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 Sate students urge for more attendance
Evan Barnum-Steggerda | The Ball State Daily News
Two Ball State fans spent the entire week doing grassroots marketing and encouraging people to attend Ball State’s home match against No. 6 Ohio State on Friday in an attempt to break program’s record for a single-match home attendance. This news-feature examines why these fans decided to start this campaign and how they are hoping to grow more on-campus interest in the sport.

Penn State’s Russell adjusts to more prominent role
Darian Somers | The Daily Collegian
After earning all-conference honors at middle attacker last year, Penn State sophomore Aaron Russell has spent this season making the transition to outside attacker. This feature story examines how Russell is adjusting to his new position — a move that had been the Nittany Lions’ plan even before Russell started his college career.

Ball hopes young IPFW team grows up quickly
Blake Sebring | The News-Sentinel
IPFW lost in four games to its in-state conference rival Ball State on Thursday, but in many ways the night was more about Mastodons coach Arnie Ball. This column by national awarding volleyball reporter Blake Sebring examines how the passion the Hall of Fame coach brings to the court is what’s needed for his young team this season.

Penn State preaching accountability during recent slide
Jon Wheel | The Daily Collegian
Penn State swept St. Francis on Saturday to snap its three-match losing streak — the program’s longest losing streak since 2007. This news-feature story before that St. Francis match examines how Penn State was handling something it rarely experiences: a losing streak.

Hawai’i takes two straight from Pacific
Marc Arakaki | Ka Leo
For the second straight week, an online video package makes this top five list. This online video, which includes players interviews and match highlights, focuses on Hawai’i’s four-game victory against Pacific on Saturday to keep the Warriors’ postseason hopes alive.