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.

Spirited stands help UCLA beat UC Santa Barbara
Kevin Bowman | Daily Bruin
Many times the most interesting thing about a match happens off the court — especially when a top-ranked team is playing a last-place team in the conference. This story looks at how the passionate support in the stands from the UCLA men’s water polo team helped the Bruins win several close games in a sweep against UC Santa Barbara.

Penn State attempts to overcome East/West bias
John Stuetz | The Daily Collegian
Penn State moved back into the top five in the national rankings this week but a big question among the volleyball community most years is how the Nittany Lions compare to the West Coast schools. With this article, the East Coast and West Coast rivalry is studied and how it has changed over the years.

Ball State players out to prove Cardinals in MIVA
Andrew Mishler | The Ball State Daily News
As a team picked to finish fourth in the conference in the MIVA Preseason Coaches Poll, expectations are not high for Ball State entering conference play. This preview story looks at the MIVA and why Ball State players are confident they can be among the conference elite.

Pepperdine’s Taylor strives to compete with best
Narine Adamova | Pepperdine Graphic
Pepperdine freshman outside attacker Josh Taylor is among the nation’s leaders in kills per game average and a candidate for the National Player of the Year. This personality profile, though, looks at the start of Taylor’s career and how he didn’t want to play volleyball but eventually grew to love the sport.

Goas hopes to lead Penn State to another championship run
John Stuetz | The Daily Collegian
Edgardo Goas is entering his fourth season as the Penn State’s starting setter but is still looking for his first national championship. This news-feature story examines how Goas has improved his play from last season and is running an improved Nittany Lions offense.

BEST OF THE REST
Puerto Rican superstar shines for BYU
Brady Tucker | The Daily Universe
For the first time in the two years, a video package makes this weekly award list. This video examines the serving and play of Josue Rivera and how the freshman has brought a high level of energy to the court for the Cougars.

Commentary: Remembering D.C. Koehl
Pat Brennan | The Lantern
Longtime Ohio State men’s and women’s volleyball sports information director D.C. Koehl died last week. This column discusses the passion that Koehl had for the sport of volleyball and how he continued to support the Buckeyes up until his death