Limestone to compete in Grow the Game Challenge for second straight season

Limestone is heading back to the Off the Block Grow the Game Challenge in 2019.

Off the Block announced Tuesday that the Saints for the second consecutive year will compete in the nation’s largest college men’s volleyball non-conference tournament.

The Grow the Game Challenge is an annual event that brings regular season matches to an area of the nation that does not have a NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball team. The 2019 tournament will take place on Jan. 18-20 at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee.

“We are excited to return to the Grow the Game Challenge,” Limestone coach Steve Benson said. “Coming to the inaugural event last season and seeing the teams that attended, it was easy to return to Nashville.”

Limestone during its first season under Benson had a roster primarily comprised of freshmen and finished 2018 in sixth place in the ConfCarolinas.

The Saints also went 0-3 at the inaugural Grow the Game Challenge last season in Nashville. Despite the losses, Limestone forced fourth games against Charleston and McKendree, which were both ranked in the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Division II National Coaches Poll during the 2018 season.

Among the Saints returning starters next season includes Francisco Salinger Cenzual. Cenzual was fourth in the ConfCarolinas with a 2.82 kills per game average and was named the 2018 ConfCarolinas Freshman of the Year.

The Grow the Game Challenge operates as a non-profit organization that is based in Nashville and was started by Off the Block editor Vinnie Lopes. In addition, the organization is committed to help promoting the growth of college men’s volleyball throughout the United States.

“OTB is becoming a leader in promoting men’s collegiate volleyball in the US,” Benson said. “Vinnie at OTB does a great job creating an event that elevates the game of men’s volleyball in an area where it’s not present. We are excited to return and help grow the game.”