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 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.

Attendance gap widens for Penn State volleyball
Jon Wheel | The Daily Collegian
The Penn State men’s volleyball team has the highest home attendance in the EIVA and had more than 3,000 fans attend its last home match, but it is still out-drawn by the Penn State women’s volleyball team. This news-feature story examines why the attendance gap between the two teams is almost three-times more for the Penn State women’s volleyball team.

The BYU legend of Ben Patch
Trent Christiansen | The Universe
BYU freshman outside attacker Ben Patch is anything but boring off and on the volleyball court — whether it’s his love for art or going from never playing competitive volleyball to four years later playing for the U.S. Men’s Junior National Team. This personality profile story looks at how Patch has been able to succeed and find fulfillment throughout his life.

First-year setter incensed about Penn State loss
Darian Somers | The Daily Collegian
Nothing makes a game story better than a great quote from a source that just lost. This gamer about Penn State’s loss to Ohio State focuses on setter Taylor Hammond’s frustrations after the match. It also uses a great direct quote towards the top of the story to bring the readers into the rest of the article.

Seifert brings competitive edge to Penn State
Jon Wheel | The Daily Collegian
Penn State middle attacker Matt Seifert early in his life learned about college sports by watching his older brother play for the Temple football team. This feature story discusses how his older brother’s experience has benefited Seifert and helped make him one of the Nittany Lions’ hardest working players.

Ball State wants answers vs. rival IPFW
Evan Barnum-Steggerda | The Ball State Daily News
Ball State suffered its first lost of the season last weekend resulting in players and coaches questioning the team’s identity. This preview story examines some of the ways Ball State looked to change its image before playing its in-state rival IPFW earlier this week.

3 Replies to “The top 5 men’s volleyball stories of the week”

  1. Re: The article regarding attendance disparity at Penn State University

    You can attribute this disparity in attendance to the lack of conference play and rivals for the men’s team, as mentioned in the article, but more significantly to the ravages Title IX has done to men’s NCAA volleyball and other “secondary” men’s sports. While women volleyball players have the opportunity to attend and play NCAA volleyball on full-ride scholarships at over 300 universities (as they should), a male volleyball player currently has fewer than 40 DI-II schools to choose from–and these schools have 4 or fewer overall scholarships to divvy up among the entire men’s program (versus, often, 10 or more full-rides in a women’s program).

    Everyone who loves volleyball and sport should be happy for the women and all these opportunities to compete and attend college on a volleyball scholarship, but should be equally appreciative if not appalled by the decisions to drop men’s collegiate volleyball programs and scholarships across the U.S. For example, at UC Berkeley, where the excellent women’s Vball program offers 12 or more full-ride scholarships, a Berkeley male volleyball player can only play for the men’s “club” program, where he will shoulder some of the expenses of his uniform and travel and play only other men’s “club” programs. ZERO men’s volleyball scholarships are available for men at UC Berkeley.

    Is that really the spirit and the standard that Title IX meant to esablish of “equal opportunity” for both men and women to compete in sports and for scholarships (in the same sport at the same university) in U.S. colleges?

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