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.
BYU looking like title contenders
Jay Drew | The Salt Lake Tribune
No. 2 BYU defeated No. 7 USC and No. 4 Pepperdine during the weekend in its first home matches in almost a month. This preview story to that weekend homestand focuses on how the Cougars significantly improved throughout their time away from Smith Fieldhouse and are now contenders to repeat as MPSF champions.
Davis goes from Loyola star player to coach
Joe Flaherty | Loyola Phoenix
Shane Davis has spent his entire adult life on the Loyola campus going from an all-conference player to becoming the head coach of the Ramblers following his graduation. This personality profile, which uses a nice anecdotal lead to bring the reader into the rest of the story, chronicles how Davis opted to play college volleyball instead of college football and his ability as the head coach to develop the program into a national powerhouse.
Penn State captain Seifert goes back to the basics
Lindsey Smith | The Daily Collegian
With his offensive numbers declining earlier this season, Penn State middle attacker Matt Seifert was pro-active in overcoming his slump. This feature story examines how Seifert and the coaching staff worked together to find and correct the flaws in the sophomore’s hitting technique.
Unorthodox attack works for Ball State setter
David Polaski | The Ball State Daily News
Ball State setter Graham McIlvaine does not shy away from trying dump kill plays throughout a match. This news-feature story looks at why the senior likes using this offensive attack method and why he considers himself one of the best in the nation at the setter dump.
UCLA clinches five-set win over Stanford
Claire Fahy | Daily Bruin
A challenge for any sports reporter is writing compelling game stories while on a tight deadline for evening matches. This deadline game story on No. 3 UCLA’s five-game win against No. 8 Stanford focuses on how the Bruins were able to win the decisive fifth game in overtime and what the victory means for the team.