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.

Crabb brothers making memories at Long Beach State
Andrew Sunada | Daily 49er
Taylor Crabb and Trevor Crabb grew up in Hawaii playing volleyball but at Long Beach State was the first time the two brothers played on the same team. This feature story examines the close bond between the siblings and how they view this opportunity to play together as a special experience.

Penn State’s Russell steps into offensive role
John Stuetz | The Daily Collegian
Freshman middle attacker Aaron Russell is emerging as a late-game go-to offensive option for Penn State. This news-feature article, which uses a nice anecdotal lead, discusses how the Penn State coaching staff is beginning to feature Russell more often in its offense.

Injuries hurting Ball State after break from play
Andrew Mishler | The Ball State Daily News
Ball State’s late-season bye week was anything but an opportunity for players to heal from injuries as numerous players were sick throughout the week. This news-feature story looks at how the Cardinals attempted to overcome the illness and nagging injuries to prepare for their upcoming conference matches.

Springfield coach Sullivan motivating on and off court
Sean Seifert | The Springfield Student
Charlie Sullivan has one big distinction that separates him from other head coaches in college men’s volleyball: he also teaches courses at the school. This personality profile story examines why Sullivan prefers to be a teacher-coach and how that teaching role has benefited his Springfield players.

UCLA aims high before MSPF playoffs in final home matches
Kevin Bowman | Daily Bruin
A good quote can take an ordinary story and make it more powerful. This preview story showcases that importance as it uses a great quote from UCLA’s Jeremy Casebeer to bring the reader into the article and highlight the team’s confidence entering its series against BYU.