The top 5 men’s volleyball stories of the week

It’s your top five men’s volleyball story list, but with a twist.

Every Sunday during the men’s volleyball season Off the Block will post the top five 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.

Off the Block will be primarily looking at a college newspapers — they provide the majority of coverage to the sport — but occasionally it will include some well written men’s volleyball articles from professional newspapers.

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 boxscore 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.

Aucoin making most of only year with Ball State
Andrew Mishler | The Ball State Daily News
Jeff Aucoin after playing three seasons for a club volleyball team at New Hampshire opted to transfer as a graduate student to Ball State and play at the Division I level in his final year of eligibility. This profile story examines why Aucoin wanted to come to Ball State and how the move could benefit his coaching career.

Error-prone No. 1 UCLA falls to No. 2 UC Irvine
Chris Kalra | Daily Bruin
The key to writing a successful game story is giving the article a focus that highlights one of the most important things about the match. This article, which uses a nice embodiment lead to bring the reader into the story, looks at how the big errors in the fifth game resulted in No. 1 UCLA suffering its first home loss of the season.

Pregame rituals fuel Penn State
John Stuetz | The Daily Collegian
Penn State just before the start of a match has a tradition called the chunnel — a ritual where the team forms a circle around one player and then begins to sway and chant in unison. This feature takes an in-depth look at the why the Nittany Lions perform the chunnel and its benefits on the team before a match.

UCLA falls in three games to USC
Kevin Bowman | Daily Bruin
UCLA middle attacker Wes Dunlap was the most frustrated player on the court following his team’s three-game home loss to USC. This article, which has serveral nice direct quotes from Dunlap, looks at the Bruins’ over confidence resulted in a loss and what the team needs to do to correct its mistakes.

Penn State uses difficult weekend as learning experience
Wynton Somerville | The Daily Collegian
Penn State received what players described as a wake-up call when it went 0-2 during its mid-season West Coast road trip. This article discusses the struggles the team had playing on the road and how the players and coaching staff are attempting to move forward from the frustrating road trip.