Scape Australian Volleyball Super League Round 3 Preview

Scape Australian Volleyball Super League Round 3 Preview

The Scape Australian Volleyball Super League hits the halfway point of the home-or-away rounds this weekend with some intriguing match-ups ahead.

The women’s competition may start to open up more this week given every side comes into the round with an identical win-loss record, making set victories all the more important.

If form is any guide, the men’s competition may start to split up a bit, however results can be unpredictable and establishing a position in the top four is paramount.

In round three, all matches on Saturday will be available via SBS On Demand with Canberra Heat hosting NSW Phoenix before Perth Steel play their final home game against Melbourne Vipers.

There is also Sunday afternoon action for the first time this season when Adelaide Storm host their opening home game of 2023 against the Pirates, with the men’s and women’s matches both available on Cluch TV.


Canberra Heat v NSW Phoenix
Lyneham Hockey Centre ACT
4:30pm AEST (Women followed by Men)
SBS On Demand

Canberra Heat’s women will be looking to make a move up the table when they host NSW Phoenix on Saturday.

All teams in the women’s competition have one win and one loss, however sets won and bonus points see the Phoenix currently in a semi-final position while the Heat are four points behind at the bottom of the ladder.

Canberra were dominant in both of their encounters with NSW last year, winning six out of seven sets on the way to two wins. The Heat will be buoyed by their gritty win at home against Melbourne last weekend, while the Phoenix will be hoping to bounce back from only winning one set from the Storm last weekend.

These are the only two women’s teams in the competition which missed out on semi-final action in 2022 and victory on Saturday will set up the back-end of either side’s campaign.

Like the women’s team, the Canberra Heat men’s team dropped just one set in two matches against NSW Phoenix last year in a season which saw them take out the Australian Volleyball League.

After a commanding round one win, the Heat were brought back to earth last week when they couldn’t capitalise on a 2-1 lead in a tight loss to Melbourne.

The Phoenix are one of two teams without a win after the opening two rounds and their task does not get any easier against the defending champions.

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Perth Steel v Melbourne Vipers
Warwick Stadium, Perth WA
5:45pm AWST / 7:45pm AEST (Men followed by Women)
SBS On Demand

Melbourne Vipers sit just two competition points from the top of the Scape Australian Volleyball Super League women’s ladder and will be hoping to edge closer to the Queensland Pirates when they travel to Warwick Stadium to take on Perth Steel.

The Vipers scored two sets from Canberra in their round two loss which followed a 4:1 victory in week one over Adelaide.

Last year these two teams met in the opening round when the Vipers reeled off two 3:0 wins, however Perth were able to turn around their fortunes to make a run which ultimately culminated in a narrow loss in the final.

In the men’s competition, Perth will be looking to make it three-from-three in their third straight match at home, and if history is anything to go by they are in a good position to do so.

The Steel took back-to-back victories over Melbourne in 2022, setting up a successful campaign which eventually earned them a bronze medal.

Following victories over NSW and Canberra in the first two weeks of the competition, Steel captain Daniel Piggott believes if his side sticks to their game plan then they can get the job done.

“I think it was pretty clear that if we play our brand of volleyball good things happen for us,” he said. “So we’re going to try and replicate that and hopefully get another win.”

The Vipers will draw confidence they can win from any position after last weekend, coming from 1:0 and 2:1 down to eventually score a victory in Canberra which lifted them to fourth place on the ladder.

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Adelaide Storm v Queensland Pirates
The Lights Community & Sports Centre, Lightsview SA
1:30pm ACST / 2:00pm AEST (Men followed by Women)
Cluch TV

Adelaide get their first opportunity to play on home turf this weekend when the Storm host Queensland Pirates.

After a 4:1 loss in the opening round, the Women’s Storm were a dominant force in Sydney last weekend, with only the last point of the match separating them from a five-set win.

They will have their work cut out for them, though, taking on the defending champions who have dropped just three sets in their opening two matches.

“We’re looking forward to not travelling and also having a home crowd, and having our family and friends there which is always nice to play in front of them, so it will be exciting,” said Adelaide’s Rebecca Reeve in Sydney last week.

The Pirates men will need to put the form guide aside when they take to the court on Sunday.

The Storm have dropped just one set in the opening two weeks having earned 19 out of a possible 22 competition points to be in first place.

The Pirates however have managed to win just one set in each of their matches against Perth and Canberra, and need to hit full stride if they are to make a run to the semi-finals.

Storm opposite Regan Fathers said after last week’s win that the team had bonded well through their interstate trips but were looking forward to playing at home.

“We’ll use what we’ve built on over the last two away rounds,” he said. “It’s tough being on the road, tough coming to play teams in their own gym.

“So we’ll use what we’ve built as a team on the road and apply that at home, and hopefully we can get three more wins as we go along.”

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