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.

Heckler amuses as UCLA beats UC San Diego
Chris Kalra | Daily Bruin
Some times the best game stories have very little to do about what happened on the court. This article on No. 6 UCLA’s conference victory against UC San Diego last week focuses on the creativity of a heckler during the match and the role that fan played in the sweep.

Ball State uses mental toughness to beat IPFW
David Polaski | The Ball State Daily News
In a rivalry match that lived up to the hype had plenty of trash talking on both sides of the net, Ball State defeated IPFW in four games to remain in second place in the MIVA. This game story looks at how Ball State in order to win needed to be mentally prepared for IPFW’s vocal style of play and remain focused on the match.

No. 6 UCLA falls to No. 5 Pepperdine
Claire Fahy | Daily Bruin
Despite No. 6 UCLA winning an emotional second-game overtime, No. 5 Pepperdine rallied on the road to beat its conference rival in four games. This game story, which uses a nice embodiment lead to bring the readers into the story and show the emotion of the match, examines the frustration among Bruins having lost four of their last five matches.

No. 3 BYU gets sweep against defending NCAA champion UC Irvine
Brandon Gurney | Deseret News
Freshman outside attacker Tim Dobbert had a season-high 11 kills and two aces to help No. 3 BYU sweep No. 8 UC Irvine on Friday in a rematch of last season’s NCAA championship match. This game story looks at the development of Dobbert and how he was able to contribute to the Cougars’ conference home victory.

Penn State swept by No. 2 Long Beach State
Garrett Ross | The Daily Collegian
For the first time this season Penn State was swept as it lost a non-conference match to No. 2 Long Beach State on Saturday at the Active Ankle Tournament. This gamer examines how the Nittany Lions were unable to slow down the 49ers’ offense in the loss.