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.


IPFW looking for a few taller men
Blake Sebring | The News-Sentinel
First-year IPFW coach Rock Perrotte has experienced several challenges this season from multiple starters being injured to being taller at 6-foot-7 than all the players on his roster. This column examines the problems created for the last-place Mastodons because of their lack of size.

BYU balance overwhelming for opponents
Brandon Gurney | Deseret News
No. 1/1 BYU entered this week leading the nation with more than a .350 attack percentage and had three players in the nation’s top 50 with more than a 3.00 kills per game average. This news-feature story focuses on how the Cougars’ emphasis on a running balanced offense has resulted in more success this season.

Long Beach State dominates CSUN in sweep
Mike Guardabascio | Press-Telegram
No. 2/2 Long Beach State rebounded from its loss to No. 4/4 Ohio State last week as it swept No. 11 CSUN on Friday, including a 16-point victory in the opening game. This deadline game story looks at the anger the 49ers had following their first loss in almost two months and how the players opted to take their frustration out on the Matadors.

Penn State suffers first loss to St. Francis
Lucas Gouvlais | The Daily Collegian
St. Francis overcame a one-game deficit to upset No. 6/6 Penn State on Friday for the Red Flashes’ first all-time victory against the Nittany Lions. This game story focuses on how Penn State struggled to be consistent in its first match since its bye week and did not have the energy needed to beat St. Francis.

Ball State gears up for second half of MIVA
Jake Fox | The Ball State Daily News
It is not enough for No. 10/10 Ball State to be tied for first place with about a month before the start of the MIVA Tournament. This news-feature story looks at how the Cardinals are confident in their capability of winning a conference regular season championship despite a challenging remaining schedule.

Wittenberg libero comes out to team, family
Nathan Matthews and Jim Buzinski | Outsports
Wittenberg libero Nathan Matthews in his first season is among the leaders on the Division III team with a 1.84 digs per game average, but he made an even bigger off-court decision in his freshman season. This column provides a Matthews’ first-person account about his decision to publicly announce he is a gay athlete.