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.

Frio! IPFW’s Puerto Rican players struggling with weather
Blake Sebring | The News-Sentinel
The sub-zero Midwest winter weather has created a whole new experience for several native-Puerto Rican players on IPFW’s roster this season. This news-feature story looks at how the Mastodons dealt with temperatures that dropped as low as -16 degree and set a 50-year weather record low for Fort Wayne, Ind.

Loyola attains lofty height
Toni Ginnetti | Chicago Sun-Times
Loyola in the midst of a five-match winning streak jumped to No. 1 in the national coaches poll on Monday — becoming the first MIVA team since 1999 to sit atop a regular season coaches poll. This news-feature story examines how the program has grown into a national powerhouse under coach Shane Davis.

Hammond sets Penn State up for victory
Garrett Ross | The Daily Collegian
Penn State setter Taylor Hammond is not only one of the best setters in college men’s volleyball, but he’s also one of the most cerebral. This personality profile story looks at how the All-EIVA setter views a volleyball match more like a chess match and tries to out-think his opponents.

Ball State knocks off IPFW in conference opener
David Polaski | The Ball State Daily News
The best game stories are those that have a clear focus. This game story about Ball State’s five-game conference victory against IPFW on Friday does just that as it focuses on the career-night of the Cardinals libero David Ryan Vander Meer. In addition, the author uses a nice embodiment lead to bring the reader into the rest of the article.

Bench creates depth for Penn State
Lindsey Smith | The Daily Collegian
Penn State coach Mark Pavlik is strategic in the way he uses every player on his team throughout a season. This news-feature story looks at the role that the Nittany Lions’ back-up players have on the team and how Pavlik uses them to increase the team’s competitiveness.