There is no closer competition in this year’s Australian Volleyball League than the men’s Southern Conference, with just one win separating the top three as they set off this weekend to try and make their mark.

Ladder leaders VVA Vultures take on third-place cross-town rivals, Uni Blues, while second placed Adelaide Storm faces a dangerous road trip to Perth to take on the WA Hornets.

The Hornets currently sit on the bottom of the ladder with one win, and need to win both games this weekend to keep themselves in with a show of making the top two.

Elsewhere this weekend, last year’s men’s finalists, Queensland Pirates and Canberra Heat, lock horns for the second time this year, but this time in Canberra.

The two teams split the points in the opening round of the season, but the Pirates have not lost a match since. The Heat have slipped to third behind UTSSU, but have played two games less.

And the two new teams in the men’s competition, the Canberra Centre of Excellence and the Sydney Warriors, get a chance to break through for their first win of the season when they meet up, also at the AIS in Canberra.

In the women’s draw, there are still three unbeaten teams in the competition, with both the Sydney Amazons and Queensland Pirates yet to lose in the Eastern Conference, and Uni Blues unbeaten in the Southern Conference.

The Amazons have another bye this weekend, but will meet the Pirates for the first time next weekend in a match that could determine top spot in the conference.

Meanwhile this weekend the Pirates will take on third place Canberra Heat at the AIS.

In the Southern Conference, Uni Blues take on third place VVA Vultures, while second place WA Pearls host fourth placed Adelaide Storm. If matches go to form, this weekend could see a big gap open up between the top two and the bottom two in this conference.