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.

Penn State searches for late-season motivation
Jon Wheel | The Daily Collegian
Penn State accomplished its primary regular season last week winning the EIVA regular season championship. This news-feature examines how coach Mark Pavlik and his players are continuing to stay focused in the final weeks of the regular season with the postseason looming.

Nittany Lions learning from streaky season
Darian Somers | The Daily Collegian
Penn State has experienced everything this season from a nine-match winning streak to a three-match losing streak. This articles discusses how coach Mark Pavlik expected to have this type of season when he finalized his schedule and how it’s helped his players going into the postseason.

Ball State downs No. 6 Lewis, sends message to MIVA
Evan Barnum-Steggerad | The Ball State Daily News
A strong direct quote can help take an average game story and make it great. This game story about Ball State upsetting Lewis on Thursday does an excellent job uses several great direct quotes from players at the top of the story — including a quote calling Ball State one of the best teams in the nation — to engage readers and makes them want to continue to read the rest of the story.

Bruins dominate in wipeout of Waves
Young Rae Kim | Daily Bruin
No. 3 UCLA swept No. 5 Pepperdine on Wednesday to clinch the No. 4 seed and a quarterfinals home match for the upcoming MPSF Tournament. This game story, which uses a nice embodiment lead to bring the readers into the rest of the article, focuses on how UCLA was able to get blow-out victory against a top-five nationally ranked team.

Penn State uses complete roster to its advantage
Darian Somers | The Daily Collegian
Unlike other Penn State teams in recent history, this year’s team has been without something: a clear-cut top player. This news-feature story looks at how the lack of a superstar has resulted in the Penn State coaching staff relying on its bench more this season in critical matches.