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.


Sikes, defense looking up for BYU
Sean Walker | KSL
Despite missing last season with a torn ACL, BYU libero Erik Sike in his first season as a starter has emerged among the MPSF leaders with a 2.26 digs per game average. This news-feature story examines how Sike’s play in the first month of the season has been critical to the Cougars’ early-season success.

Undefeated UCLA keeps rolling, beats CSUN
Tanner Walters | Daily Bruin
No. 1/1 UCLA overcame a one-game deficit to beat No. 12 CSUN in four games on Friday to remain undefeated and win its fourth match in a six-day span. This game story focuses on the Bruins’ sluggish start against the Matadors and how they overcame an initial lack of energy to win the conference match.

Ottawa embraces inaugural college men’s volleyball season
Clinton Dick | The Ottawa Herald
Ottawa University, a NAIA school, this season became the first college in Kansas to start a college men’s volleyball program. This feature story looks at the excitement surrounding the new program and the differences for Ottawa coach Melissa Blessington between women’s and men’s volleyball.

Serving errors cost Quincy in loss to Ohio State
Mat Mikesell | Herald-Whig
Quincy committed 11 serving errors as it lost to No. 7/8 Ohio State in three games on Friday. This deadline game story focuses on how the untimely service errors prevented Quincy making a comeback and resulted in the team losing its MIVA opener.

Penn State works on building a wall
Tim Alvarez | The Daily Collegian
Penn State coach Mark Pavlik continues to place to an emphasis on his team improving its blocking and front-row defense. This news-feature story looks at how the Nittany Lions’ work to set up more triple blocks and the effectiveness of a triple block.

Hawai’i freshman embraces college experience
Zach Johnson | Ka Leo
It’s still an unreal experience for Hawai’i freshman setter Joe Worsley to play and practice in the Stan Sheriff Center. This personality profile examines why Worsley wanted to play for the Rainbow Warriors and what the opportunity to be on the team means to back-up setter.