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.


Erskine coach hits 800th win, still trying to improve
Ethan Joyce | Index-Journal
Coach Cole Tallman earned his 800th career victory as Erskine defeated Mount Olive in four games on Friday. This personality profile looks at the unorthodox path that led from Tallman having never played volleyball and having zero interest in coaching the sport to spending more than 30 years coaching college teams.

No. 1 Loyola smacks down any IPFW upset attempt
Blake Sebring | The News-Setninel
No. 1 Loyola had more than a .400 attack percentage in a road sweep against No. 9 IPFW on Thursday. This game story examines how the defending-NCAA champions Ramblers may be even better than last season and the frustration for coach Arnie Ball in the loss.

UC Irvine overpowers Stanford
Barry Faulkner | Daily Pilot
Both outside attackers Tamhir Hershko and Kyle Russell had a combined 27 kills to help lead No. 5 UC Irvine to a sweep against Stanford on Friday. This game story focuses on how the Anteaters’ two outside attackers have become increasingly difficult for the opposing team to block this season.

UCLA’s Arnitz remains tenacious despite top-recruit status
Claire Fahy | Daily Bruin
Freshman outside attacker Jake Arnitz has emerged as No. 11 UCLA’s top offensive option so far this season and has lived up to the hype of being the top-rated recruit in the nation. This personality profile story looks at how Arnitz handled the high preseason expectations and his successful transition to playing at the college level.

Alumni match gives chance for brother reunion
Mark Puelo | The Daily Collegian
A rarity happened for outside attackers Aaron Russell and Peter Russell at Penn State’s annual alumni match last weekend as the two brothers played against each other. This news-feature story looks at what the match meant for two team brothers and the confidence Peter Russell has in his younger brother and the Nittany Lions to turnaround their season after a slow start.