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.


The return of Ben Patch
Megan Kaplon | Volleyball Magazine
BYU opposite Ben Patch after earning All-American honors and being named the 2013 National Newcomer of the Year as a freshman left volleyball to go on a two-year mission with his church. This personality feature story examines why Patch stepped away from the sport and his current training to return to the court for the 2016 season.

Freshman brings love of volleyball from Australia to Bluefield
Brian Woodson | Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Freshman opposite Connor Holland emerged as one of the top offensive options for Bluefield during the NAIA program’s inaugural season. This personality profile story looks at the passion Holland displayed on the court this season and his journey from Australia to the West Virginia college.

BYU loses to UC Irvine for sixth straight loss
Darnell Dickson | Daily Herald
No. 6 BYU is in the midst of longest losing streak since its second year as a NCAA Division I program in 1991 following two home losses to No. 5 UC Irvine during the weekend. This deadline game story looks at the Cougars’ struggles against the Anteaters and puts the losing streak into historical context.

Aaron Russell Show leads Penn State past Ohio State
Matt Martell | The Daily Collegian
All-American outside attacker Aaron Russell had a match-high 30 kills as then-No. 10 Penn State defeated No. 11 Ohio State in five games last week. This game story focuses on how Russell’s offensive performance was so dominant that Ohio State coach Pete Hanson called it the “Aaron Russell Show” in his postmatch news conference.