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.


Father, sons share playing time at Palomar College
Rick Hoff | The San Diego Union-Tribune
Vern Bentley is at every one of his two sons’ matches for Palomar College. The 55 year olds needs to be there because he is also a freshman defensive specialist on the community college men’s volleyball team. This personality profile examines why Bentley as a lifelong volleyball player opted to return to school and play college volleyball with his sons.

Dobbert stepping up for BYU
Darnell Dickson | Daily Herald
Opposite Tim Dobbert entered the weekend as one of BYU’s offensive leaders with a 3.27 kills per game average in the last eight matches while starting in place of injured All-American opposite Ben Patch. This news-feature looks at the emergence of Dobbert and how he is has taken advantage of his unexpected playing time this season.

Ace Man brings added energy to BYU home matches
Cosy Burnett | The Daily Universe
BYU men’s volleyball superfan Martin Wright has become a fixture at the Smith Fieldhouse for developing signs to showcase in the stands every time the Cougars have an ace. This personality profile looks Wright’s passion for BYU and why he decided to create his famous ace signage.

Penn State downs Cal Baptist in four games
Natasha Warcholak | The Daily Collegian
No. 13 Penn State despite beating Cal Baptist by nine points in the second game to take a two-game lead had to fight off a comeback attempt before winning the match in a fourth-game overtime. This deadline game story focuses on the change in the momentum between the second and third game and how the Nittany Lions were able to secure the non-conference victory.