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.
Improved serving catalyst for BYU success
Brandon Gurney | Deseret News
No. 3/3 BYU entered the weekend fourth in the nation with a 1.63 aces per game average, but beyond aces, the Cougars’ serving has forced opponents to run their offenses out-of-system. This news-feature story examines how BYU’s serving has contributed to its 11-match winning streak, despite playing most of those matches without All-American opposite Ben Patch.
Blough setting up Ohio State success
Colin Gay | The Lantern
The beginning of Christy Blough’s setting career occurred more out of necessity because of a high school injury. Years later, though, Blough is an All-American setter who has No. 1/1 Ohio State poised to make a run at repeating as NCAA champions. This news-feature story examines Blough’s volleyball journey and how coach Pete Hanson now compares him to recent Ohio State football quarterbacks.
UCLA looks to continue upturn
Melissa Zhang | Daily Bruin
Coach John Speraw took advantage of the No. 7/7 UCLA’s recent bye week to work with his players on their blocking. This news-feature story examines the team’s bye week strategy and how it prepared for a critical non-conference match against No. 5/5 Lewis, which UCLA won in four games.
UC Irvine stuns Ohio State, ends winning streak at 42
Allyyah Jackson | The Lantern
The MIVA-record 42-match winning streak ended for No. 1/1 Ohio State as it lost in three games to No. 6/6 UC Irvine on Saturday. This deadline game story focuses on the Buckeyes’ reaction to suffering their first loss in more than a year.