Continental club competition will be in the spotlight over the next seven days with the CEV Champions League determining its semifinalists on both genders and South America crowning its men’s champions in the 2023 season and selecting the teams that will represent the continent in the 2023 FIVB Men's Club World Championship.
What's On: Your guide to this week's best LIVE matches
Here’s what to look out for from March 15-21 in volleyball and beach volleyball
Published 01:25, 15 Mar 2023
National leagues will have exciting action this coming weekend as well with big matches set to take place in Italy, with the start of the playoffs of the SuperLega Credem Banca and a duel between the best two teams in the Lega Pallavolo Serie A1 Femminile. Keep an eye out for Japan as well, as the teams that share the top of the standings in the Men’s V. League will go against each other.
It’s going to be a busy weekend on the sand too, with Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour events going on in La Paz, Mexico (Challenge), and Mt. Maunganui Beach, New Zeland (Futures) and the American AVP kicking off its season in Miami Beach.
Here’s everything you need to highlight on your calendar over the next seven days:
Men’s CEV Champions League
Three of the four quarterfinal duels of the Men’s CEV Champions League will come to an end on Wednesday, with the series of Poland’s Jastrzebski Wegiel vs. Germany’s VfB Friedrichshafen, Italy’s Sir Safety Susa Perugia vs. Germany’s Berlin Recycling Volleys and Türkiye’s Halkbank Ankara vs. Italy’s Cucine Lube Civitanova all holding their second-leg matches. Jastrzebski, Perugia and Halkbank won the first duels last week and have an advantage in their series.
Men’s Club South American Championship – Araguari, Brazil
With nine teams from five countries in contention and two spots in the 2023 FIVB Men’s Club World Championship in play, the 2023 Men’s Club South American Championship begins in Araguari, Brazil. Besides home team Araguari Vôlei, the host country will also have defending champions Sada Cruzeiro and Itambé Minas while Argentina will be represented by Ciudad Voley, UPCN Voley and Policial, Uruguay by Bohemios, Bolivia by Olympic and Chile by Club Murano. The final will be on Sunday.
Beach Pro Tour La Paz Challenge – Mexico
The first Challenge event of the 2023 Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour season will take place in La Paz, Mexico, from Thursday to Sunday. As many as 92 teams (48 women, 44 men) will be in action on the Mexican West Coast during the four days, including some of the top names of the sport, such as reigning European champions David Åhman and Jonatan Hellvig of Sweden and 2022 Beach Pro Tour winners Sara Hughes and Kelly Cheng of the United States.
Beach Pro Tour Mt. Maunganui Beach Futures – New Zealand
The Beach Pro Tour will also be at full pace in Mt. Maunganui Beach, New Zealand, the host city of the first Futures tournament of 2023. The event in Oceania mostly attracted teams from the region but will have a decently-crowded field, with 26 men’s and 19 women’s duos set to compete. The home team formed by the O’Dea brothers Sam and Ben will be one of the attractions on the men’s side while fellow New Zealanders Shaunna Polley and Alice Zeimann enter the tournament as the favourites among the women.
AVP Miami Beach Open
The American Beach Volleyball Tour AVP starts its 2023 calendar this weekend, with a three-day event held in Miami Beach, Florida, from Friday to Sunday. Beijing 2008 Olympic champion Phil Dalhausser and the team of Taylor Crabb and Taylor Sander are among the top men’s players entered in the tournament while the women’s field features Canadian Olympians Melissa Humana-Paredes and Brandie Wilkerson, Brazilian Olympic medallist Larissa Maestrini and American Olympian Sarah Sponcil.
SuperLega Credem Banca: Sir Safety Susa Perugia vs. Allianz Milano – 18:00 local time (17:00 UTC)
The playoffs of the 2022-2023 SuperLega Credem Banca begin on Saturday, with the first of the four quarterfinal series starting in Perugia, where regular-season winners Sir Safety Susa Perugia host eighth-placed Allianz Milano. Perugia won all their 22 regular season matches, a feat that hadn’t happened in the Italian League in more than 40 years, while Milano were the last side to secure their presence in the playoffs, in the final week of the regular season.
Men’s Japanese V. League: Suntory Sunbirds vs. Nagoya Wolfdogs – 19:05 local time (10:05 UTC)
Ranked first and second in the Men's Japanese V. League standings, the Nagoya Wolfdogs and the Suntory Sunbirds will clash in the biggest match of the weekend in the country. The teams, which faced each other in last year’s final, which was won by the Sunbirds, are tied at the top of the standings with 68 points (24 wins). Polish world champion opposite Bartosz Kurek is Nagoya’s main player while Russian Olympic champion opposite Dmitriy Muserskiy carries the Sunbirds’ offense.
Lega Pallavolo Serie A1 Femminile: Savino Del Bene Scandicci vs. Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano – 20:30 local time (19:30 UTC)
The two best-ranked teams in the Lega Pallavolo Serie A1 Femminile, Prosecco Doc Imoco Conegliano and Savino Del Bene Scandicci will meet in the final match of the tenth leg of the second round of the season in Italy. Conegliano won 21 of their 22 Italian League matches so far in the season and have a three-win edge over Scandicci in the standings, but their only upset so far in the season came exactly against their next opponents, when the teams met in the first leg of the regular season, back in December.
Women’s Austrian League: UVC Graz vs. Sokol/Post SV – 20:25 local time (19:25 UTC)
The semifinals of the 2022-2023 Women’s Austrian League begin with the duel between UVC Graz and Sokol/Post SV. Graz were the second-best team in the regular season and eliminated Eisenerz/Trofaiach in the quarterfinals while Sokol/Post were third and advanced to the semifinals after they prevailed against Salzburg.
Women’s CEV Champions League: Vero Volley Milano vs. VakifBank Istanbul – 20:00 local time (19:00 UTC)
The first semifinalist of the Women’s CEV Champions League will be determined with Italy’s Vero Volley Milano and Türkiye’s defending champions VakifBank Istanbul meeting in the second leg match of their quarterfinal series in Italy. While the Italians advanced to the quarterfinals directly after winning Pool B, VakifBank had to go through the first round of the playoffs, where they eliminated Poland’s ŁKS Commercecon ŁÓDŹ.