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.


BYU’s Patch meeting expectations and improving
Brandon Gurney | Desert News
BYU All-American opposite Ben Patch making his return to the court after a two-year church mission and is leading the MPSF midway through the season with a 4.32 kills per game average. This news-feature story looks at how Patch is enjoying his time back with the Cougars and his non-stop effort to improve every aspect of his game.

UCLA overcomes early struggles to sweep Pepperdine
Tanner Walters | Daily Bruin
No. 3/3 UCLA rallied from an early deficit and fought off multiple game-points in the opening game as it swept No. 9/9 Pepperdine on Friday to remain tied for second place in the MPSF. This game story looks at team’s ability to overcome its problems early in the match and secure the conference road victory.

UC Irvine has faith in face of adversity
Brendan Yu | New University
UC Irvine coach David Kniffin has not lost any faith that the Anteaters can have a successful season — even if the nation’s preseason No. 2 ranked team is in ninth place in the MPSF. This feature story examines how Kniffin has created a culture of trust in the program and the team’s confidence despite recent losses.

UCLA prepares for top-10 ranked foes
Grant Sugimura | Daily Bruin
Two losses in a span of two weeks was exactly what No. 3/3 UCLA needs to help its players regain its focus. This news-feature story looks at how the Bruins are more focused during practices following a mid-season slump in the midst of the university’s midterm exams.