The battle for semi-final berths in the 2016 Australian Volleyball League season is intensifying, with weekend results throwing the race wide open, especially in the women’s Eastern Conference.

Queensland Pirates look set to play a major role in both the men’s and women’s finals this year, after both consolidated their grip on top spot in their conference.

The clash between the previously undefeated Pirates and the Sydney Amazons in the women’s competition ended with a 3-0, 3-1 win for the Pirates, putting the Queensland team 10 points ahead of their nearest ladder rival.

The Amazons now look set to battle it out with the Canberra Heat for second place on the ladder, with the two teams set to meet for the first time this coming weekend.

The Heat’s finals aspirations suffered a minor setback, when they lost to the previously winless UTSSU Shield in Canberra on Sunday.

In an incredibly tight double header, the Heat won Saturday’s clash, 3-2, only to go down by a similar scoreline to a euphoric UTSSU on Sunday.

In the men’s draw, Canberra Heat, minus helloworld Volleyroo Travis Passier, suffered a scare in their opening match against UTSSU Shield men, dropping the first two sets before clinching the final three and the match, 3-2.

Game two on Sunday was a much more straightforward affair, with the Heat cruising to a 3-0 win to put some space between themselves and UTSSU for the coveted second spot on the ladder.

The rampant Pirates were far too strong for the new kids on the block, the winless Sydney Warriors, with the flag favourites winning both their matches 3-0.