Off the Block is a website that focuses on college men’s volleyball news and analysis. Within its first three years, Off the Block has emerged as one of the nation’s media leaders in college volleyball by providing year-round coverage of the sport ranging from in-depth interviews with coaches to breaking national stories such as changes to the NCAA Tournament. Along with its coverage, Off the Block has also served as an innovator creating new annual national college men’s volleyball awards including Preseason All-American Teams and the National Setter of the Year.

Vinnie Lopes created Off the Block in January 2011 and continues to serve as the website’s editor. Vinnie began covering men’s volleyball for The Ball State Daily News in the 2007 season. For the next four years Vinnie continued to cover the team for the Daily News in print and on the web. He was there when the 2008 team won back to back matches against then-No. 7 UCLA and was nationally ranked by the media and coaches poll. Vinnie was also in Worthen Arena to cover the program’s 1,000th win.

During the 2009 season Vinnie became a voting member in the media poll for rankings.

Among his awards for sports coverage, Vinnie was the first college sports reporter to win the AVCA Grant Burger Media Award for newspaper volleyball reporting. In addition, he was the inaugural winner of the AVCA Grant Burger Media Award social media category in 2013 for Off the Block’s social media coverage of college men’s volleyball.

Vinnie graduated with degrees in journalism and history at Ball State University. He is now a journalist and non-fiction historical writer who resides in Nashville with his wife Ali. Vinnie recently released his first book, “The Volleyball Debate,” that examines the controversial start of the men’s volleyball program at Ball State.

For more of Vinnie’s stories and videos visit his website.

Contact Vinnie at vinnielopes@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @vinnielopes.

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