The 2016 Australian Volleyball League season will kick into top gear this weekend with a full set of fixtures, including the first appearance of three-time women’s title holders, the Uni Blues, in a local derby against the VVA Vultures.

There were just a handful of games on the opening weekend of the AVL, highlighted by a splitting of the points by last year’s men’s finalists, the Canberra Heat and the Qld Pirates, and the first appearance of new teams, the Sydney Amazons and the Sydney Warriors.

While the Warriors found the going tough against UTSSU in the men’s league, losing 3-1 and 3-0, the Amazons made the perfect start in the women’s competition, beating UTSSU 3-0, 3-0.

The Amazons and the Warriors both have byes this weekend, but it will be the first appearance for the team from the Canberra Centre of Excellence.

The team of young guns will have a baptism of fire, taking on the Qld Pirates in at Clayfield, Queensland.

The Pirates and the heat had a 3-1, 0-3 result in Clayfield last weekend.

Canberra Heat will take on the impressive UTSSU team at the Sydney Netball Centre, while the Adelaide Storm and WA Pirates will have their first hit out when they meet at Campbelltown, South Australia, on Saturday and Sunday.

Uni Blues go into 2016 with the strongest women’s team on paper, as the team chases a fourth consecutive title.

They take on the VVA Vultures on Saturday and Sunday at the Victorian University campus in Footscray.

The Qld Pirates women’s team scraped through with two 3-2 results over the Canberra Heat on opening weekend, and will have a bye this weekend.

The Heat and UTSSU will both be looking for their first wins after losing both matches last weekend.

Volleyball fans are in for a treat this weekend, with men’s and women’s double headers at each fixture, with the exception of the Qld Pirates v Canberra Centre of Excellence matches.

The full draw can be found at http://www.avl.org.au