The Ball State Daily News reporter Evan Barnum-Steggerda, The Universe reporter Trent Christiansen and The Daily Collegian reporter Darian Somers were selected as the 2013 Off the Block Men’s Volleyball Conference Reporters of the Year.
The Off the Block Men’s Volleyball Conference Reporters of the Year recognizes the best college newspaper reporters covering teams in the EIVA, MIVA and MPSF — the three Division I-II conferences that receive automatic berths to men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament.
Winners were determined primarily on their reporting and writing skills throughout the college men’s volleyball regular season and their ability to produce articles that went beyond the box score and game notes. Also factored into the award was the reporter’s use of non-traditional media such as online video, blogs and social media.
Throughout the season Off the Block conducted an analysis of men’s volleyball coverage in college and professional newspapers from around the nation. The Off the Block Men’s Volleyball Conference Reporters of the Year are annual awards selected at the end of each regular season. Among the other men’s volleyball media award presented by Off the Block includes the Best Men’s Volleyball Online Coverage of the Year that is awarded to a college newspaper and the Top Five Men’s Volleyball Stories of the Week, a weekly list posted every Sunday throughout the college men’s volleyball regular season.
This is the third consecutive year that individuals from Ball State and Penn State have won conference reporter of the year honors. In addition, this is the first time a reporter from BYU has received the award.
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 CONFERENCE REPORTERS OF THE YEAR
EIVA Reporter of the Year: Darian Somers, The Daily Collegian, Penn State University
MIVA Reporter of the Year: Evan Barnum-Steggerda, The Ball State Daily News, Ball State University
MPSF Reporter of the Year: Trent Christiansen, The Universe, BYU
EIVA Reporter of the Year: Darian Somers
Darian Somers, a freshman, is the 2013 Off the Block EIVA Reporter of the Year and becomes the third consecutive reporter from The Daily Collegian to win this award. The freshman was among the newspaper’s three beat reporters covering the Penn State men’s volleyball team and wrote more than 50 articles this season. In addition, Somers led the nation making an Off the Block Top Five Men’s Volleyball Stories of the Week list 13 times during the regular season. Among Somers’ best articles included a news-feature about how the Penn State players’ relaxed style off the court helped them focus on the court and a personality profile about fiery assistant coach Jay Hosack. Somer was also the most active college men’s volleyball reporter in the nation on Twitter and would send out about 100 volleyball related Tweets in a week.
MIVA Reporter of the Year: Evan Barnum-Steggerda
Evan Barnum-Steggerda, a senior, is the 2013 Off the Block MIVA Reporter of the Year and becomes the second reporter from The Ball State Daily News to win this award. The senior in his first year as the beat reporter for the Ball State men’s volleyball wrote about 50 articles this season and had a conference-best nine stories earn Off the Block Top Five Men’s Volleyball Stories of the Week honors. Barnum-Steggerda’s top stories this year included an in-depth personality profile about walk-on Jon Clawson making the Ball State roster and a news-feature story examining why Ball State as the last undefeated team in the nation was not ranked in the national coaches poll. Along with his articles, Barnum-Steggerda served as an on-air analyst for online video pregame and postgame shows for select Ball State home matches that aired on the newspaper’s website.
MPSF Reporter of the Year: Trent Christiansen
Trent Christiansen, a junior, is the 2013 Off the Block MPSF Reporter of the Year — becoming the first reporter from The Universe to win the award. In his first season of covering the BYU men’s volleyball team, Christiansen wrote almost 30 articles about the team and had four articles make an Off the Block Top Five Men’s Volleyball Stories of the Week list this season. Among the senior’s top stories this year included a personality profile story about BYU’s quirky starting setter Ryan Boyce and a feature story on the rise of potential All-American freshman outside attacker Ben Patch. Christiansen also produced several outstanding preview and game stories throughout the season that featured strong direct quotes from the players and insight into the matches.