AVL Round 4 preview – Will they remain undefeated?
The AVL season reaches its halfway mark this weekend with round-4 matches being played in Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania, with the QLD Pirates having a bye. Two teams remain undefeated, one in each division – will they be able to maintain their perfect record through another weekend? Follow the live streams to find out – exclusively on Cluch TV.
WA Steel v NSW Phoenix
With the men’s league standings split in two, the WA Steel will try to stay in touch with the leaders as they host a still winless NSW Phoenix. Both teams come from tough weekends – the Steel went down twice in Queensland, but not without a fight. The Phoenix lost to Adelaide, but that might speak more about the power of the Storm than anything else.
In the women’s league, the Steel have a 2-point lead on the Phoenix, but NSW has a better record, comparatively. It should be a close match-up – the Steel will be looking for the first win before their public, but it won’t come easy against the Phoenix.
With over twenty new recruits across the men and women’s team and a number of under-19 players in the rotations, read more about the new-look Steel franchise.
Adelaide Storm v Canberra Heat
Surely the men’s Heat must be hoping that the first home game of the season might distract the Storm. So far Adelaide has played six matches on the road and won them all, giving up only three sets in the process. If they get an additional boost from the home crowd, it might be a tough weekend even for the fierce ACT team.
On paper, the matches between the Storm and Heat women’s team should be closer. Canberra is looking to get some momentum going after sweeping the Tasmanian Echidnas last weekend, but the Storm were solid in Sydney, showing moments of brilliance and a strong service game. Fans in Adelaide are looking forward to their teams’ home debut and if it goes down to the wire, crowd support might make a difference.
Tasmania Echidnas v Melbourne Vipers
Tasmanian fans had much to celebrate last weekend as their men’s team took home a club-defining win from the nation’s capital, their first in the AVL. Enthusiasm is high in the Echidnas’ camp so the Vipers better be ready. Melbourne had a week to regroup after a tough start and will travel to Tasmania with ambition to score a win on the road – their first of the season.
On the women’s side, the Vipers are ready to get back to business after the bye week. The Tasmanian team has plenty of young talent to draw from, but winning against the league’s leaders – still undefeated – is going to be a tough ask.