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T-Birds come back late to beat Coyotes; win pushes them higher in standings

Rene Gomez

Mesa T-Birds volleyball won a five set match 3-2 over the Chandler-Gilbert Coyotes Oct. 4 at Theo J. Heap Gymnasium.

The win helped the T-Birds move up to 10th in the conference (2-8) with an overall record of 4-11.

It was also the second win at home for Mesa, where two of their last six games are scheduled for the regular season.

“It feels amazing; so great to get our second win and hopefully we’re going to continue to win and it’s amazing beating a team that has strong players and coming out with a win,” said freshman libero Lexi Noriega.

The T-Birds did not start the first set well, finding themselves down 9-3 very early, but did take a lead near the end of that set and closed it out with a 25-23 finish.

That momentum appeared to carry over to the second set when they had a 6-2 lead to open, yet the Coyotes fought back and did not look back taking the second set 25-22.

In the third set, the T-Birds had their backs against the wall for the entire set and could not establish any consistency losing 25-17.

Mesa was staring down another loss to the Coyotes, but resisted in a back-and-forth fourth set where there were many lead changes.

“We were thinking stay calm, don’t look at the score, just focus on the pass, and just put the ball down,” said Noriega.

The fourth set ended up with the teams having to play passed 25 where the T-Birds were able to close it out 29-27 and have a final fifth set to decide the winner.

That fifth set is when the T-Birds mustered up that last push to get a victory and started out 3-0 before the Coyotes took a timeout.

The fifth set became even more tense when both teams were tied at 10 coming down to the wire.

The T-Birds kept their composure, anticipated victory, and managed to shut the door on the Coyotes 15-10 (the fifth set is played to 15).

“We were all just talking about ‘remember the next play,’ it doesn’t matter if they get one point, and I think we just stayed together more tonight and worked on just forgetting about the last play and got the next point,” said Elkins.

Sophomore middle hitter Ryanne Willis led all players with 13 kills, sophomore outside hitter Ashlie Mills had 12, and sophomore outside hitter Lindsay Logan finished with eight.

Noriega added 11 digs, as well as Logan, and sophomore setter Natalie Elkins contributed eight to go with her 37 assists.

The T-Birds next volleyball match at Theo J. Heap Gymnasium will be Friday Oct. 25 versus the Scottsdale Artichokes at 7 p.m.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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