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The top 5 men’s volleyball stories of the week

April 4, 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.

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

Spending four years as a men’s volleyball beat reporter for The Ball State Daily News, I am well aware of the challenges facing most of these reporters.

In many communities volleyball is a non-mainstream sport that has a niche following. One of the reasons I always loved covering volleyball, though, was because with every story I wrote I knew I needed to find an angle that could appeal to volleyball and non-volleyball fans.

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.

Qunicy on cusp of breakthrough
Don O’Brien | Quincy Herald Whig
Two years after Quincy coach Hadley Foster took a different approach to scheduling the results are starting to pay off. This news-feature examines Fosters’ decision to split his team on game days so Quincy could play more matches and how that additional match experience is helping his players.

Weak conference has advantages, disadvantage for Penn State
Joe Mcintyre | The Daily Collegian
Penn State defeated George Mason on Saturday to win its 13th consecutive EIVA regular season championship. The Nittany Lions are a dominant program, but they are also playing in one of the weaker men’s volleyball conference. This article, written prior to the match, takes a critical look at pros and cons of Penn State being in the EIVA and if the conference can improve its overall competitiveness.

Ball State rallies past Grand Canyon
Nathan Pace | The Ball State Daily News
One of the most important things for a game story is to focus the article on the most important or most interesting aspect of the match. In this game story, the reporter does a nice job focusing how outside attacker Marcus Imwalle’s serving performance sparked Ball State to a four-game victory against Grand Canyon.

Transition and serving aid Penn State in wins
Steven Petrella | The Daily Collegian
With potential All-American outside attacker Joe Sunder out of the lineup, Penn State was still able to get two conference victories. This article looks at how the Nittany Lions’ passing and serving played a vital role in the team’s remaining undefeated in the EIVA.

Former USC standout Killian will be missed
Charlie Brande | The Daily Pilot
Former USC men’s volleyball player Donny Killian died March 25 due to complications from pneumonia. As the Trojans’ starting middle attacker, Killian helped lead USC in 1977 to its first NCAA championship in program history. This column-obituary makes the list this week in a small attempt to honor Killian and his family. The memorial service for Killian will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Mariners Church in Irvine, Calif.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Dale ODell permalink
    April 5, 2011 1:50 am

    Vinnie…Love “Off The Block”…Any way to add links to the blog for the stories of the week….I can’t find the Joe Mcintyre article about penn state…

  2. April 5, 2011 2:21 am

    Dale, no problem. If you click on the headline it will take you to the story.

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