Scottsdale, AZ - The #9 Mesa Thunderbirds looked loose and confident in the first two sets of the match against Scottsdale Friday night. The last three sets looked almost opposite as the Artichokes beat the T-Birds in five sets, 25-21, 25-20, 19-25, 20-25, 12-15.
In set one, down 9-11, Mesa's Paige Greenly helped the T-Birds grab the lead with two straight service aces which helped Mesa go on a 6-1 rally to take a 15-12 lead. The Artichokes then put together a 5-1 rally of their own, retaking the lead, 16-17. Five ties later put each team at 21 but it was the T-Birds that would score the last four points of the set to win, 25-21.
Set two belong to the T-Birds, taking a 9-4 advantage early and maintaining that five point margin throughout to get the 25-20 set two win.
Throughout the first two sets, the T-Birds played with a confidence and a swagger. They kept rallies alive as players were diving all over the floor to save point. The mojo switch teams for the last three sets of the night however.
Scottsdale took a 7-3 lead in set three which they held throughout the set, getting up as much as 20-13 at one point. The Chokes took the set, 25-19.
In set four, each team stayed close till the 10 point mark when the Artichokes pulled away, taking a 19-13 advantage while finishing the set with a 25-20 win.
The fifth set belonged to Scottsdale as they held an 8-2 lead at the switch and even though the T-Birds cut the margin, the Artichokes won the set 15-12.
The T-Birds fall to 12-6 on the season and 5-3 in the ACCAC. Mesa's next three matches will be home affairs, starting with the Chandler-Gilbert Coyotes on Wednesday night then against South Mountain on Friday night, both those matches starting at 7 pm. The T-Birds will then host Highland Community College on Saturday afternoon at 3 pm.