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.

King Crabb rules air for 49ers
Mike Guardabascio | Grunion Gazette
Long Beach State outside attacker Taylor Crabb has become one of the nation’s top players and a legitimate candidate for national player of the year this season. This feature story examines how Crabb has made up for his small physical build with pure athleticism to dominate matches.

Penn State enjoying revitalized conference
Jon Wheel | The Daily Collegian
Penn State earlier this season lost its first conference match on five years, which may not have been the worst thing for the program. This news-feature story discusses how the players and coaches prefer EIVA teams improving and now challenging the Nittany Lions every week.

Warriors fall to Matadors at home
Marc Arakaki | Ka Leo
No. 8 Cal State Northridge defeated Hawai’i on Friday to open a two-match conference series in Honolulu. This video package looks at the match and includes video highlights and interviews with Hawai’i players.

Penn State enters long road trip
Darian Somers | The Daily Collegian
Penn State this weekend opened a season-long road trip that will stretch throughout March and into early April. This feature story, which uses a nice anecdotal lead to help bring the reader into the story, looks at how the Nittany Lions handle lengthy road trips.

UC Santa Barbara upsets UCLA
Young Rae Kim | Daily Bruin
Good quotes always come in upsets — especially when interviewing the losing team. This game story about UCLA’s loss to UC Santa Barbara uses several good quotes from UCLA coach John Speraw and his players at the beginning of the article to help bring the reader into the rest of the story.