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.


Lutz sets it up nicely for Pfeiffer
Bill Arsenault | LNP
Pfeiffer setter Harrison Lutz had to wait three seasons before earning a spot in the starting lineup but has now emerged as one of the top setters in the Conference Carolinas. This feature story focuses on why Lutz has been successful in first season as a starter and how his on-court demeanor has been a positive for the Falcons.

Long travel takes toll on Ball State
Kara Berg | The Ball State News
Ball State has made multiple bus trips last more than 10 hours for road matches during the last month. This news-feature story examines how the players spend their time on the team bus and the ways they try to overcome the physically exhausting road trips.

UCLA focuses on honing mental aspects
Tanner Walters | Daily Bruin
The next step UCLA needs to take to become a great team for coach John Speraw is enhancing its mental approach to every match. This news-feature story focuses on how Speraw is working with his young roster be to more prepared for pressure situations and to have a desire to constantly improve.

Seifert leads way for Penn State
Stephen Valenti | The Reading Eagle
Few players provide more leadership qualities to his team than Penn State middle attacker Matt Seifert. This personality profile looks at how the three-year team captain became the leader on the Nittany Lions and the intangibles he provides the team.

Senior carries UC Irvine to upset UCLA
Brendan Yu | News University
Outside attacker Kyle Russell had a career-high 21 and led all players with 11 digs as No. 12 UC Irvine upset No. 2/1 UCLA in five games Thursday. This deadline game story story focuses on how Russell along with senior middle attackers Jason Agopian and Marty Ross helped the Anteaters pull off the road upset.