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.


Grosh leads BYU middles
Darnell Dickson | Daily Herald
Middle attacker Joe Grosh in his first season as a starter is among the nation’s top 15 with more than a 1.30 blocks per game. This personality profile story examines how Grosh opted to come to BYU because he wanted more structure in his life and to grow in his LDS faith.

UCLA aims to restore former level of excellence
Claire Fahy | Daily Bruin
Despite its program history of winning a nation-best 19 NCAA champions, No. 11 UCLA is in the bottom four of the MPSF standings through the first month of conference play. This news-feature story looks at how coach John Speraw is attempting to develop this team primarily comprised of freshmen and sophomores into a championship-caliber team.

BYU wins long rally, then match against Long Beach
Darnell Dickson | Daily Herald
No. 5 BYU late in the fourth game won a lengthy rally against No. 8 Long Beach State that helped complete the two-match series sweep Saturday. This game story focuses on how that rally was indicative of defensive effort the Cougars showed throughout the entire match.

Penn State prepared to deal with travel against nation’s best
Mark Puelo | The Daily Collegian
For Penn State traveling halfway across the nation to play a match can become increasingly difficult when its tall players are placed into the confined spaces on a bus or plane. This news-feature story looks at how Penn State deals with these challenging travel conditions it encounters almost every road trip.

Pacific transfer makes new home at Ball State
Robby General | The Ball State Daily News
Former Pacific outside attacker Edgardo Cartagena almost had his college career end last season when the school opted to cut its men’s volleyball program to help finance a new school strategic initiative. This personality profile looks at how the Puerto Rican native left Pacific and transferred to Ball State after visiting the campus.