The top 5 college 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.

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 State setter adjusts to life in United States
David Polaski | The Ball State Daily News
Setter Hiago Garchet after growing up and playing volleyball in Brazil is not only having to adapt his game to the college level, but adapt to a whole new way of living while in the United States. This feature story examines the daily challenges for Garchet as he works towards getting more playing time and adjusting to an American lifestyle.

Sander leads BYU past Stanford
Jared Lloyd | Daily Herald
With No. 6 BYU leading No. 8 Stanford in the third game 24-23, All-American outside attacker Taylor Sander had a game-winning ace that helped lead the Cougars to beat the Cardinal in four games on Friday. This game story focuses on how Sander’s game-winning ace was the pivotal turning-point in the Cougars’ fifth consecutive conference victory. In addition, the reporter incorporates a multimedia element into this story by adding an Instagram video of Sander’s ace.

Penn State freshman overcomes setbacks, earns spot as starter
Lindsey Smith | The Daily Collegian
Penn State middle attacker Matt Callaway within a year had to overcome a serious case of mononucleosis and a wrist injury to work his way into the Nittany Lions’ starting lineup. This personality profile examines how the highly touted high school recruit Callaway battled through these setbacks last year and is now a key contributor to Penn State’s recent success.

Like father, like son for Rainbow Warriors
Hayley Musashi | Ka Leo
Hawai’i made an off-season coaching move adding Milan Zarkovic — the father of the Rainbow Warriors outside attacker Sinisa Zarkovic — as an assistant coach for the 2014 season. This feature story looks at why the legendary European coach wanted to join the Rainbow Warriors coaching staff and what it’s like for him to coach his son.

Penn State uses recruiting to build program
Garrett Ross | The Daily Collegian
Penn State coach Mark Pavlik said he knows his team can’t afford a misstep in recruiting because of the limited amount of scholarships in college men’s volleyball. This news-feature examines the three-year recruiting process Pavlik and his coaching staff uses to ensure they are bringing in players who can help Penn State continue to reach the NCAA Tournament.