Mesa, AZ - What a way to start the Region I ACCAC DII tournament as the #1 seed (12) Mesa Thunderbirds took down the #4 seed Glendale Gauchos in five sets, 25-17, 16-25, 23-25, 25-22, 15-13.
The match didn't end in typical fashion. Glendale tied the fifth set at 14 and Mesa head coach Megan Taylor called a timeout. During the timeout, it was determined by the floor official that Glendale had been out of rotation, resulting in forfeiting the point to Mesa. Instead of being tied 14-14, Mesa notched the final point at 15. Definitely something you won't see everyday.
As far as the match as a whole, it was a case of Jekyll and Hyde from both teams. Mesa took control of set one, taking a 20-13 lead and winning the set, 25-17. Then it was Glendale's turn, as they controlled set two, taking an 18-9 advantage and winning the set at 25-16.
Set three was the same for Glendale, as they held to a steady four point advantage throughout the set. Mesa however showed a bit of life towards the end of the set, tying it up at 23. The Gauchos though took the final two points and won 25-23, going up two sets to one.
The beginning of set four made Mesa look like a complete other team, as Glendale jumped out to a 7-0 lead. The Gauchos maintain a steady distance till Mesa called a timeout at 14-5. From that point, the T-Birds chipped away at the lead, outscoring Glendale 10-2 to get the score to 16-15 Gauchos. It was then Glendale who scored four of the next five points to make it a 20-16 score.
But back came those T-Birds, scoring six of the next seven points to tie it at 22. Not only did Mesa score six out of seven points to tie it but they finished off the final three points of the set to win 25-22.
Mesa looked poised to take set five without a fuss, jumping out to a 5-0 lead and having an 8-3 advantage at the switch. Glendale battled right back into things, eventually tying the set at 12. After exchanging a few points and the set tied at 14, it was the out of rotation violation that settled the victory for the T-Birds, 15-13.
With the victory, Mesa continues into the winners bracket and will play the Scottsdale Artichokes on Friday afternoon at 2 pm. The Artichokes defeated the South Mountain Cougars in four sets to begin tournament play Thursday afternoon. The Gauchos and Cougars will play the first match Friday morning at 11 am at Theo Heap Gym. The winner of Glendale and South Mountain will advance to play the 7 pm match against the loser of the 2 pm Mesa-Scottsdale match.
Game 3: #3 South Mountain vs #4 Glendale - 11 am
Game 4: #2 Scottsdale vs #1 Mesa - 2 pm
Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs Loser Game 4 - 7 pm
Game 6: Winner Game 4 vs Winner Game 5 - 4 pm
Game 7: IF NECESSARY