• LA volleyball advances to state quarterfinals

    RIO RANCHO — Los Alamos head coach Sharleen Espinoza described the state volleyball tournament as “a mental game.”
    “The competition is up there,” Espinoza said. “You have to expect to play hard and have tough games. It comes down to who’s the tougher team.”
    After finishing second in its pool, Los Alamos was able to refocus and advance in state tournament.
    In its first-round game, Los Alamos spiked Santa Teresa in three sets to advance to the Class 5A state quarterfinals. Los Alamos beat the Desert Warriors, 25-23, 25-15 and 25-14.
    The No. 5 seeded ’Toppers will now play No. 3 Centennial at 9:45 a.m. today.
    Centennial took first in Pool C with No. 6 Piedra Vista and No. 10 Artesia to make the quarterfinals.
    Los Alamos started the tournament with a tough draw in its pool-play matches. The ‘Toppers beat No. 9 Moriarty, 25-14 and 25-20, but fell to No. 4 Los Lunas, 25-15 and 25-23, to finish second in Pool D.
    Los Alamos beat Moriarty earlier in the season and carried that confidence into Thursday’s match.
    “I think we carried the momentum the majority of the game,” Espinoza said. “That’s easy to do with a team you’ve beaten.”

  • Volleyball wins district, gets No. 5 state seed

    Española Valley fought like heck to keep from giving up its District 2-5A volleyball title Saturday, but Los Alamos was able to beat the Sundevils a fourth time and finish its district season with an unblemished record.
    The Hilltoppers won the district championship in five games.
    The Sundevils won the first set, 25-18, but Los Alamos tied things up by taking the second set, 25-21.
    The Sundevils then put Los Alamos’ back against the wall by taking the third set, 25-19. The Hilltoppers, however, finished strong and won the fourth and fifth set, 25-22 and 15-8, to take the match.
    The win improved Los Alamos’ record to 18-3 overall and 9-0 in district games.
    The ’Toppers will now enter the Class 5A state championships as the No. 5 seed.
    The state tournament will begin with pool play at 8 a.m. Thursday. In Pool D with Los Alamos are No. 4 Los Lunas and No. 9 Moriarty.
    The winner of each pool will get a first-round bye and an automatic spot in the quarterfinals while the second and third finishers will have to compete in the round-of-12 Thursday afternoon. The quarter and semifinals will take place Friday and the championship is Saturday.
    St. Pius X got the No. 1 seed and is in Pool A with No. 8 Albuquerque Academy and No. 12 Española Valley.

  • LA football loses to Del Norte in finale

    Los Alamos’ football team headed into Friday night’s game against Del Norte with an opportunity to force the playoff selection committee to take a good, hard look at it.
    A win would have given Los Alamos a second-place finish in District 2-5A, ahead of the 9-1 Española Valley Sundevils. That would have meant if the selection committee wanted Española in the playoffs, it would have had to take Los Alamos as well.
    Del Norte, however, ended any chance Los Alamos had. The Knights stacked the box to squash Los Alamos’ running attack and went on to win the game, 42-0.
    After sitting out against Bernalillo with a concussion, Lane Saunders returned to the lineup against Del Norte. Running back Derek Selvage, however, got hurt early against Del Norte and did not return.
    While Del Norte stifled Los Alamos’ run, it ran for several big plays to successfully end Los Alamos’ season.
    With the Del Norte win, Española Valley (9-1, 3-1 2-5A) claimed the District 2-5A championship, Capital (7-3, 3-1) finished second followed by Del Norte (4-6, 2-2), Los Alamos (4-6, 2-2) and Bernalillo (0-10, 0-4).
    Española and Capital will now represent the district in the Class 5A state playoffs.

  • ’Topper girls take second in 5A

    ALBUQUERQUE — When the Los Alamos girls’ soccer team traveled to the Albuquerque Public Schools Soccer Complex for the latter rounds of the Class 5A state tournament, it knew any game could be its last.
    The No. 5 seeded Hilltopper girls, however, embraced the underdog spirit and kept their season going longer than anyone expected. Los Alamos knocked off No. 5 Aztec in overtime in the quarterfinals, 2-1, and then stunned the top-seeded Farmington Scorpions, 3-1, in the semifinals.
    Heading into the Saturday’s championship game against No. 3 St. Pius X., the Hilltoppers knew that, win or lose, the next game would be its last.
    “Last night we gathered in a hotel room and talked about our favorite memories,” senior Emily Hopkins said after the championship game. “We all cried.”
    The Sartans had won the previous two state championships and Los Alamos wasn’t able keep them from making it three in a row Saturday. St. Pius beat Los Alamos in the championship game, 1-0.
    “The game was extremely close,” Hopkins said. “We had our chances.”

  • LA boys finish with red trophy

    The Los Alamos boys’ soccer team came up short of a state title Saturday, falling to Albuquerque Academy 2-0 in the Class 5A championship game.
    Even though Los Alamos didn’t reach the pinnacle, the team made an incredible run to bring home a red trophy.
    “I don’t think it was luck,” senior captain Alex Csanadi said. “Everything we’ve been working on for the last couple of months came together and we showed we’re one of the best teams in the state.”
    After getting a first-round bye, the No. 3 ’Toppers blew by No. 6 St. Pius X, 3-0, in Thursday’s quarterfinals.
    Los Alamos then battled the No. 2 Roswell Coyotes for 100 minutes only to have the semifinal contest decided by a shootout.
    “The best was winning it on PKs,” Csanadi said. “We’ll all be happy about that for the rest of our lives.”
    The shootout win gave Los Alamos a spot in the finals, but after finishing second two years in a row, Albuquerque Academy wasn’t going to be denied a third-straight year.
    Academy fired shot after shot in the game, but defenders Ralph Archbold, Tristan Roach and Kye Jones did a good job limiting the quality of those shots. Goalie Seth Hailey also had double-digit saves in the contest.

  • LA girls win seventh straight state title

    RIO RANCHO — The Los Alamos girls’ cross country team all season had its sights set on extending its state title streak to seven. On Saturday, the Hilltopper girls didn’t just win another title, they dominated their competition.
    Los Alamos had four runners finish in the top six, two more finish in the top 20 and it scored the Class 5A championship with 27 points, 40 better than second-place Albuquerque Academy and 52 lower than third-place St. Pius X.
    “I never dreamed it would have been that awesome,” senior Sophia Galvez said.
    “I’m just glad all of the work paid off,” Zoe Hemez said.
    The Hilltopper boys were also gunning to extend their state-title streak Saturday to five. Albuquerque Academy entered the championship as the favorite, but Los Alamos almost pulled off the upset. After four runners from each team finished, the two squads were tied with 31 points. Academy’s fifth runner, however, crossed six seconds ahead of Los Alamos’ fifth to help the Chargers squeak by Los Alamos, 45-48.

  • LA girls cross country wins state

    The Los Alamos girls' cross country team ran away from the competition Saturday morning at the Class 5A state championships.

    Los Alamos defended its title with 27 points, 40 fewer than second-place St. Pius X.

    Talia Dreicer, Sophia Galvez, Maddy Foley and Zoe Hemez all finished in the top-six while Marin Kelly's 19-place finish wrapped up the team title.

    The Hilltopper boys also had a great race, but they just missed a title. The boys finished three points behind Albuquerque Academy's winning 45.

    Connor Bailey, Hayden Walker and John Reese all finished in the top-eight, Victor Kim crossed 11th and Kai Coblentz finished 17th for the 'Toppers.

    On the soccer field, Los Alamos' boys and girls both finished second in the state.

    In the championship games, the Hilltopper girls fell 1-0 to St. Pius X and the boys lost 2-0 to Albuquerque Academy.

    On Friday night, Los Alamos' football team lost its final regular season game to Del Norte. The Knights beat Los Alamos, 42-0.

    See Wednesday's Los Alamos Monitor for the complete stories.

  • LA boys reach title game

    After 100 minutes, Los Alamos' boys soccer team and Roswell were scoreless in Saturday's Class 5A semifinal battle.
    The spot in the championship game had to be decided by a shootout.
    Los Alamos went first and Alex Csanadi scored to set the tone for the Hilltoppers.
    Roswell tied it on its first shot, but Geoerge Steinkamp put Los Alamos back up with a score.
    Goalkeeper Seth Hailey then continued his strong tournament, making a critical save for Los Alamos. The blocked shot proved to be the difference in the contest.
    Tristen Roach, Arthur Steinkamp and Andreas Runde followed with goals to help Los Alamos make the finals.
    The No. 3 seeded 'Toppers were scheduled to play No. 1 Albuquerque Academy in Saturday's championship.
    Los Alamos was pushing the tempo early in the contest against No. 2 Roswell, but didn't have any real good shots to show for it. A lot of the game was then played in the middle of the field.
    Roswell was the aggressor in the second half, but Los Alamos managed to keep them from scoring.
    Los Alamos also created a couple of good scoring chances, but its two closest shots missed just high.
    The two overtimes saw good shots by both teams, but nobody was able to score until the shootout.
    Special thanks to KRSN for help with this report.

  • Los Alamos makes it to title game

    The Los Alamos girls soccer team upset the top-seeded Farmington Scorpions, 3-1, to advance to the Class 5A state championships.

    Los Alamos will play in the championship game at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

    Los Alamos jumped out to a 2-0 lead against Farmington. Emily Hopkins scored on a free kick in the 26th minute, firing a bullet over the wall and into the top shelf. About eight minutes later, Abby Schmalz assisted Sienna Ahlers on a goal to put Los Alamos up by two.

    Los Alamos' defense did a good job shutting the Scorpions down in the first half. Anna Lemke made a number of good saves while Sophie Wood kept a lid on a lot of Farmington shots. Right before halftime, however, Farmington scored to cut the lead in half.

    In the second half, Farmington attacked and attacked, but couldn't get one in. Then, in the 79th minute, Ahlers took a long through ball and scored a huge insurance goal for the 'Toppers.

    Special thanks to KRSN for help with this report.

  • 'Toppers advance to soccer semis

    ALBUQUERQUE — Los Alamos' girls and boys soccer teams both scored wins in the Class 5A state quarterfinals Thursday.

    The No. 5 seeded girls got the ball rolling in the morning, beating No. 4 Aztec 2-1 in overtime. 

    The No. 3 Hilltopper boys then shut out No. 6 St. Pius X, 3-0, in the afternoon.

    The Hilltopper girls will now take on No. 1 Farmington at 11:30 a.m. Friday in the semis.

    Los Alamos' boys will square off with No. 2 Roswell at 2 p.m. Friday.

    The girls got off to a slow start Thursday against Aztec. Aztec took its first shot less than 20 seconds into the game, made Anna Lemke dive to make a save in the fifth minute and took a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute.

    "i think because it was our first game at state, it made us panic," Jordan Henson said.

    "In the first half, our nerves overwhelmed us," Charlotte Leonard said.

    The 'Toppers, however, were able to weather the storm and they only went into halftime down one.

    In the second half, Los Alamos tied it up right away. In the the 43rd minute, Sienna Ahlers took a pass from Abby Schmalz and, with multiple defenders around her, kicked a hard shot into the net.