The Daily Collegian is the inaugural winner of the Off the Block Best Men’s Volleyball Online Coverage of the Year.
Off the Block conducted a season-long analysis of the online coverage for college men’s volleyball on professional and college newspaper websites from around the nation.
Newspapers were judged based on their online articles about men’s volleyball throughout the season, both in terms of quality and quantity. Also factored into this award was a newspaper’s use of online media platforms such as photo galleries, audio slideshows, videos, blogs and social media for men’s volleyball coverage.
The Collegian is the Penn State on-campus student newspaper. Men’s volleyball beat reporters Bill Landis, Joe McIntyre and Steven Petrella led the newspaper in its coverage of the Nittany Lions this season.
The Ball State Daily News, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and The Daily Bruin were named finalists for the Off the Block Best Men’s Volleyball Online Coverage of the Year.
Off the Block is a website that launched in January and focuses on college men’s volleyball news and analysis. Every Sunday throughout the regular season Off the Block published the top five men’s volleyball stories of the week, which recognized the best written stories from around the nation.
2011 Off the Block Best Online Coverage for Men’s Volleyball
The Daily Collegian
Penn State University, University Park, Pa.
Comments: From the beginning to the end of the season, The Daily Collegian consistently remained the best newspaper for reporting men’s volleyball. The Collegian provided in-depth coverage of Penn State and averaged five to six men’s volleyball articles per week. Articles ranged from online updates of game stories less than an hour after a match ended to in-depth player profiles that allowed the reader learn about the team off the court. The three beat reporters Bill Landis, Joe McIntyre and Steven Petrella also tackled controversial issues such as possible NCAA Tournament expansion. Beyond the articles, the newspaper provided several nice online features. Its blog, Above The Net, gave readers information including in-match updates of every home match and weekly posts from Penn State coach Mark Pavlik on miscellaneous items. In addition, The Collegian’s men’s volleyball Twitter account, @CollegianMenVB, provided in-match Tweets of every home match and Tweets with links to articles about the team.
Best Online Coverage for Men’s Volleyball finalists
The Ball State Daily News
Ball State University, Muncie, Ind.
Comments: The Ball State Daily News was one of the most balanced at using multiple media platform on its website to report on men’s volleyball this season. The Daily News did not have as many stories as The Daily Collegian, but beat reporters Andrew Mishler and Daniel Sipocz wrote about three stories per week. Mishler, the primary beat reporter, also had a nice mix of online updates about matches that went beyond just rehashing the box score and personality profiles about the Ball State players. In addition, the newspaper photo staff — led by Jess Lanning, Bobby Ellis and Dylan Buell — shot and uploaded online photo galleries of every home match. The sports and video staffs even filmed online pregame shows for the big Ball State men’s volleyball matches. Social media wise, the Daily News also used its Twitter account, @dn_sportslive, to give in-match Tweets of every home match.
Comments: The Honolulu-Star Advertiser had less men’s volleyball stories this season than the other finalist newspapers on the list. However, it made up for this lack of quantity with quality. Sports reporters Cindy Luis and Stephen Tsai had several profile articles on the Warriors throughout the season. It also would interview the opposing teams traveling to Hawaii and write news-feature preview articles on those teams. One example of this was the mid-week preview story about how Cal Baptist intended to use the Hawaii road trip to recruit players with its program transitioning to Division II. Beyond the articles, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser used its sports blog, Volleyshots, to provide instant analysis after each home match and give its readers little daily tidbits about the team that did not make the print edition.
The Daily Bruin
UCLA, Los Angeles
Comments: The Daily Bruin overcame what seemed like a beat by committee at the beginning of season to produce some good quality articles on the team. The newspaper had game articles that went beyond the box score to give the readers in-sight on the matches, which is even more impressive given most were deadline stories. It also wrote several in-depth personality profiles ranging from coach Al Scates’ memories of Pauley Pavilion, which is currently being renovated, to how outside attacker and foreign exchange student Gonzalo Quiroga was adjusting to life in the United States. The sports section also posted men’s volleyball updates on its Twitter account, @dbsports, and Facebook fan page, Daily Bruin Sports, throughout the season.