy boys benefited from four top-10 individual finishes. Jordan Lesansee, who was the top individual, ran a 16:04.77 to lead the Chargers. A.J. Kedge, Academy’s second-best runner, finished in fifth place. Mark Harrington placed eighth, while Julian Garcia finished in ninth. Skyler Forman, who placed 12th, rounded out the 35-point performance for Academy.
    On the boy’s side, Rafael Sanchez continues to lead the Hilltoppers, the eighth-grader finished in fourth individually with a 16:46.92. It was Sanchez’s fourth-best performance of the season. Seniors Kai Coblentz and Chris Buntain capped the top three for Los Alamos. Coblentz, who finished in 27th place, ran a 17:48.02, while Buntain ran a 17:54.07 to place 29th.

  • LAHS girl’s soccer shutout Capital, boys tie in regular season finale

    Finishing the regular season on a high note was key for the Los Alamos girl’s soccer team.
    The Hilltoppers did just that with a 7-0 win against Capital on Thursday in Santa Fe. Los Alamos finished the regular season 15-5 overall and 4-2 in District 2-5A.
    “This was really good because I was able to play and start some of the backup players,” Los Alamos coach Gary Ahlers said. “We have the injury bug that hit us. I got several players that are down right now. Being able to play some of the players that haven’t seen a lot time is a big confidence booster.”
    The Hilltoppers are virtually a lock for not only a spot in the Class 5A state tournament, but also a home game in the first round. But, the question now for Los Alamos is whether or not it did enough to earn a top-four seed and a first round bye. That question will be answered on Sunday during the soccer state tournament selection show.
    “If we get a five or a six seed, I’m not going to be upset with it,” Gary Ahlers said. “There are some teams out there that won their district and if they get the top four seeds I won’t be upset. When you get to this time of the season, the top six are pretty close on any given day.”

  • ’Toppers volleyball edges Chargers in comeback, 5-set win

    In a tight District 2-5A race, the Los Alamos volleyball team has made the most out of its pressure situations.
    The Hilltoppers won their fourth match in the last five - all in five sets - after downing Albuquerque Academy 25-27, 25-13, 29-31, 25-16, 15-7 on Wednesday’s “Dig Pink” match at Griffith Gym.
    “The good part about going five (sets) all the time is that it’s going to keep us in condition and keep us going,” Los Alamos coach Diana Stokes said. “We had some good moments there. Each time they (Los Alamos) play well, they have to believe in themselves.”
    With the exception of last Saturday’s loss to Del Norte, Los Alamos (9-9 overall, 4-2 District 2-5A)  has been stellar in decisive sets, and that was the case on Wednesday against Academy (7-11 overall, 0-6 District 2-5A). The Hilltoppers jumped out to an 8-1 lead in the fifth set and sealed the win with a strong defensive performance.
    “Seniors came through tonight,” Stokes said. “Kaitlin (Bennett) came through big again tonight. Jessica (Moore) her first game was a little rough but that last dig that she got in the back row just fired up everybody. They just to learn that they have to keep fired up.”

  • LAHS cross country to host home meet Friday

    A strong performance at home can help the Los Alamos cross country teams build momentum for the ladder stages of the season.
    The Hilltoppers will host their annual home invitational with events starting at 3 p.m. Friday at the Los Alamos Municipal Golf Course.
    The meet comes at a timely matter for Los Alamos, as it’ll host the District 2-5A meet next Friday, and the Class 5A state meet is scheduled for Nov. 5.
    Los Alamos has experienced a bit of everything in its opening four meets, including two eighth-graders leading both the boy’s and girl’s teams.
    Lidia Appell has been the top runner in every meet this season for the Hilltopper girls. The eighth-grader ran a season-best 19:49 at the Albuquerque Academy Invitational on Sept. 23.
    Paulina Burnside and Sydney Schake have also provided the Los Alamos girls with strong performances this season. The Hilltoppers have also benefited from the return on junior Zoe Hemez, who made her first appearance of the season two weeks ago at the Titan Thunder Invitational in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
    On the boy’s side, Los Alamos is lead by eighth-grader Rafael Sanchez, who’s finished in under 17 minutes in all meets except for one this season.
    Senior Kai Coblentz and junior Josh Strevell have contributed with top 20 and 30 finishes.

  • Prep football: Defense leads ’Toppers past Academy

    Going into Friday’s game against Albuquerque Academy, Los Alamos head football coach Garett Williams said his team needed to key in on the Chargers single-wing offense.
    But Academy appeared to confuse itself more in the Hilltoppers 44-7 win at Sullivan Field. Los Alamos stifled the Chargers offense in route to improving to 4-4 overall and 1-1 in District 2-5A.
    The Hilltoppers finished with 463 yards of total offense. Quarterback Nick Quartieri tallied a season-high 245 passing yards, while rushing for 61 yards. Senior Aaron Waller rushed for a game-high 72 yards, while senior Travis Gonzales finished with three receptions and 131 receiving yards for the Hilltoppers.
    Los Alamos didn’t waste anytime, scoring on its first play from scrimmage. Quartieri found Kevin Maresca for an 80-yard touchdown to give the Hilltoppers an early 7-0 lead.
    Down 14-0 in the second quarter, Academy’s Clay Crosby rushed for a 23-yard touchdown to get within seven. But that was as close as the Chargers got.
    On the Hilltoppers ensuing possession, a four play, 80-yard scoring drive was capped off by a 27-yard touchdown run by Quartieri. With three minutes left in the first half, Quartieri and Gonzales connected for an 82-yard touchdown that gave Los Alamos a 30-7 halftime lead.

  • LAHS boy’s soccer stuns Academy, girls fall

    With selection Sunday approaching, the Los Alamos boy’s soccer team was in need of a signature win and it got it.
    The Hilltoppers, who improved to 13-5-1 overall and 3-2 in District 2-5A, defeated Albuquerque Academy 1-0 on Saturday in Albuquerque, snapping a nine-game losing streak against the Chargers. Prior to Saturday, Los Alamos’ last win against Academy was in the 2010 Class 4A quarterfinals.
    “We hadn’t had a lot of success against them (Academy) but It was good to know that we could beat them,” Los Alamos coach Ron Blue said. “We’ve known that we had enough to play with them but to win a game like that we needed a full team effort and that’s what they did.”
    Academy (15-3-1 overall, 5-1 District 2-5A) went into Saturday’s game ranked No. 1 in New Mexico by maxpreps.com, and a win away from clinching the District 2-5A title. But, not only did the Hilltoppers extend the district race, they likely solidified at least a top eight seed and a home game for the Class 5A state tournament, and perhaps put themselves back in the top four seed conversation.
    “Obviously some things need to happen,” Blue said. “But, if you look at our strength of schedule and if we could beat Capital, then I think we could be in consideration for a top four seed.”

  • LAHS volleyball falls at Del Norte

    The Los Alamos volleyball team had become accustomed to winning five-set matches, but things didn’t shape as usual this time.
    The Hilltoppers fell to Del Norte 19-25, 25-17, 22-25, 25-23,15-12 on Saturday in Albuquerque. Los Alamos fell to 8-9 overall and 3-2 in District 2-5A play, while the Knights improved to 9-6 overall and 3-2 in district.
    The loss ends a three-match winning streak, which included three five-set performances by the Hilltoppers.
    On Saturday, Los Alamos had a 2 sets to 1 lead, and a 17-13 lead in the fourth set, before the Knights went on a seven-point run to get a 20-17 lead. Del Norte ended up winning the set to set-up a decisive fifth set.
    The early stages of the fifth set were highly competitive and both teams were knotted up 6-6. Los Alamos took an 11-10 lead before Del Norte sealed the win with a 5-1 run.
    In the first set, Los Alamos overcame a 17-11 Knights lead and took a 22-18 lead. The Hilltoppers won the set after an Elodie Thelliez block.
    Led by a Mackenzie Alexander block and an Alize Garcia ace, Los Alamos took a 23-20 lead in the third set. A Jessica Moore kill sealed the set for the Hilltoppers.
    Alexander led Los Alamos with 11 kills, while Thelliez tallied six solo blocks and 11 total. Garcia finished with a team-high 26 wins.