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 regular 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.

Penn State looks to continue home dominance
Darian Somers | The Daily Collegian
Penn State in the last six seasons has lost three home matches — the fewest home losses in the nation during that time span. This news-feature article examines how the Nittany Lions have created one of the best home court advantages in college volleyball that can even intimidate its opponents.

Cal Baptist makes a statement with upset win
Jim Alexander | The Press-Enterprise
Cal Baptist playing in its program’s first MPSF match upset No. 1 UC Irvine in five games Wednesday. The column discusses how the Lancers for years have been preparing for their move to the MPSF and how this victory against the Anteaters could be the start of something great for the Lancers.

Pavlik finds little value in rankings
Jon Wheel | The Daily Collegian
Penn State coach Mark Pavlik not only finds the national rankings irrelevant, but goes a step further and now views them as propaganda for West Coast schools. This article examines the problems of non-conference scheduling because of the MPSF schedule and how EIVA schools don’t get a fair chance to compete against nationally ranked teams.

Long Beach stomps over flat UCLA teams
Leonardo Villalobos | Daily Bruin
The key to writing a compelling game story is to give readers in-sight they couldn’t have learned just watching the match themselves. This game story achieves that as it focuses on the Bruins’ struggles against the 49ers and why UCLA coach John Speraw informed several starters to not even attend the home conference match.

Penn State hosts struggling Lewis in home opener
Jon Wheel | The Daily Collegian
Penn State played its home opener Friday against Lewis, which had lost four of its first five matches after being ranked No. 5 in the preseason polls. Despite the Flyers’ struggles, this preview story looks at how the Nittany Lions are not taking their opponent lightly.