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.

UCLA racks up another loss to USC
Leonardo Villalobos | Daily Bruins
No. 9 UCLA’s slump continued to get worse as it lost to its cross-town rival No. 7 USC last week for its fifth loss on the last six matches. This game story, which uses a nice anecdotal lead to bring the reader into the article and show the team’s frustration, focuses on how the Bruins are handling the losing streak and multiple injuries.

Ball State player uses alternative training to improve on court
David Polaski | The Ball State Daily News
Outside attacker Matt Sutherland throughout the regular season has emerged as one of Ball State’s most physical players because of his revamped workout program that includes everything from weight lifting to aquatic classes. This feature story looks at how this off-court conditioning help lead to Sutherland having a career performances in Ball State’s recent matches.

Penn State makes most of lengthy road trip
Lindsey Smith | The Daily Collegian
Penn State’s season-long road trip throughout different regions of the country has resulted in several matches becoming a homecoming for certain members of the Nittany Lions. This news-feature story examines the benefits and potential distractions for a player to return to his hometown for a road match in college men’s volleyball.

Curtains closing on BYU senior’s juggling act
Sarah Ballard | The Universe
BYU middle attacker Devin Young has bigger things to worry about this season than just volleyball and trying to win a NCAA title. This personalty profile story looks at how Young has spent this season on the team while balancing his other priorities that include school, holding down a job, being married and becoming a new father.

Strenuous schedule forces Ball State to take precautions
David Polaski | The Ball State Daily News
With Ball State entering one of the most critical portions of its conference season, coach Joel Walton has opted to scale back the amount of practice time. This news-feature story examines why Walton opted to change his practice schedule and how it has helped his players experience fewer injuries this season.