The Australian men’s volleyball team, The Helloworld Travel Volleyroos, faces a demanding five weeks on the road in the preliminary rounds of the Volleyball Nations League (VNL), which gets underway late in May.
The 16-team competition, in its second year, sees teams play in four pools of four, with the top five after the preliminary round, plus the host nation, qualifying for the finals. The finals will be played from 10 to14 July in the United States.
Australia finished 13th last year with Russia winning the VNL ahead of France, the USA, Brazil, Poland and Serbia.
The Volleyroos start their campaign in Poland with games against the host country, The USA and Brazil.
Week two sees Australia head to Canada, and in week three, the Volleyroos are in Bulgaria. In week four, Australia travels to Iran, with the final round taking place in Brisbane from 28 to 30 June.
For the Volleyroos the VNL is vital preparation for Olympic qualification ahead of Tokyo 2020.
Australia will also take part in a 6-pool Intercontinental qualifier in August with the team travelling to Italy to play from 9 to 11 August with the top side from each pool qualifying for the 12 team Olympic program.
It will be tough with Australia is the same pool as the world number three-ranked Italy, number ten in the world Serbia, and Cameroon.
If they don’t qualify through the Intercontinental series, the Volleyroos have a second chance through the Asian qualifiers in January next year. The top side in that tournament will make it through to the Olympics.
So May sees the start of the team’s 2019 campaign, which will culminate with the World Cup in October.
Tickets for the Brisbane round on VNL 28-30 June go on Sale Monday 8th April through Ticketek.