Mesa, AZ - The #12 (1) Mesa Thunderbirds swept through the #10 (2) Scottsdale Artichokes in three sets, 29-27, 25-14, 26-24.
The T-Birds made things interesting at times but will now play for their first Region I Tournament Championship in program history.
In the first set, each team exchanged points throughout the set until Mesa pulled away for a 23-20 lead. The Artichokes closed that lead and tied the set at 24. After tying through points 25, 26 and 27, Mesa scored the final two points to win, 29-27.
Mesa solely controlled set two, quickly jumping out to a 7-1 advantage while maintaining that lead throughout. The T-Birds won the second set, 25-14.
In set three, Scottsdale showed some life and put Mesa on the ropes. Mesa trailed 15-20 but after a T-Bird timeout, Mesa scored the first two points forcing an Artichoke timeout. Mesa then scored the next three points to make the score 21-20 in favor of Scottsdale but it forced another Artichoke timeout. The T-Birds again scored the first point after the timeout and tied the set at 21. After ties at points 22 and 24, Mesa scored the final two points of the set and punched their ticket to the Region I ACCAC DII championship match.
With the loss, Scottsdale will now have to play South Mountain tonight at 7 pm. The winner of that match will continue on to play Mesa in the championship match Saturday afternoon at 4 pm.