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 Off the Block 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.

Off the Block 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.

In many communities volleyball is a non-mainstream sport that has a niche following. One of the exciting things for reporters covering volleyball, though,is finding that interesting angle that could appeal to volleyball and non-volleyball fans.


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.

Ball State related and ready for 2012 season
Andrew Mishler | The Ball State Daily News
Season preview stories was the main theme this week for most college newspaper reporters. The key to writing a good season preview article is finding that interesting aspect about the team that is relatable for the general public. This article does a good job at that with highlighting significant changes to the Cardinals’ starting lineup.

PSU begins regular season without real-game experience
John Stuetz | The Daily Collegian
It has been a different kind of start to the season for Penn State. This preview story looks at how the Nittany Lions are adjusting to not opening the season in Hawaii at the Outrigger Invitational and not playing in any preseason matches this fall.

Russell brothers enjoying time together on Penn State
Jake Somerville | The Daily Collegian
Freshman middle attacker Aaron Russell was among one of the top high school recruits in the nation and is expected to have an immediate effect in the Nittany Lions’ starting lineup. However, one of the things not discussed too much that this article examines is how Aaron Russell is getting the chance to play with his older brother Peter Russell, a sophomore outside attacker on the team.

No. 1 UCI upended by BYU
Barry Faulkner | The Daily Pilot
In the much hyped No. 1 versus No. 2 match-up this week, No. 1 UC Irvine lost both matches of a two-match series to No. 2 BYU. This game story following the opening loss looks at how Anteaters coach John Speraw thought the loss was a good thing for his team.

Improved offense, defense help UCLA notch win aganst Lewis
Kevin Bowman | The Daily Bruin
UCLA defeated Lewis on Thursday at the Outrigger Invitational en route to winning the tournament championship for the second consecutive season. This game story focuses on how the Bruins were able to beat the Flyers because of the play of Nick Vogel, who coach Al Scates moved from middle attacker to outside attacker for the match.