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 box score 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.

Ball State sophomore makes unlikely ascent to team
Evan Barnum-Steggerda | The Ball State Daily News
Ball State middle attacker Jon Clawson took one of the most unlikely of paths to get on the Cardinals roster. This personality profiles examines the journey Clawson made with volleyball from having to be begged by friends to play the sport in high school to participating in a walk-on tryout at Ball State.

Penn State deals with lofty expectations
Jon Wheel | The Daily Collegian
The expectations from fans for Penn State every year are pretty simple: go undefeated in conference play or it’s a train-wreck of a season. This news-feature story looks at how the Nittany Lions deal with those expectations and how it has become tougher to go undefeated with the EIVA improving.

Mars fitting into role with Penn State
Darian Somers | The Daily Collegian
Middle attacker Kyle Mars coming off the bench had 10 kills to help No. 6 Penn State avoid the upset and beat Harvard last week. This feature story discusses why Mars excels in that role of coming off the bench and the deep-ties the middle attacker has to Penn State.

Hawai’i falls in five to Stanford
Marc Arakaki | Kaleo
For the second consecutive week, a video package makes the top five list. This package focus on Hawai’i’s five-game loss to No. 3 Stanford on Friday and includes video highlights and postgame comments from players and coaches.

Hammond lends helping hand to Nittnay Lions
Aaron Carr | The Daily Collegian
Penn State’s Tom Comfort has emerged as one of the top outside attackers in the EIVA this season in large part because of the Nittany Lions new starting setter Taylor Hammond. This news-feature story looks how Hammond and Comfort have developed a strong offensive connection and how the sophomore setter has adjusted to his new starting role.