Multiple Teams · Conquerors Lose Heartbreaker to Walnut

By Will Hernandez ~ SGV Tribune Correspondent

For the last five years, the Los Altos girls volleyball team has had a target on its back, as opponents have tried to topple the Conquerors. who have won the Hacienda League title five years in a row.

Walnut could become the first team to win the league title in five seasons after defeating Los Altos, 13-25, 25-17, 18-25, 25-19, 15-13, in a league match Tuesday.

“This was kind of like the league championship was on the line, because in the first round us, Diamond Ranch and Walnut were all tied at 4-1,” Los Altos assistant coach Tim Fink said. “We beat Walnut the first time but lost to Diamond Ranch. Starting the second round here, Walnut was a half game up so now we have to rely on Diamond Ranch beating them and us beating Diamond Ranch.”

The Conquerors (10-9, 4-2) relied on setter Stephanie Ramos to carry the team on different parts of the court. The junior certainly delivered, recording 11 kills, 18 assists, four aces and six digs.

With Los Altos facing a tough team like the Walnut, the coaching staff asked Ramos to do something she’s not expected to do.

“We asked her to do a little more outside hitting tonight,” Fink said. “She was tasked with a little more pressure along with serving, besides playing defense and besides setting. We wanted her to get a few more kills tonight and she did that.”

Sophomore outside hitter Jada Smith had nine kills and senior libero Bailey Chavez chipped in with 17 digs and eight aces for the Conquerors.