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.
UCLA holds off Penn State
Gordon Brunskill | Centre Daily Times
UCLA middle attacker Mitch Stahl returning to his home state had 12 kills and seven blocks as No. 5 UCLA defeated No. 10 Penn State in five games on Friday. This game story focuses on both the emotion for Stahl playing one of his first college matches back in Pennsylvania and the intensity of the five-game non-conference match.
New coach provides different style at IPFW
Blake Sebring | The News-Sentinel
First-year IPFW coach Ryan Perrotte is a near polar opposite from his predecessor Hall of Fame coach Arnie Ball when it comes to on-court demeanor. This news-feature story examines Perrottee’s calm in-match approach and how he is preparing the Mastodons for the upcoming season.
BYU looks physical, potent at start of season
Brandon Gurney | Deseret News
Even before No. 1 BYU’s season started this weekend first-year coach Shawn Olmstead called the Cougars the most physical team he’s ever worked with in college volleyball. This season preview story examines the team’s strengths and the improvements its made since last season.
UCLA opens with East Coast road trip
Tanner Walters | Daily Bruin
No. 5 UCLA for the first time this decade traveled outside the West Coast to play in non-conference matches. This preview story from earlier in the week looks at the Bruins’ season-opening East Coast road and challenges the team faces traveling across the country for the first time in recent history.
Former club teammates reconnect in BYU win
Sean Walker | KSL
All-American opposite Ben Patch playing with his former club setter Leo Durkin finished with a match-high 21 kills as No. 1 BYU defeated No. 3 Loyola in four games on Friday. This game story focus on the offensive success between Patch, who was playing his first college match since going on a two-year church mission, and Durkin, who was making his first college start.
New-look Lewis wins season opener
Curt Herron | The News-Herald
Freshman outside attacker Julian Moses led all players with 21 kills on a .471 attack percentage to help No. 8 Lewis defeat No. 9 UC Santa Barbara in its season opener. This game story looks at how well Moses and several other first-year starters preformed for the Flyers in the non-conference victory.
Serving game critical for Quincy’s success
Mat Mikesell | Herald-Whig
Quincy returns several starters from last year’s team that reached the postseason, but for coach Hadley Foster that will not be enough if the team doesn’t improve its serving. This news-feature story examines how the Hawks have made a significant effort this preseason to enhance its serves after being among the MIVA leaders with more than 450 serving errors last season.