The top 5 men’s volleyball stories of the week

It’s your top five men’s volleyball story list, but with a twist.

Every Sunday during the men’s volleyball season I will post the top five best men’s volleyball stories of the week from around the nation. The list, though, is based more on how well the reporter wrote and covered the story rather than just what happened on the court.

I will be primarily looking at a college newspapers — they provide the majority of coverage to the sport — but occasionally I will include some well written men’s volleyball articles from professional newspapers.

This time of year is challenge for most men’s volleyball reporters at college newspapers.

Two months into the season a reporter has done many of the feature stories they wanted to do at the start of the year and now have dig deeper to find interesting stories about the team. In addition, with it being Spring Break many colleges reporters have to balance enjoying their break and getting away from the newspaper, while still maintaining their beat and reporting any news that happens.

However, this is also the time of year when the short break can help re-energize a reporter and give them time think of some awesome feature story ideas for the rest of the season.

These types of stories, along with going beyond the boxscore and game notes to provide readers with insight on the team that they can’t got anywhere else is one of the most important skills for a sports reporter.

This list is to honor those efforts.

Former Ball State libero Billy Ebel hired as assistant coach at UMKC
Andrew Mishler | The Ball State Daily News
One year after finishing his all-conference at Ball State, Billy Ebel was hired to be an assistant coach for the University of Missouri at Kansas City. This news-feature story looks at how Ebel has adjusted from being on the court to being the sidelines.

California trip awaits Penn State over break
Bill Landis | The Daily Collegian
With No. 8 Penn State about to make its annual Spring Break trip to the West Coast, this story examines how the players are looking forward to playing top 10 ranked teams. It also discusses how the team is using this road trip as a measuring stick for the Final Four.

No. 1 USC volleyball set to clash with No. 2 BYU
Sean McCormick | The Daily Trojan
This preview story looks at how it’s fitting that former Trojan All-Americans Dusty Dvorak and Celso Wallace were having their jerseys retired on the same night the top two teams in the nation played each other. In addition, it highlights how the No. 1 Trojans were preparing for their match against No. 2 BYU.

Penn State outside hitters jockey for spots
Steven Petrella | The Daily Collegian
Penn State coach Mark Pavlik has used about 10 starting lineups this season. This article examines how the amount of starting outside attacker combination have increased the competition among the Nittany Lion players.

No. 2 BYU to take on No. 1 USC
Kristian Ekenes | The Daily Universe
This preview article to the No. 1 USC and No. 2 BYU series makes the list because of reporter getting outside hitter Alex DaPron to basically guarantee the Cougars would beat the Trojans at home. BYU lost both matches against USC in five games.