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.


Crank enjoying opportunity as Quincy interim coach
Mat Mikesell | Herald-Whig
Bob Crank in matter of days went from preparing for the Quincy women’s volleyball season this fall to coaching the Quincy men’s volleyball team versus a top-10 nationally ranked opponent. This news-feature story focuses on Crank surprisingly being named the interim head coach after Quincy and former head coach Hadley Foster parted ways earlier this week.

BYU middle attackers emerging, opening things up
Brandon Gurney | Desert News
No. 3/3 BYU has won its last nine matches, despite being without multiple All-American setters for several matches during the winning streak. This news-feature story examines how the emergence of back-up players along with its starting middle attackers Price Jarman and Joe Grosh have enabled the Cougars to keep winning matches.

Ohio State assistant’s winning career started early
Allyyah Jackson | The Lantern
Sure, No. 1/1 Ohio State is on a historic 41-match winning streak, but winning is nothing new for Buckeyes assistant coach Kevin Burch. This personality profile looks how Burch has won a national championship in each of the last six years and his highly praised coaching methods.

Strong defense carries Ball State in sweep
Hendrix Magley | The Ball State Daily News
Middle attacker Matt Walsh had a season-high 12 blocks to help No. 11 Ball State hold Grand Canyon to a negative-.091 attack percentage in a home sweep on Wednesday. This deadline game story looks at how Walsh and the rest of the Cardinals were able to have one of their best defensive performances this season in the conference victory.