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.


Sato placid emerges as placid leader for 49ers
James Crabtree-Hannigan | Press-Telegram
Long Beach State libero Andrew Sato leads the MPSF and is fourth in the nation with a 2.74 digs per game average, but he also brings a relaxing presence to the court. This feature story focuses on the benefits of Sato’s on-court demeanor and his time with Long Beach State that included deciding to redshirt after earring all-conference honors.

BYU serving more aggressive this season
Darnell Dickson | Daily Herald
One of the biggest changes from last season is the aggressive serving for No. 4/4 BYU, which entered the weekend sixth in the nation with a 1.72 aces per game average. This news-feature examines what the Cougars coaching staff did this season to improve the team’s serving.

Ball State gets huge home crowd vs. Ohio State
Hendrix Magley | The Ball State Daily News
No. 12 Ball State in a three-game loss to No. 1/1 Ohio State on Thursday had the program’s largest home crowd this decade. This story looks at how the Cardinals were able to have 3,178 people in attendance for the rivalry match and what the large home crowd meant for the team.

Springfield battles pressure of being ranked No. 1
Sam Leventhal | The Springfield Student
Springfield for the second straight year opened the season ranked atop the Division III national coaches poll. This news-feature story looks at how the Springfield players, coaches and the school’s administration have embraced the pressure of being the No. 1 ranked team.

UCLA anticipates underdog role at BYU
Melissa Zhang | Daily Bruin
Despite No. 2/2 UCLA being in first place and on an eight-match winning streak, the team was well aware of the challenges having to travel to No. 4/4 BYU for a two-match series. This preview story to the weekend series, which the Bruins lost both matches, focuses on what makes Smith Fieldhouse such a difficult place for road teams.