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 player celebrates mother’s recovery during match
David Polaski | The Ball State Daily News
It has been a year of off-the-court struggles for Ball State middle attacker Julian Welsh-White watched his moth battle with Guillain-Barre Syndrome — a rare neurological illness that can result in being permanently paralyzed and death. This personality profile story chronicles Welsh-White and his month’s journey and the challenges of playing volleyball in the midst of a family crisis.

Rivera needs to be the boss for IPFW
Blake Sebring | The News-Sentinel
IPFW setter Omar Rivera showed flashes of greatness and at times left coach Arnie Ball completely frustrated in the team’s five-game conference victory against Lewis on Thursday. This column focuses on how the Mastodons’ success this season and its chances to reach the NCAA Tournament will largely be determined how well Rivera plays the rest of the season.

Loyola looks to take part in first NCAA championship at school
Joe Flaherty | Loyola Phoenix
No. 1 Loyola midway through the college men’s volleyball season remains undefeated in conference play and is in position to reach the NCAA Tournament, which will take place on its campus in May. This news-feature story examines how the Loyola athletics department was able to win the bid to host a NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history and what playing host to the final four means to the Ramblers.

Penn State’s Parik contributes despite coming off bench
Garrett Ross | The Daily Collegian
Penn State setter Zack Parik knows as a serving specialist he has to make the most of his limited time on the court during a match. This news-features story looks at the valuable role Parik has on the team and how he has helped contribute to the Nittany Lions’ nation-best 12-match winning streak.

BYU players enjoy midseason break
Annie Nelson | The Universe
The Cougars in the midst of a bye week have used the time off to their advantage. This news-feature story focuses on how the BYU players have taken the week off to get away from their daily volleyball routine and prepare for the second half of the regular season.