The Simley High School volleyball team took its first step toward the state tournament by beating tenth-seeded Academy of Holy Angels Tuesday night.
As the higher seed in the 3AAA region (#7), the Spartans got an immediate advantage by getting to play Tuesday night's match at home.
Simley appeared to be in the driver's seat from the moment the match began.
Outside hitters Haley Stafford and Roda Mena dominated the Holy Angels blockers, leading the Spartans to a 25-10 win in the first game followed by a 25-16 second game victory.
The third game looked as though it might get away from the Spartans after the Stars rolled to an early 4-1 lead. But the lead quickly vanished courtesy of an 11-1 run which catapulted the Spartans to a 12-5 lead.
The Spartans never faltered after that.
A 12-6 run to finish the third game gave them a 25-11 win and allowed them to put away the match 3-0.
The Spartans' road to the state tournament continues Thursday night when they play at second-seeded Eagan Thursday night at 7 p.m.
A full photo gallery of Tuesday night's match will be published on Patch on Wednesday.