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.

Officials navigate gray area in order to grow the game
Garrett Ross | The Daily Collegian
Nothing is that clear cut for a college men’s volleyball official during a match ranging from rule interruptions to interactions with players and coaches. This feature story examines how EIVA officials have changed the way they called matches in recent years to limit the amount of whistle stoppages and to better communicate with players.

UCLA to face UC Santa Barbara in midst of tough stretch
Leonardo Villalobos | Daily Bruin
UCLA coach John Speraw following his team losing two road matches to Hawai’i kicked his players out of a practice earlier this week because of a lack of effort. This preview story UCLA’s match against No. 5 UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday focuses on why Speraw made the decision to end the practice and the effects it had on the team.

IPFW completes comeback to beat Ohio State
Blake Sebring | The News-Sentinel
IPFW rallied from multiple deficits as it defeated Ohio State in five games on Wednesday to move into second place in the MIVA. This game story looks at how IPFW making comebacks to win big conference matches has almost become the norm for the Mastodons this season.

Practice intensity prepares team for matches
David Polaski | The Ball State Daily News
Ball State is in the midst of a five-match winning streak in part because of the intensity the players established at practice has transitioned to their matches. This news-feature story focuses on why the Cardinals opted to increase the intensity during their practice and how it has benefited the team on the court this season.

Redshirt players contribute to success despite limited role
Garrett Ross | The Daily Collegian
In a move that is all part of his long-term plan, Penn State coach Mark Pavlik decided to place a redshirt on three players this season. This feature story looks at the role the redshirt players have on the Nittany Lions and why Pavlik feels given a player a redshirt year will benefit the player and the team in the long term.