Nashville, TN-- NCAA men’s volleyball is coming to Nashville and the North Greenville men’s volleyball team will be one of the teams in the spotlight as the Crusaders will take part in the first ever “Grow the Game Challenge”.
The Nashville-based college men’s volleyball website Off the Block announced Thursday that 11 NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball teams will participate in the inaugural Grow the Game Challenge on Jan. 12-14, 2018 at Allen Arena on the campus of Lipscomb University.
This will be the first time a NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball event has taken place in Nashville since men’s volleyball became a NCAA sanctioned sport in 1970.
While no college in the Nashville area has a Division I-II men’s volleyball program, the city is a central location for many of the teams in the tournament. The three-day event will serve as a way to help promote the growing sport and attract new fans.
The 11-team field for this early season non-conference tournament features Barton College, the University of Charleston, Erskine College, Grand Canyon University, the University of Hawai’i, Limestone College, Lincoln Memorial University, Lindenwood University, McKendree University, North Greenville University and Sacred Heart University.
This Grow the Game Challenge will have the largest field for a non-conference tournament in the recent history of college men’s volleyball. The tournament also will feature teams from all five of the nation’s NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball conferences -- Big West, Conference Carolinas, EIVA, MIVA and MPSF.
Four of the teams competing in this non-conference event -- Hawai’i, Grand Canyon, Barton and McKendree -- ended the 2017 season ranked in the national polls. In addition, both Barton and Hawai’i reached the six-team NCAA Tournament in May.
NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball is comprised of 42 schools throughout the nation. Unlike other NCAA sports, Division I and Division II programs in men’s volleyball compete for the same national championship.
The sport in recent years has experienced significant growth in non-traditional men’s volleyball areas. Schools from Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia have all added Division I-II men’s volleyball programs within the last 10 years.
One of the most recent schools to add a men’s volleyball program is Lincoln Memorial, located in Harrogate, Tennessee. The Railsplitters will compete in the Grow the Game Challenge after finishing their inaugural season in 2017 at 10-17.
All 13 matches for the Grow the Game Challenge will take place at Allen Arena. The 5,028-seat arena is home to the Lipscomb women’s volleyball team, which has reached the Division I women’s volleyball NCAA Tournament in three straight seasons.
Among the organizations to endorse this new college men’s volleyball tournament in Nashville includes USA Volleyball and Motor MVB. Motor MVB is a non-profit organization established earlier this year that is dedicated to growing boys’ and men’s volleyball throughout the United States.
Off the Block launched in 2011 and has become the nation’s leader in college men’s volleyball coverage. The national award winning website (offtheblockblog.com) is committed to helping grow the sport of college men’s volleyball. Vinnie Lopes, the founder and editor of Off the Block, will serve as the tournament coordinator for the Grow the Game Challenge.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE "GROW THE GAME CHALLENGE" AS WELL AS OFF THE BLOCK BY CLICKING HERE!