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.
Club team’s fight for success set future for Penn State
Giana Han | The Daily Collegian
The Penn State powerhouse had a humble beginning with a group of self-described hippies forming an on-campus club team and becoming a program that quickly dominated the Eastern Collegiate Volleyball League. This profile chronicles those early Penn State teams that were quickly despised by other ECVL teams because of their winning. It also examines the players’ efforts to make volleyball a varsity sport at Penn State.
Dose of silliness helps Lewis bench succeed
Kaitlyn Jasnica | The Herald-News
The in-match sideline celebrations of the bench players for No. 7/7 Lewis have a deeper meaning to the entire team. This news-feature story examines how the lighthearted antics helps the entire team remain mentally engaged throughout a match and brings the players closer together.
Davis finds new home at Limestone
David Roberts | Index-Journal
Limestone outside attacker Drew Davis is making the most of the opportunity at his new school. This personality profile examines the openly-gay athlete’s decision to leave Erskine after receiving a threatening homophobic note and him excelling in a new environment at Limestone.
International players vital to BYU success
Jay Drew | The Salt Lake Tribune
It was significant culture shock for the international players on No. 3/3 BYU when they arrived to campus, especially because several of them are not members of the LDS faith. This news-feature story looks at the adjustment of non-LDS players playing for the Cougars.
French connection crucial for Ohio State
Kyle McKinnon | The Lantern
Ohio State outside attackers Nicolas Szerszen and Maxime Hervoir have developed a friendship and bond that goes beyond the court. This profile examines the connection between the two French players and their importance to the team as the Buckeyes attempt to repeat as national champions.
Barton roster embraces being melting pot
Cyd Zeigler | Outsports
Barton not only is in first place in the Conference Carolinas, but has one of the most diverse rosters int he nation This news-feature story examines the accepting environment of the Bulldogs’ program with players from various nationalities and sexual orientations on the roster.