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 regular 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.

UC Irvine’s Austin is a volleyball natural
Kirstine Olsen | FOX Sports
UC Irvine setter Chris Austin never grew up wanting to play volleyball, but over time came to love the sport. This personality profile looks how Austin took an unusual path to become the Anteaters’ starting setter.

Quincy out to prove its more than MIVA prey
Blake Toppmeyer | Quincy Herald-Whig
After having back-to-back winning season, Quincy and its coach Hadley Foster are hoping the program takes the next step forward this season and finishes outside the bottom of the MIVA. This season preview article discusses the team’s improvement from last year and why Hawks expect to do better in the MIVA this season.

BYU falls apart in home loss to Lewis
Jared Lloyd | Daily Herald
Nothing makes a game story strong like great quotes. This game story looks at how No. 2 BYU blew a two-game lead and lost to Lewis in five games Friday. In addition, it contains several strong quotes from BYU All-American outside attacker Taylor Sander about how the team didn’t trust each other in the loss.

Ball State opens vs. St. Francis on its 50th season
Evan Barnum-Steggerda | The Ball State Daily News
Ball State, the oldest non-West Coast men’s volleyball program, opened its 50th season as varsity sport this weekend. This preview article highlights the upcoming season, but also looks at how Ball State alumni are returning to Muncie, Ind., to celebrate the 50-year anniversary.

Penn State prepares to open its season
Darian Somers | The Daily Collegian
Penn State coach Mark Pavlik has one thing in common with Alabama football coach Nick Saban: the way to motivate a championship team. This season preview story examines the mind-set Pavlik has established with the new-look Nittany Lions entering the season.