• St. Pius, LA both need Ws

    Members of the Los Alamos Hilltopper football team are probably best served not trying to figure out the MaxPreps rankings this season.

    Two weeks ago, following a hefty win over the Pojoaque Valley Elks on the road, the Hilltoppers’ ranking slipped considerably. Last Friday, the Hilltoppers were on the receiving end of a shellacking, and their ranking ticked up slightly.

    Los Alamos lost 41-6 in its home opener against Farmington, a game where Los Alamos didn’t execute particularly well on either side of the ball.

    Nevertheless, MaxPreps moved Los Alamos up from its No. 16 ranking a week ago to a No. 15 ranking this week.

    However, that ranking improvement likely had more to do with Farmington shooting up to No. 5 in the poll – bolstering the Hilltoppers’ strength of schedule – than anything Los Alamos did in that game.

    Regardless of what the poll says, the Hilltoppers (1-1), despite being in just their third week of the season, may need to pick up some wins in a hurry to try to keep themselves in position for an at-large playoff spot, should the need arise.

    Los Alamos will be facing another Class 4A team hungry for a win, the St. Pius X Sartans, Friday at Sullivan Field. Game time is 7 p.m.

  • LA rolls in final three sets to top Horsemen

    It’s not often this season the Los Alamos Hilltopper volleyball team will be able to play in front of the home crowd.
    Wednesday night, Los Alamos made the most of its opportunity.
    Shaking off a slow start, Los Alamos got into a groove in the second set against the St. Michael’s Horsemen. Los Alamos sailed through sets two and three before St. Michael’s made a valiant defensive stand in set four.
    But that wouldn’t be enough for the Horsemen to keep their upset bid alive, as the Hilltoppers prevailed 18-25, 25-11, 25-10, 25-22 at Griffith Gymnasium.
    Much like a night earlier against Pojoaque Valley, Los Alamos got off to a rocky start against St. Michael’s. Just prior to start time, Hilltopper head coach Robin Reynolds found out his normal starting libero, Allyssa Tedder, would be out sick for the match.
    Instead of Tedder, Los Alamos had to rely on backup defensive specialist Venessa Martinez to be its floor general.
    The Hilltopper communication lagged in the first set – several routine serves from St. Michael’s hit the floor untouched and passing was suspect throughout – but Martinez helped right the ship toward the end of the opening set.

  • 'Toppers go down 3-1 to Elks Tuesday

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper volleyball team had some chances through the second and third sets of Tuesday’s match against the Pojoaque Valley Elks, but the Elks held on en route to a solid win.
    Pojoaque Valley, the four-time defending Class 3A champion, earned a tough 3-1 victory over Los Alamos at Ben Lujan Gymnasium in Jacona.
    Los Alamos, which won the first set, trailed big in the early part of sets two and three but came back to make things interesting. In the second set, Pojoaque Valley jumped out to an early 7-1 lead but Los Alamos tied the score at 16-all before the Elks pulled away.
    It was much the same in the third set, with the Elks going up 10-2 but the Hilltoppers rallying back to 10-11 behind the serving of Allyssa Tedder.
    Pojoaque Valley would win the match 26-28, 25-20, 27-25, 25-15.
    Tuesday’s outing was the second time this season the Hilltoppers (3-2) have faced a defending state champion and the second time it would lose to a defending state champion. The Hilltoppers opened their 2013 campaign with a 3-1 loss on the road at St. Pius X.
    Pojoaque Valley (2-1) also lost to St. Pius last week, falling 3-2 in Albuquerque.

  • LA comes back to top St. Michael's

    It was a struggle for the Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team Tuesday night playing under a nonstop rain shower.

    It got worse early in the second half when the Hilltoppers fell behind.

    However, Los Alamos managed to power through both the rain and the St. Michael’s Horsemen to pick up a second consecutive victory over a quality opponent. Los Alamos made two of its 10 corner kick chances count to upend the Horsemen 2-1 at Sullivan Field.

    Los Alamos dominated possession against St. Mike’s, but the rain-soaked field made passing difficult and Los Alamos had trouble getting a handle on the ball when the offense made its runs.

    “It was really hard to keep good touch on the ball,” said Los Alamos forward Collin Stone. “It’s a really big change of pace when the ball bounces around quickly.”

    Despite the adjustments Los Alamos had to make – the Hilltoppers did a better job with passing control in the second half – it still got off 7 shots in the first half to none for St. Mike’s. St. Mike’s never had anything resembling a sustained attack except in the final 10 minutes of the game.

    However, on its only shot up to that point, the Horsemen (2-2) found the net.

  • LA teams head to Academy Invite Thursday

     The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys and girls soccer teams will see some tough competition throughout the three-day long Albuquerque Academy Invitational.

    The Academy Invitational is scheduled from Thursday through Saturday and is hosted by Academy’s Chargers, one of the most well-respected programs in Class 4A.

    The Chargers and the Hilltoppers aren’t the only top teams scheduled to compete this weekend, however.

    Los Alamos’ boys will play at 2:30 p.m. against the Las Cruces Bulldawgs. Las Cruces is a perfect 5-0 on the season, including winning the Las Cruces Public Schools’ tournament late last month.

    However, the Bulldawgs haven’t played since topping Oñate 3-2 in that round robin tournament Aug. 31.

    So far, the Bulldawgs have shown a balanced scoring attack. Sweeper Nate Thompson and Kiki Najaera, just a sophomore, both have 2 goals on the season.

    For Los Alamos’ girls, they will face a familiar foe. Los Alamos will take on Farmington, which beat the Hilltoppers 2-0 in the season opener Aug. 24. Although the final score was respectable, Farmington controlled that game the entire way.

  • 'Toppers win 3 at Moriarty, face Pojoaque Valley tonight

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper volleyball team broke into the win column last weekend with three wins in the silver bracket of the Moriarty Pinto Invitational.
    Los Alamos picked up three straight wins at the Pinto tournament Friday and Saturday, including topping the host Pintos and District 2-4A rival Bernalillo to earn the bracket victory.
    The Hilltoppers won’t have much time to celebrate their first three wins of the season, however, as they will take on the Pojoaque Valley Elks tonight in Jacona.
    At the Pinto Invitational, Los Alamos couldn’t grab one of the top two spots in pool play Friday morning and went into the silver bracket.
    But Los Alamos (3-1) bounced back to top Moriarty 3-2 Friday night. The sets were tight, with the Hilltoppers falling in set two 27-25 before rebounding in the third set to win 25-23.
    Los Alamos, which won the first set handily over Moriarty, dropped the fourth set 25-18, but won the decisive final set 15-6.
    In the bracket semifinals, the Hilltoppers got a decisive 3-0 win over the Estancia Bears, 25-11, 25-15, 25-14, before advancing to play Bernalillo.

  • Toppers double-up Sartans on the road

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys soccer team drubbed one of its most bitter rivals on the road Friday afternoon.

    Los Alamos scored four goals, two in each half, before the St. Pius X Sartans got on the board at Ben Rios Field. The Sartans halved the lead late in the game, scoring two goals within about a minute of each other, but would get no closer as Los Alamos prevailed 4-2.

    It was the second win in a row by the Hilltoppers over the Sartans and their third win over the Sartans since the 2010 playoffs.

    Forward Collin Stone had a hat trick in Friday’s contest and was also credited with an assist in a huge offensive showing for him and Los Alamos.

    Interestingly, Los Alamos only got off eight shots in the contest — the Sartans had 20 shots — but made half of those shots count.

    Stone doubled his point total for the season, from 7 to 14, with his performance against the Sartans.

    Los Alamos head coach Evan Gartz said it was the team’s back third that set it up with the scoring chances.

    “Our defense looked a lot better,” he said. “We’re still working on it a little bit, but we were solid. They had a lot of attacks. They ruled possession of the game but we were organized in the back. They had a lot of shots, but not a lot of good looks.”

  • On Schedule 09-08-13

    Football: Los Alamos at St. Michael’s, JV, 4 p.m.

    Boys soccer: Hope Christian at Los Alamos, JV, 4 p.m.

    Volleyball: Santa Fe Indian School at LAMS, seventh grade, 4 p.m.; eighth grade, 5 p.m.

    Boys soccer: St. Michael’s at Los Alamos, JV, 4 p.m.; varsity, 6 p.m.

    Volleyball: Los Alamos at Pojoaque Valley, C team 4 p.m.; JV, 5 p.m.; varsity, 6:30 p.m.; LAMS at Española, seventh grade, 4 p.m.; eighth grade, 5 p.m.

    Volleyball: St. Michael’s at Los Alamos, C team, 4 p.m.; JV, 5 p.m.; varsity, 6 p.m.

    Boys soccer: Los Alamos vs. Las Cruces at Academy Invite, 2:30 p.m.

    Girls soccer: Los Alamos vs. Farmington at Academy Invite, 4:30 p.m.

    Football: LAMS at Pojoaque, 4 p.m.

    Boys soccer: Los Alamos at Academy Invite, varsity, TBA.

    Girls soccer: Los Alamos at Academy Invite, varsity, TBA.

    Football: St. Pius X at Los Alamos, varsity, 7 p.m.

    Cross country: Los Alamos at West Mesa Invite, boys and girls C team/JV/varsity, 9 a.m.; LAMS at ATC Invite, 9 a.m.

    Boys soccer: Los Alamos at Academy Invite, varsity, TBA; Los Alamos at Taos, JV, noon.

  • Pedicini wins at the Pace Race

    Georgia Pedicini was the top predictor in last week’s Atomic City Roadrunners’ Pace Race.
    Last week’s Pace Race was held in Pajarito Acres.
    In all, 18 people took part.
    The next Pace Race is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday starting near the Pajarito Mountain ski lodge.
    In last week’s race, runners could choose the number of 1-mile paved loops they wanted to do, provided they could finish in 45 minutes or less. Most contestants opted to do 1 or 3 miles, the standard Pace Race distances.
    Pedicini, who actually ran 2 miles, was just 11 seconds off her predicted finish time. Laura McClellan was 13 seconds off her predicted time running 3 miles.
    The fastest finishers for each distance included Jackie Marr for 1 mile (13:20, Bob Weeks for 2 miles (27:44), McClellan for 3 miles (23:28), Nikol Strother for 4 miles (30:21), Roxana Candia for 5 miles (41:50) and Ted Romero for 6 miles (42:00).

  • LA girls are third in season-opening XC race

     The Los Alamos Hilltopper girls cross country team finished in third place in its season-opening meet Saturday.

    Los Alamos’ teams competed in the University of New Mexico Invitational, a combined prep and college meet, Saturday in Albuquerque. It’s one of the biggest meets in the state and 25 girls and boys teams took part.

    Hilltopper Maddy Foley finished in the top 10 individually with a time of 19 minutes, 48 seconds, to help Los Alamos net 95 team points and put it third place. Eldorado was the girls team winner with 54 points and Los Alamos’ top contender in Class 4A, Albuquerque Academy, was second with 68 points.

    On the boys side, the Hilltoppers were seventh overall with 188 points.