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The top 5 men’s volleyball stories of the week

March 20, 2011

It’s your top five men’s volleyball story list, but with a twist.

Every Sunday during the men’s volleyball 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.

Off the Block will be primarily looking at a college newspapers — they provide the majority of coverage to the sport — but occasionally it will include some well written men’s volleyball articles from professional newspapers.

This time of year is challenge for most men’s volleyball reporters at college newspapers.

Two months into the season a reporter has done many of the feature stories he or she wanted to do at the start of the year and now has to dig deeper to find interesting stories about the team. In addition, with it being Spring Break many colleges reporters have to balance enjoying their break and getting away from the newspaper, while still maintaining their beat and reporting any news that happens.

However, this is also the time of year when the short break can help re-energize a reporter and give them time think of some awesome feature story ideas for the rest of the season.

These types of stories, along with going beyond the boxscore 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.

Senior middle attackers leaving mark at Ball State
Andrew Mishler | The Ball State Daily News
In addition to Ball State leading the nation in blocks, seniors Anders Nelson and J.D. Gasparovic this season have emerged as one of the nation’s best middle attacker combination. This news-feature story discusses how the two players have grown into their starting roles and what they are going to miss about playing college volleyball when their careers end in a few months.

Penn State’s Curry and Goodell progressing in redshirt season
Steven Petrella | The Daily Collegian
A simple rule sometimes forgotten in college newsrooms: every player on a team has an interesting story for a feature or personality profile — and not just the star players. This feature story looks at how Penn State freshman Connor Curry and Nick Goodell after being redshirted in the fall are developing their skills and preparing to replace several starters next season.

No. 2 BYU to take on Cal State Northridge
Kristian Ekenes | The Daily Universe
Following No. 2 BYU’s two five-game losses to No. 1 USC, the Cougars had a 14-day layoff before their next match. This preview story for BYU’s weekend series against Cal State Northridge focuses on how the bye week and having to wait longer before playing its next match mentally affected some of the players. The Cougars lost to the unranked Matadors in the first match after their bye week.

Olsen, Sunder, Comfort complimenting each other well for Penn State
Joe McIntyre | The Daily Collegian
The Daily Collegian continues to be one of the best at mid-week news-feature stories this year. This article discusses how Penn State is beginning to run a more balanced offense and no longer just relying on outside attacker Joe Sunder to offensively carry the team. It also has a great lead about Sunder at the start of the season wanting a more balanced offense.


USC records weekend victories

Duke Ho | The Daily Trojan
This game story examines how USC was able to win two conference matches during the weekend, despite its struggles against UC San Diego. However, the story primarily makes the list because of its nice use of quotes, especially the direct quote from Trojans coach Bill Ferguson on how the team was not sharp against the Tritons.

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