Canberra ready to turn on the Heat as AVL returns after two-year hiatus
The long-awaited return of the Australian Volleyball League (AVL) is just a couple of days away with the first round of the premier Australian domestic volleyball competition scheduled for the 8-9 October.
After the unfortunate cancellation of the last two seasons, the 2022 men’s AVL tournament will start with a bang, pegging the 2019 finalists against each other for an intense double-header in Brisbane.
The Canberra Heat are ready to mount yet another challenge to the Queensland Pirates, a team who has been dominant in the recent past, winning six of the last seven AVL titles. The Heat were the only team able to break the Pirates’ stronghold on the league, claiming the men’s title in 2015, but were held off and only managed to finish as runner-ups both in 2018 and 2019.
The ACT representatives will travel to Queensland with a lot of enthusiasm after the two-year hiatus, rallying behind the comforting familiar leadership of captain Andre Borgeaud, a true Canberran veteran who has been wearing the Heat uniform since 2003.
The 2006 AVL MVP will lead a team that features an interesting mix of young talents and more experienced players. A number of junior athletes have joined the Heat during the off season and are now looking to develop alongside former national team players such as middle-blocker and 2012 Olympian Travis Passier, passer/hitter Sam Walker and middle blocker Simon Hone.
Current Volleyroos setter Nicolas Borgeaud and 19-year-old middle-blocker Jacob Baird will also be among the athletes to watch this season for the Heat.
The women’s team will start their campaign aiming to improve their result from 2019, when they managed to qualify for the final four, but fell short of a place on the podium conceding the bronze medal to the Adelaide Storm.
The Heat Women have a talented squad that continues to improve, with captain Georgia Niedermeier setting the tone for a roster that also includes five Australian Volleyball Academy members in its ranks.
After starting the season away from home in QLD, the longest-serving franchise in the AVL will host the WA Steel in the familiar setting of the Australian Institute of Sport Campus in Bruce.