It’s your top men’s volleyball stories list, but with a twist.
Every Sunday during the men’s volleyball regular season, Off the Block will post the 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’s Hessenauer steps up after tendinitis bout
Claire Fahy | Daily Bruin
UCLA freshman outside attacker Christian Hessenauer was one of the top ranked high school recruits last year but had to sit-out his entire high school senior year because of tendinitis in both his knees. This personality profile looks at the difficulty that Hessnauer endured last season not playing and the start of his successful transition to college volleyball.
BYU goal still to win a national championship
Jay Drew | The Salt Lake Tribune
Despite having to replace graduated All-American outside attacker Taylor Sander, libero Jaylen Reyes remains confident that BYU can not only return the NCAA Tournament but win the national championship. This news-feature story examines Reyes’ confidence in his team and how the Cougars are adjusting to playing without Sander.
Underperformance potential problem for UCLA against Stanford
Claire Fahy | Daily Bruin
Coach John Speraw after No. 9 UCLA lost its first three conference matches made several adjustments to his practices in an attempt for his players to be more focused. This preview story, which uses several strong direct quotes from Speraw, examines the changes the coach wants to see from his players.
UC Irvine handles Hawai’i
Barry Faulkner | Daily Pilot
No. 4 UC irvine swept No. 6 Hawai’i in the opener of a two-match conference series earlier this week. This game story looks at how the Anteaters overcame a daunting portion of its schedule to play its best volleyball of the season so far.
Penn State coach confident amidst losing streak
Mark Puleo | The Daily Collegian
Penn State coach Mark Pavlik was one of least panicked people about the Nittany Lions’ losing their first six matches of the season. This news-feature story focuses on why Pavlik was less concerned about the team’s winless record and more about getting his team ready for a possible run at the NCAA championship.