Off the Block announces 2013 Men’s Volleyball Reporter All-American Team

Seven college journalists were selected to the second-annual Off the Block Men’s Volleyball Reporter All-American Team.

The Off the Block Men’s Volleyball Reporter All-American Team recognizes the nation’s top men’s volleyball reporters from student college media outlets during the college men’s volleyball regular season.


Members of the 2013 Reporter All-American Team include WCRD play-by-play announcer CJ Allard, Ka Leo editor Marc Arakaki, The Ball State Daily News reporter Evan Barnum-Steggerda, The Daily Collegian reporters Aaron Carr, Darian Somers and Jon Wheel and The Universe reporter Trent Christiansen.

Winners were determined by their college men’s volleyball coverage throughout the season and their ability to produce content that went beyond the box score and game notes to provide their audience with compelling news and information about their beat. Also factored into the award was a journalist’s use of non-traditional media such as online videos, blogs and social media.

Penn State University led all schools with three All-American selections, while Ball State University added two members. In addition, BYU and the University of Hawai’i each had one representative on the All-American Team.

Throughout the season Off the Block conducted an analysis of men’s volleyball coverage in college and professional newspapers from around the nation. Off the Block each week during the regular season also releases a list spotlighting the top five men’s volleyball articles of the week from around the nation.

The Reporter All-American Team is one of three media honors that Off the Block awards at the end of the men’s volleyball regular season. The Off the Block Men’s Volleyball Conference Reporters of the Year recognizes the top reporter in the EIVA, MIVA and MPSF, while the Off the Block Best Men’s Volleyball Online Coverage of the Year is given to the student-newspaper with the best online reporting.

Off the Block launched in January 2011 and is the nation’s leading website in college men’s volleyball news and analysis.

2013 OFF THE BLOCK MEN’S VOLLEYBALL REPORTER ALL-AMERICAN TEAM
C.J. Allard — WCRD, Ball State University
Marc Arakaki — Ka Leo, University of Hawai’i
Evan Barnum-Steggerda — The Ball State Daily News, Ball State University
Aaron Carr — The Daily Collegian, Penn State University
Trent Christiansen — The Universe, BYU
Darian Somers — The Daily Collegian, Penn State University
Jon Wheel — The Daily Collegian, Penn State University


SELECTION COMMITTEE’S REMARKS
C.J. Allard — WCRD, Ball State University

Allard becomes the first radio media member to earn All-American honors in the history of this award. As WCRD’s play-by-play announcer and voice of the Cardinals, Allard provided live coverage of every Ball State home match and select road matches throughout the season. He also displayed outstanding interview skills and an ability to ask the tough questions during his live postmatch interviews and during his weekly radio show with Ball State coach Joel Walton.

Marc Arakaki — Ka Leo, University of Hawai’i
As editor-in-chief of his student-newspaper, Arakaki continued to cover the Hawai’i men’s volleyball team and produced online video packages for almost every Warriors’ home match. Arakaki’s online video packages included match highlights and engaging soundbites from player postmatch interviews. In addition, Arakaki had six of his online video packages make an Off the Block Top Five Men’s Volleyball Stories of the Week list this season.

Evan Barnum-Steggerda — The Ball State Daily News, Ball State University
Barnum-Steggerda, a senior, was the Ball State men’s volleyball beat reporter for The Ball State Daily News and earned the 2013 Off the Block MIVA Reporter of the Year award. In addition, Barnum-Steggerda had nine stories selected for an Off the Block Top Five Men’s Volleyball Stories of the Week list throughout the season, including a well-written personality profile about walk-on Jon Clawson making the Cardinals’ roster.


Aaron Carr — The Daily Collegian, Penn State University
Carr was among the trio of Collegian beat reporters covering the Penn State men’s volleyball team and produced several insightful preview and game stories throughout the season that went beyond the box score. He also had three appearances on the Off the Block Top Five Men’s Volleyball Stories of the Week list, including a news-feature story about the pressures Penn State faces being expected to go undefeated every season in the EIVA.

Trent Christiansen — The Universe, BYU
Christiansen, a junior, covered the BYU men’s volleyball team for The Universe and earned the 2013 MPSF Reporter of the Year award. The junior had four articles throughout the season earn Off the Block Top Five Men’s Volleyball Stories of the Week honors, including a personality profile on freshman outside attacker Ben Patch and his rise from having never played volleyball to within five years becoming a college standout and a potential All-American.

Darian Somers — The Daily Collegian, Penn State University
Somers, a freshman, covered the Penn State men’s volleyball team and became the third consecutive Collegian reporter to be earn the Off the Block EIVA Reporter of the Year. He also had a nation-best 13 appearances on an Off the Block Top Five Men’s Volleyball Story of the Week list throughout the season. Of Somers’ best stories this season was his two personality profile stories about the Penn State assistant coaches.

Jon Wheel — The Daily Collegian, Penn State University
Wheel was one of three Collegian beat reporters for the Penn State men’s volleyball team this season and wrote almost 40 stories about team. He also had articles make an Off the Block Top Five Men’s Volleyball Stories of the Week list eight times — including a controversial story about Nittany Lions coach Mark Pavlik criticizing voters and the voting process for the national coaches poll.