The Canberra Heat men’s and women’s teams are just two games away from taking out the Volleyball Australia Super League, with both sides heading to the Gold Coast this weekend after Canberra Heat men secured second place, and the women came fourth.
The men will take on third-placed Melbourne Vipers in the semi-final later today, having beaten the Victorians twice over the final weekend of October.
The winner will then have the opportunity to contest the trophy against either the Queensland Pirates, who are undefeated this season, or UTSSU from Sydney tomorrow.
“The men’s team has trained and played all season for this weekend and we are ready! We know if we play our game, we can beat Melbourne Vipers in the Semi-Final,” men’s coach Les Young said.
“We won’t underestimate them with Rio Olympian Jose Martinez and former Heat player Martin Kaufer in their line-up, but having two wins behind us and great preparation for the last few weeks, we remain confident.
“We know it is going to be a hard game, but our strength is in our ability to be mentally and physically strong and we deliver under pressure.”
The Heat will be the underdogs if they happen to come up against the undefeated Pirates’ on their home turf, but Young says the team is looking strong.
“We know we are the underdogs, particularly given the Pirates’ home ground advantage of Queensland finals, but the men’s team is looking to bring home gold this season,” he said.
“We consistently medal but have not won the Championship since 2015. This is our year!”
The women’s team will go up against the minor premiers, the Queensland Pirates, in the semi-final today, having lost against them in both games three weeks ago.
However, women’s coach Sue Jenkins says the Heat should not be written off.
“We medalled last year for the first time in 13 years and we have set ourselves the challenge of going all the way this year,” she said.
“We have played two tight games against Pirates and are looking to turn the tables in the semi on Saturday.
“This match means a lot to us. We will need to play well to beat the Pirates and we are confident we can get the job done!”
The games will be live-streamed on the Canberra Heat Facebook page:
Saturday, 7 December
Men – Canberra Heat v Melbourne Vipers – 12:00 noon
Women – Canberra Heat v Queensland Pirates – 2:00 pm.
Sunday, 8 December
Men – 9:30 am Third Place Playoff, or 2:30 pm for the Final
Women – 11:30 am Third Place Playoff, or 4:30 pm for the Final.