The top 5 college 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.

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.

Pacific can’t maintain emotion in loss to Grand Canyon
Bob Highfill | The Record
Pacific in its final home opener before the program is dissolved blew a two-game lead and lost to Grand Canyon in five games on Friday. This game story examines the emotional struggle this match presented for Pacific and its fans as the program faces its program being eliminated in four months.

BYU hopes to build off last year’s success, disappointment
Brandon Gurney | Deseret News
BYU after opening its season 0-2 was able to sweep its weekend homestand against No. 1 Long Beach State and Cal State Northridge. This preview story to those two MPSF matches examines the how the Cougars were entering conference play trying to recover from their slow start.

UCLA starts quest for 20th NCAA championship
Leonardo Villalobos | Daily Bruin
Coach John Speraw isn’t shying away from letting people know the expectation for UCLA this season is to win its first national championship since 2006. This season preview story focuses on how Speraw is having his players handle the raised expectations and how bringing in the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class is making the Bruins even more optimistic about ending their national title drought.

Ball State freshman starts career against defending champions
David Polanski | The Ball State Daily News
Outside attacker Brendan Surane in his college debut was among Ball State’s leaders with six kills as the team lost its season opener to then-No. 1 UC Irvine last week. This day-two game story focuses on Surane and how it was a surreal experience for the freshman to play the defending NCAA champions in his first college match.

UCLA seeks comeback in Hawaii tournament
Claire Fahy | Daily Bruin
A strong quote has the ability to take an average story and make it a good and memorable read. The reporter does just that in this preview story about UCLA traveling to the Outrigger Invitational by including towards the top of article a strong quote from outside attacker Robart Page on being motivated for the tournament.