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.


Long Beach State bounces back, sweeps BYU
Mike Guardabascio | Press-Telegram
No. 2/3 Long Beach State responded one day after losing to No. 3/2 BYU as the team hit .347 in a sweep against the Cougars on Saturday to split the two-match series. This deadline game story examines the differences between the two matches and how the 49ers were able to be offensively successful in the series finale.

UCLA home court sets stage for rivalry match
Phil Share | Daily Bruin
No. 1/1 UCLA remained undefeated as it defeated its winless rival No. 15 USC in four games on Saturday. This preview story to the match, though, focuses on how the UCLA and USC rivalry goes beyond the teams’ records and is an emotional match for players and coaches.

BYU block too much, beats Long Beach State
Darnell Dickson | Daily Herald
No. 3/2 BYU made multiple late-match blocks in its four-game victory versus No. 2/3 Long Beach State on Friday. This game story looks the Cougars’ defensive performance that finished with 15.5 blocks and led to the victory against the previously undefeated 49ers.

Clark takes the reins at Clarke
Brenden West | Telegraph Herald
First-year coach Nick Clark not only inherits a Clarke team that graduated multiple NAIA All-American and all-conference starters from last season but is the program’s fourth head coach in the last four years. This season preview story examines how the new coach is installing his philosophy at Clarke and how that could result in the team returning to the postseason.

Penn State not bothered by tough schedule
Tim Alvarez | The Daily Collegian
No. 10 Penn State opened its season playing five consecutive non-conference matches against nationally ranked teams. This news-feature story looks at why coach Mark Pavlik prefers to schedule tough opponents in the first month of the season.