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.


Langlois came long way for BYU
Darnell Dickson | Daily Herald
With No. 3/3 BYU missing multiple All-American starters because of injuries, All-American outside attacker Jake Langlois had a combined 70 kills and a .367 attack percentage in the last five matches. This story looks at the significance of Langlois during the Cougars’ eight-match winning streak and the outside attacker’s journey from arriving to BYU as a walk-on with no competitive volleyball experience.

Ball State volleyball culture attracts fans, recruits
Hendrix Magley | The Ball State Daily News
No. 12 Ball State began the week leading the MIVA and third in the nation with a 1,425 home attendance average. This news-feature story examines how Ball State has developed a passionate volleyball following throughout the campus and community, which is now helping result in the Cardinals signing more top recruits.

BYU libero bounces back from second injury
Jay Drew | The Salt Lake Tribune
Libero Erik Sikes despite missing eight matches has a 2.50 digs per game average, including a season-high 15 digs in a four-game win against No. 8/8 Stanford on Friday. This personality profile story focuses on how Sikes overcame two knee surgeries to contribute to No. 3/3 BYU and his adjustment to being a Catholic at the Mormon university.

Injuries block success for UCLA, despite key subs
Kelsey Angus | Daily Bruin
Both middle attackers Olive Martin and Eric Sprague have entered No. 6/6 UCLA’s starting lineup in recent weeks because of an injury to All-American middle attacker Mitch Stahl. This news-feature story looks at how the two players have been offensively successful in their time on the court and the physical toll a middle attacker has to endure throughout a season.

More to Loyola’s Plaisted than volleyball
Amanda Lister | Loyola Phoenix
Loyola opposite Ben Plaisted biggest hits this season have not been on the court — even with him being among conference leaders averaging 2.68 kills per game. This personality profile focuses on Plaisted’s other passion of music and the YouTube rap music videos he has created such as “Ramblers on the Road.”