Nadia Gallegos spike kills the ball over Mercedes Gonzales in the second set. Gallegos had 10 spikes/kills for the night – the most for both teams. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Brianna Nieto playing in the Libero position digs a serve to put the ball into play in the second set. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
By MIKE COTE
Los Alamos Daily Post
In its District 2-4A opener, the Los Alamos Hilltopper volleyball team was able to pull away in both the second and third sets over the Española Valley Sundevils and earn a sweep.
The Hilltoppers’ offensive firepower proved too much for the Sundevils down the stretch, as they took Tuesday’s match 25-14, 25-10, 25-21 at Griffith Gymnasium.
With Española Valley trying to keep its chances alive in the third set, Los Alamos’ top weapon, middle hitter Nadia Gallegos, got hot at the net, putting down three late spike kill chances to put things away.
Gallegos finished the match with 10 spike kills to lead all hitters, while Callie Goda had 8 spike kills and Solenne Thelliez finished with 6 spike kills, 4 of those coming in the second set.
Los Alamos (10-5), which has been hot of late but lost its previous outing at Albuquerque Academy, dominated the first set. The Sundevils (8-7) struggled to get on track and even their defense, the heart of the team, struggled early.
The Sundevils appeared to right the ship at the start of the second set, going up 5-2 early before Hilltopper coach Joe Palmer called a time out.
Following Palmer’s time out, the Hilltoppers looked like a completely different team, and won 23 of the next 28 points to take the second set going away, as well.
But Española Valley led a good portion of the third set, led by its defense and a nice run at the service line by eighth grader Olivia Suazo, who put her team up 17-16 heading into the final stretch.
Española Valley’s outside hitter Roxanne DeLeon led her team with 6 spike kills. Beyond DeLeon, however, the Sundevils’ offense never got on track.
Also for Los Alamos, Michelle Macias had a solid outing against the smaller Sundevil front line, finishing with 4 spike kills and a pair of tip kills.
Los Alamos has the rest of the week off before its next district contest at Taos. Taos lost at home Tuesday 3-1 to district favorite Pojoaque Valley.
Nadia Gallegos and Michelle Macias block a spike attempt by Daphne Talamantes in the second set. Macias had 4 spike kills and a pair of tip kills. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Callie Goda spikes the ball over Mercedes Gonzales and Joni Martinez in the second set. Goda is credited with 8 spike kills. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Angelina Passalacqua and Solenne Thelliez dig a low ball under the net in the third set. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com
Angelina Passalacque serves up the ball in the third set. Photo by John McHale/ladailypost.com