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 pulls off one more Muncie memory for Ball
Blake Sebring | The News-Sentinel
No. 10 IPFW rallied from a two-game road deficit to defeat its biggest rival No. 13 Ball State in five games on Thursday. This column examines the emotion surrounding the rivalry match, especially with it being the final time Hall of Fame coach Arnie Ball would play a road match against Ball State before retiring at the end of the season.

UCLA freshman sets himself up as promising setter
Tanner Walters | Daily Bruin
UCLA freshmen setter Eric Matheis within the last two weeks has come off the Bruins bench and has earned more playing time as the team’s starting setter. This personality profile focuses on how Matheis in high school transitioned from a basketball player to a volleyball player and what ultimate led to him signing with UCLA.

Penn State looks to utilize depth rest of season
Mark Puelo | The Daily Collegian
Coach Mark Pavlik find out he had even more depth on his roster after being forced to change his starting lineup last week because of an injury in warmups. This news-feature looks at how Pavlik intends to take advantage of the that additional roster depth after seeing several new starters excel in victories.

UCLA team efforts don’t pan out against 49ers
Claire Fahy | Daily Bruin
Despite a dominant opening-game victory, No. 9 UCLA lost in four games to No. 11 Long Beach State on Wednesday. This game story focuses on how a combination of the UCLA players losing their focus following the first game and Long Beach State’s improved defensive performance resulted with another conference loss for the Bruins.