Mesa, AZ - The energy was that of a playoff match Friday night as the #13 Mesa Thunderbirds defeated the Eastern Arizona Gila Monsters in five sets, 28-26, 25-13, 15-25, 15-25, 15-10.
The crowd at Theo Heap Gym received its money's worth in entertainment, as set one showcased how tough each team has been playing of late. It took Mesa a few extra points but they came away with a set one win, 28-26.
Set two saw the T-Birds in full control as they dominated throughout the set. Eastern Arizona didn't look like the same team that had played set one. Mesa easily went up on the Gila Monsters, 2-0.
But like a magic trick, set three and four saw Eastern turn into the dominate team while Mesa looked confused and frustrated. The Gila Monsters rattled off two straight 25-15 wins to tie the match at two sets a piece.
In the fifth set, Mesa trailed 7-5 but the T-Birds were able to rattle off the next three points to make it 8-7 at the switch. The T-Birds finished the match on a 7-3 run, taking the match.
This was the 16th victory of the season for the T-Birds, as they move to 7-4 in conference play. Mesa will play at home twice next week, beginning with #9 South Mountain on Wednesday night and then with Phoenix College on Friday night, each match beginning at 7 pm.