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.

Volleyball’s Wizard of Westwood will be calling it quits
Helene Elliott | Los Angeles Times
UCLA coach Al Scates, the winning coach NCAA volleyball history, announced last year that he would retire following the 2012 season. This feature story examines what Scates means to the sport of volleyball and how he is handling his 50th and final season with the Bruins.

George Mason’s late run downs Ball State
Andrew Mishler | The Ball State Daily News
Some times one word can sum up an entire match. The writer of this game story uses a nice personification lead about Ball State coach Joel Walton following his team’s loss to George Mason that effectively sums up the match. It also helps to bring the readers into the rest of the story.

Penn State’s Curry settling into starting role
Kevin Byrne | The Daily Collegian
Penn State freshman starting libero Connor Curry has one of the biggest challenges of anyone in the nation this season: trying to replace four-time All-American libero Dennis Del Valle. This personality profile discusses how Curry is handling his new starting position and trying to replace Del Valle.

Petty brothers lead Lewis past Penn State
Randy Whalen | The Herald-News
Outside attackers and brothers Jay Petty and Greg Petty led Lewis in kills in an upset victory against No. 5 Penn State on Saturday. The game story breaks down the Petty brothers’ performance and how significant this win is for the Lewis program.

Lions ready for similar weekend opponents
John Stuetz | The Daily Collegian
Anytime a preview story can give fans insight to a little discussed but interesting storyline for a match, it’s a successful story. This game story examines that four years ago Pennsylvania native Mike Bunting opted to sign with Loyola instead Penn State — and the Nittany Lions still remember that and use it as motivation.

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