Adelaide and Perth to face-off in men’s title decider

Adelaide and Perth to face-off in men’s title decider

Adelaide Storm and Perth Steel played out one of the most entertaining matches of the season last week and they are set to meet again on Sunday with the winner walking away with the 2023 Scape Australian Volleyball Super League men’s title.

Both sides showed signs of their best form on their way to straight sets victories, which leaves Melbourne and Canberra fighting out for bronze.

Adelaide Storm d Canberra Heat 3:0 (18-10, 21-19, 18-10)

Adelaide Storm had their undefeated record blunted last week at home but came out determined to justify their position on top of the table in a strong semi-final win over Canberra Heat.

Striving to go one better than 2022 when they finished runner-up in the Australian Volleyball League, the Storm opened the first set of the semi-final in ruthless form, taking it 18-10 in just 13 minutes.

Then second set was a tighter affair, however the Heat went close to taking it, saving three set points before the Storm were able to close it out 21-19.

Having jumped out to a 2:0 lead, Adelaide put the foot to the floor, taking the third set 18-10 to spring to the win in under 45 minutes.

Adelaide’s victory, which ended Canberra’s hopes of back-to-back titles, was all the more impressive given they only employed of their three available powerplays.

Storm captain Nathan Roberts was impressed with his team’s ability to stay composed despite the occasion, sticking to the game plan to put themselves in with a golden chance of taking the title.

“The boys stayed disciplined and that’s what we’ve talked about a lot because we know we have a lot of experience, we know we’ve got a lot of depth in the squad and if we stay disciplined throughout the match we know we’re going to be a good team or hard to beat,” he said.

Roberts knows this side will have their work cut out for them in Sunday’s decider, taking on a Steel side which edged them last weekend.

“Perth got us 3:2 last week at home so they’re obviously a solid team so it’s going to be a really interesting match, but the standard’s good and so it’s going to be bloody tough,” he said.

Perth Steel v Melbourne Vipers 3:0 (18-15, 18-15, 19-17)

Perth Steel have scored their sixth victory from as many matches this season to secure their place in the Scape Australian Volleyball Super League Final.

In an ultra-competitive match, the Steel’s players with international experience stood up when it counted most to come away with a straight sets win.

The Vipers stayed in touch in each of the opening two sets, but Perth took them both 18-15 and stood on the verge of victory.

However Melbourne wouldn’t go down fighting and after using a powerplay were up 13-9 in the third. The Steel used theirs wisely too and the two teams were neck-and-neck as they approached 18 points.

At 16-all, Melbourne manufactured a set point however Perth rallied hard, reeling off three straight points to win 3:0.

Perth captain Daniel Piggott was happy with how his team handled the pressure, taking their season at least one step further having finished third in 2022.

“They played really well,” said Piggott. “We were really nervous before the game but we stuck strong.”

While their victory over Adelaide last weekend may give Perth the upper hand going into the final, the closeness of that match augers for a competitive final on Sunday.

“We’re ready to go – we want to get this gold,” said Piggott. “It’s going to be close, there’s no doubting that.

“They’ve got some veterans, we respect them a lot, but as I said, we really want to win the gold.”

Sunday 17 September – Red Energy Arena, Bendigo VIC

Third place playoff

Melbourne Vipers v Canberra Heat

Previous meeting: Rd 2 – Vipers d Heat 3:2 (13-18, 18-10, 16-18, 18-9, 18-14)


Adelaide Storm v Perth Steel
Previous meeting: Rd 5 – Steel d Storm 3:2 (15-18, 18-17, 18-14, 18-16, 13-18)

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