By MIKE COTE
Los Alamos Daily Post
With just one match between it and possibly the biggest match of its season, Los Alamos’ volleyball team needed to make sure it avoided falling in a trap match Tuesday.
And Los Alamos did just that.
The Hilltopper volleyball team hosted the Moriarty Pintos in its second-to-last regular season contest Tuesday night, just three nights ahead of a meeting with the Pojoaque Valley Elkettes with a possible District 2-4A title on the line.
The Hilltoppers had little trouble with the Pintos in their first meeting Oct. 13, so overlooking the Pintos Tuesday wouldn’t have been difficult to do. Instead, the Hilltoppers earned a solid three-set victory at Griffith Gymnasium, 25-21, 25-8, 25-18.
That match was broadcast on the Los Alamos Daily Post’s YouTube channel.
Tuesday’s win over Moriarty (13-9 overall, 2-5 in district) wasn’t Los Alamos’ prettiest win of the season, but Los Alamos’ defense neutralized Moriarty’s best offensive player, Aneesa Chavez, holding her to just 4 spike kills in the match.
With Chavez held in check Tuesday, the Hilltoppers were able to counter from several different positions and with several different players getting involved.
Solenne Thelliez had a solid showing against Moriarty. Thelliez, who played well on defense at the net throughout, also sparked the Hilltopper offense in the third set, coming up with a big spike kill that helped put some distance between her team and the Pintos.
While no one put up huge numbers on offense – Michelle Macias led Los Alamos (16-6 overall, 6-1 in district) with 7 spike kills – the Hilltoppers had plenty of contributors, and setter Angelina Passalacqua distributed the ball well throughout.
Hannah Bergemann (5 spike kills) and Ashley Hammond (4 spike kills) also got into the act to help Los Alamos drop Moriarty.
With Tuesday’s win by the Hilltoppers, they will now travel to Jacona to take on the Pojoaque Valley Elkettes, the current front-runners in the district standings. Pojoaque Valley handed the Hilltoppers their only loss of the district season on Oct. 18 at Griffith Gymnasium.
Los Alamos has won four straight district titles but needs to beat Pojoaque Valley to force a tie atop the district standings. The Elkettes are unbeaten in district after a 3-0 victory Tuesday against Española Valley and have lost just twice the entire season.