Scape Australian Volleyball Super League Round 4 Preview
The penultimate round of the Scape Australian Volleyball Super League sees every team still in finals contention, however that could change by the time the weekend is through.
This weekend features a replay of last year’s men’s final, two teams vying for their first win of the season and a host of matches which have the potential to shake-up the finals outlook.
All matches will be streamed live via SBS On Demand or Cluch TV.
SATURDAY 2 SEPTEMBER
Adelaide Storm v Canberra Heat
The Lights Community & Sports Centre, Lightsview SA
5:00pm ACST / 5:30pm AEST (Women followed by Men)
Adelaide Storm and Canberra Heat’s women’s teams sit on the edge of the top four, with a victory on Saturday moving one team a step closer to cementing a finals berth.
Both teams have enjoyed strong victories over NSW this year, however the Storm managed to get much closer to ladder leading Queensland in their clash last week.
In their 2022 clashes, the Storm went two-from-two en route to a fourth place finish in the competition. Canberra outside hitter Holly Mallet has been one to watch this year, the only player in the women’s competition to twice feature in the Scape Team of the Week.
The men’s match in Adelaide presents the much-anticipated rematch of the 2022 Australian Volleyball League Final.
The defending champions from Canberra have had one-slip up so far this year against Melbourne to sit third on the competition ladder, however Adelaide remain undefeated after three rounds.
The Heat’s win in the final last year turned the table on two 3:1 wins for the storm in their regular season clashes.
This match is packed with players with international experience, with Canberra setter Nic Borgeaud and Adelaide Olympian Nathan Roberts both scoring their second Scape Team of the Week nominations in round three.
Melbourne Vipers v Queensland Pirates
State Volleyball Centre, Dandenong VIC
6:30pm AEST (Women followed by Men)
SBS On Demand
Queensland Pirates will be looking to maintain top spot on the women’s competition ladder when they play the first of two matches this week in Dandenong.
The Pirates knocked the Melbourne Vipers out of the race to the title last year with a 3:1 semi-final victory a week after two five-set wins in the final round of the competition.
The Vipers currently sit fifth on the competition ladder but are well within finals contention, just three points adrift of second place.
In the men’s competition,the Vipers and Pirates face a must-win match this Saturday.
The Vipers sit in fourth place, three points ahead of the Pirates but well adrift of the top three. A win for the home side would go a long way to securing a semi-final position, however if Queensland can secure their first victory of the year, they could leapfrog Melbourne into the top four.
In last year’s clashes, the Vipers pushed Queensland to four sets in both their clashes however the Pirates were victorious on both occasions.
Veteran Paul Sanderson has been one of Melbourne’s best this year, earning two selections in the Scape Team of the Week despite being on the losing team on both occasions.
SUNDAY 3 SEPTEMBER
Queensland Pirates v NSW Phoenix
Iona College, Lindum QLD
3:30pm AEST (Men followed by Women)
Queensland and NSW will renew their traditional rivalry in a Father’s Day showdown at Iona College on Sunday.
The matches will be the Pirates’ final regular season games this season.
Queensland remain on track to defend their 2022 Women’s Australian Volleyball League crown, leading the competition table with two wins from three matches. NSW are propping up the other end of the ladder, but remain in finals contention in what is proving to be a closely-fought competition.
Ironically, NSW won both matches against Queensland in 2022 but missed out on the finals while the Pirates went on to take the title.
Gunning for a fifth straight men’s title last year, the Pirates collected solid round two wins against NSW.
This is a must-win game for the Phoenix who have won just two sets this season, and depending on Queensland’s result against Melbourne on Saturday, their season could also be on the line on Sunday.