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.


Pacific ties
Grant Sugimura | Daily Bruins
Setter Micah Ma’a and outside attacker Michael Fisher returned to their home state as No. 1/1 UCLA traveled to No. 5/5 Hawai’i for a two-match weekend series. This in-depth personality profile story examines both players’ experience growing up in Hawaii and their journey to UCLA.

Hatch among best blockers in BYU history
Darnell Dickson | Daily Herald
All-conference middle attacker Michael Hatch went from being cut from the Cougars as a freshman to now being among BYU’s all-time leaders in blocks. This personality profile looks at how Hatch has quietly become one of the top middle attackers in the program’s history.

Volleyball more than a job for Ball State coach
Elizabeth Wyman | The Ball State Daily News
Ball State coach Joel Walton has overcome several challenges in his volleyball career ranging from being bullied in middle school for playing the sport to fighting for his program survival because of athletics department budget cuts. This personality profile focuses on Walton’s passion for Ball State and how he has worked to save the program from extinction.

BYU sweeps UC Santa Barbara in return home
Sean Walker | KSL
Preseason All-American outside attacker Jake Langlois had 13 kills including the match-winning kill in overtime as No. 3/2 BYU swept No. 10/8 UC Santa Barbara on Friday. This deadline game story looks at how Langlois helped lead the Cougars to a strong offensive performance in their first home match in almost three weeks.

Charleston going big right off the bat
Derek Redd | Charleston Gazette-Mail
Charleston playing its inaugural season in the EIVA has adjusted to being a NCAA Division II school competing against Division I teams in conference play. This news-feature stories examines why the second-year program wanted to play in the EIVA and its challenging schedule.