Mesa, AZ - In a playoff like atmosphere, both the #18 (DII) Mesa Thunderbirds and (DI) Yavapai Roughriders battle to the end and then some Friday night at Theo Heap Gym. After it was all said and done however, the Roughriders walked away as the five set victors. Set scores went as followed: 25-18, 25-22, 12-25, 23-25, 15-17.
The T-Birds powered out of the gate with passion and tenacity, quickly taking the first set 25-18. Set two saw the same fire, as Mesa defeated Yavapai in set two, 25-22, with excellent offensive exacution and solid defense.
Yavapai however refused to surrender. They took full control of set three and dominated with a 25-12 set win.
Set four then featured both teams that had found its groove. Long rallies, tough defense and two teams refusing the yield gave the crowd what it had paid to see. The Roughriders however took set four by two, 25-23.
In the final set, Mesa jumped ahead quickly, scoring the first three points of the set. After a Roughrider timeout, Yavapai rallied back, taking the 8-6 advantage at the turn. A T-Bird rally had Yavapai on the ropes at 14-13, but a Mesa service error and a few other unlucky breaks helped Yavapai win the set and match, 17-15.
Mesa falls to 11-4 on the season and 4-2 in conference play. The T-Birds will be right back in action on Monday when they play Park University JV at Theo Heap Gym at 6 pm.