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 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 look forward to providing itself without star Sander
Brandon Gurney | Desert News
No. 6 BYU is the two-time defending MPSF champions but enter this season without All-American outside attacker Taylor Sander, the 2014 National Player of the Year who graduated last year. This season preview story examines how coach Chris McGown plans to attempt replacing Sander and how playing without Sander is motivation for the current players.

Ball hopes last IPFW season can be long one
Blake Sebring | The News-Sentinel
Hall of Fame coach Arnie Ball after 35 year on the IPFW sidelines will retire at the end of the season. This season preview article focuses on how Ball is handling all the attention he is receiving because of his retirement and the chances of IPFW making a deep postseason run in the coach’s final season.

A blocker without a team
Jeff Vorva | Chicago Tribune
Despite winning the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Block of the Year last season, Pacific middle attacker Tommy Carmody will be sidelines this season. This feature story examines how Carmody won’t play this season because Pacific disbanded its program and hopes to transfer to a school for the 2016 season.

Long Beach State ready to open 2015 season
Mike Guardabascio | Press-Telegram
As Long Beach State begins its season, coach Alan Knipe is already starting to look beyond this year and prepare for the future. This preview story examines the youth on the 49ers’ roster and how Knipe is making moves to get Long Beach State ready for a potential title run in the upcoming seasons.

UCLA looks for fresh start with young top recruits
Claire Fahy | Daily Bruin
UCLA will have 16 freshmen and sophomores on its 18-player roster this season, but don’t expect it to play like a typical young team. This feature story looks at how UCLA coach John Speraw during the last two years was able to sign several of the nation’s top ranked high school recruits that could play a big role in the Bruins’ success this season.