The top college men’s volleyball stories of the week

It’s your top men’s volleyball stories list, but with a twist.

Every Sunday during the men’s volleyball regular season, Off the Block will post the 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.


IPFW looking to name court after historic coach
Blake Sebring | The News-Sentinel
The IPFW athletics department is making sure that Hall of Fame coach Arnie has a permanent legacy on the Mastodons’ home court — even after the coach retires at the end of the season. This article examines how IPFW is attempting to raise enough funds to name court at the Gates Center in honor of Ball.

Loyola appears even stronger than 2014 championship team
Philip Hersh | Chicago Tribune
No. 1 Loyola has opened its defense of the NCAA championship on a three-match winning streak, including non-conference victories against No. 7 BYU and No. 12 Stanford at the AVCA Showcase. This article looks at how the Ramblers are ready to make a run at becoming the third program in the last 20 years to win back-to-back national championships.

Belmont Abbey coach hopeful for improvements
Richard Walker | Gaston Gazette
Coach Mary DeJute after missing the postseason last year enters this season optimistic Belmont Abbey can return to the eight-team Conference Carolinas Tournament. This season preview focuses on how the Crusaders are rebuilding from a disappointing 2014 season and how DeJute is growing the third-year program.

UCLA faces early test, aims to erase losing streak at BYU
Tanner Walters | Daily Bruin
No. 4 UCLA opened its conference season this weekend with two road losses to No. 7 BYU. This preview story to that series examines the challenges for a young team playing at Smith Fieldhouse and how coach John Speraw adjusts his team’s preparation for these early season matches.

Schedule, recruiting part of challenge for Bluefield
Brain Woodson | Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Bluefield College played its inaugural college men’s volleyball match during the weekend, which it lost to Warner. This column examines the struggles the first-year NAIA program faces attempting to recruit players and schedule matches because of the limited amount of men’s volleyball in Virginia.