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.

Ball State’s celebration dances keep morale high
David Polaski | The Ball State Daily News
The Ball State bench has provided fans a source of entertainment this season doing everything from sliding across the court to pretending to kick field goals. This news-feature looks at how the Ball State players like doing these celebrations during matches and how they positively benefit the home match environment.

Russell leads Penn State with confidence
Lindsey Smith | The Daily Collegian
Outside attacker Aaron Russell enters the final month of the regular season among the nation’s leaders and leading the conference in most offensive categories. This personality profile story focuses on how Russell has continued to improve his game this season to the point that coach Mark Pavlik feels he is now one of the top three outside attackers in the nation.

Players mean more than wins to Ball State coach
David Polaski | The Ball State Daily News
Ball State coach Joel Walton earlier this month picked up his 300th career victory — becoming the third active coach MIVA to achieve the feat. This personalty profile examines Walton’s journey to reaching this coaching milestone and the obstacles he’s overcome while forming lifelong relationships with his players.

Penn State coach uses strong work ethic to grow players and men
Garrett Ross | The Daily Collegian
One of the most important coaches for a player redshirting with Penn State has become strength and conditioning coach Mike Chatman. This news-feature story looks at the role Chatman has with the Nittany Lions and how he has helped transform the team’s weight-lifting culture to get the players bigger and stronger.

Life on the road for BYU
Sarah Ballard | The Universe
There is a set of rules for BYU players while traveling to play road matches that includes not being allowed to sunbath and being prohibited from eating fast-food chicken nuggets. This light-hearted news-feature article focuses on these team rules and why coach Chris McGown from his own experiences had to implement them.