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.
Stanford starts with daunting task
Vytas Mazeika | The Daily News
Coach John Kosty knew when he scheduled an early-season two-match series against the defending NCAA champions No. 1/1 Ohio State he would find out just how well his team compared to one of the nation’s best. This preview story to that series, which the Buckeyes swept, focuses on the Cardinal having several first-year starters and replacing two All-American graduated seniors.
BYU goal still NCAA title despite season-opening split
Jay Drew | The Salt Lake Tribune
No. 4/4 BYU, the preseason favorite to win the MPSF and the returning NCAA Tournament finalists, did not panic after splitting a two-match Midwest road trip to open its season. This feature story examines the positive perspective from the Cougars coaching staff following the early-season loss, especially given the preseason pressure to win a NCAA championship.
Work-in-progress Fort Wayne returns home
Aubree Reichel | The Journal Gazette
Rock Perrotte is in his second year as the Fort Wayne head coach but admittedly is still a few more years away from having the program consistently contend for the MIVA championship. This news-feature story looks at Perrotte’s three-year development plan to grow the program that he inherited from Hall of Fame coach Arnie Ball.
Stronger UCLA team to face new, tougher foes
Melissa Zhang | Daily Bruin
Sure, No. 2/2 UCLA returned a majority of its starting lineup — but so did all the three other teams that made the NCAA Tournament semifinals last season. The news feature article examines the improvements the Bruins have made since last year and how coach John Speraw has the team in position to annually contend for a national championship.
Home crowds pushes BYU in sweep of Concordia-Irvine
Darnell Dickson | Daily Herald
No. 4/4 BYU playing in front of 2,814 fans rallied from an eight-point deficit in the third game to complete a sweep against Concordia-Irvine on Friday. This game story focuses on how BYU recovered to win the non-conference match and the lesson the team learned from that third game.