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 it 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.

No. 1 ULCA hosts last-place UC San Diego
Chris Kalra | Daily Bruin
One of the biggest reasons UCLA remains in first place in the MPSF is because of the Bruins’ preparation for each match. This preview story, which uses a nice anecdotal lead, discusses how UCLA wasn’t overlooking its match against last-place UC San Diego — even with it playing No. 2 UC Irvine later that week.

Stagnant hitting lead to Matador loss to Harvard
Anthony Carpio | Daily Sundial
A good quote can take an average story and make it compelling. And almost nothing beats a quote from an All-American player like Cal State Northridge’s Julius Hoefer admitting after a loss that the team wasn’t prepare. This game story focuses on how Cal State Nothridge lost to Harvard because the Matadors underestimated the opponent.

11-day break ends as Ball State travels west
Andrew Mishler | The Ball State Daily News
Ball State following an almost two-week layoff since its last match resumed its regular season with a three-match West Coast road trip. This article examines the advantages and disadvantages for the Cardinals to have significant time off between matches.

BYU to host home series vs. Pacific
Taylor Street | Daily Universe
BYU enters the second half of the season and finally has its entire starting lineup back on the court. This story looks at all the injuries the Cougars have experienced this year and how the players are beginning to find an offensive rhythm now that they are playing together.

Welch makes his return for Hawai’i
Marc Arakaki | Ka Leo
Hawai’i middle attacker Shane Welch made his return to the court after missing two months with a torn meniscus. This news-feature story discusses how Welch rehabbed from this injury and his excitement to return to the starting lineup. [Editor’s Note: This story was originally published March 2 but due to an oversight it was eligible for this week’s top five list]