SPARTA, NJ -The Sparta High School volleyball team advances in the state tournament having beaten Vernon in two games 25-17 and 25-16 on Tuesday afternoon in their home gym.  In front of a supportive Halloween crowd, the 12-seed Spartans put together strong serving and long volleys to come out on top of the 20-seed Vikings.

The second game started slow for Sparta.  They were not able to put together three touches against Vernon's serves.  A time out let them regroup and return to the court ready to win.

"We needed to pick it up and I knew I could do it with my serve," Erin Scott said. 

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Scott had 13 points on her serves for Sparta. Michele Scaglione had started it off with a seven point run from the service line.

Paige Smith kept Vernon guessing at the net.  She lulled them with a soft touch return to Vernon's center court then put it away with a hard hit ball to their back court.

"I think they have a lot of heart and fight," Coach Derek Hall said.  "They have the ability to beat anyone on any given night."

The girls will play the next round on Thursday against fifth seed Tenafly. 

Hall said the team "needs to work on passing, setting up on offense and being in the right position to make plays," to get ready for Thursday's game.

Sparta has a season record of 17-9.