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.


Lewis coaches give back with ‘Playing for Preemies’
Kaitlyn Jasnica | The Herald-News
No. 7/7 Lewis raised more than $4,000 for the Loyola Medical Center neonatal intensive care unit as part of the Playing for Preemies promotion during its home match against No. 11 Ball State on Friday. This feature story focuses the Flyers volleyball community’s passion for this event after coach Dan Friend and his wife in the off-season had a child born 17 weeks early. Friend’s daughter, Rae, spent the first four months of her life in the NICU before being healthy enough to be discharged and come home.

BYU libero overcomes health issues with steady work
Darnell Dickson | Daily Herald
Two knee surgeries in two years has made even being able to practice a struggle for BYU libero Erik Sikes. This personality profile focuses on how Sikes’ had to make adjustments in order to manage his daily pain and soreness so he could play in matches this season.

UCLA freshman serves up fresh beats
Kelsey Angus | Daily Bruin
UCLA freshman middle attacker Daenan Gyimah being fourth in the nation hitting .451 may not be his most impressive stat — especially considering the music he created has been streamed more than 15,000 times. This personality profile examines the native-Canadian’s passion for music and how it has intersected with his volleyball career.

Springfield unites talent from California
Sam Leventhal | The Springfield Student
Coach Charlie Sullivan and his Division III powerhouse program Springfield has developed a California recruiting pipeline with seven Californians on the Pride’s roster this season. This news-feature story looks at the bond between these West Coast players and why they decided to travel across the country to play for Sullivan.

Lewis recovers from opening loss to beat Ball State
Kaitlyn Jasnica | The Herald-News
Outside attacker Ryan Coenen had a match-high 21 kills and No. 7/7 Lewis hit more than .400 in the final three games as it rallied from a one-game deficit to beat No. 11 Ball State in four games on Friday. This game story examines how the Flyers were able to adjust to the Cardinals’ block and changed to hitting more cut shots in order to be offensively successful.