Lindenwood to compete in 2019 Grow the Game Challenge

[Editor’s note: Off the Block each day from Aug. 6-15 will unveil one team participating in the 2019 Grow the Game Challenge. The entire tournament field and match schedule will be released Thursday, Aug. 16.]

The Grow the Game Challenge champions will have a chance to defend its title next season at the non-conference tournament.

Off the Block announced Monday that Lindenwood will participate in the 2019 Off the Block Grow the Game Challenge.

The Grow the Game Challenge features 10 teams and is the nation’s largest college men’s volleyball non-conference tournament. The annual event in an effort to promote the sport is played in an area of the country is that is a non-traditional volleyball hotbed.

The upcoming Grow the Game Challenge will take place Jan. 18-20 at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee.

Lindenwood swept Erskine, North Greenville and Barton at the inaugural Grow the Game Challenge last season to win the tournament championship.

The Lions ended last season ranked No. 5 in the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Division II National Coaches Poll and advanced to the MIVA Tournament quarterfinals. The team returns a majority of starters from the upcoming season, including All-MIVA setter Adam Brewster and middle attacker Sam Schindler.

Schindler also was named to the All-Tournament Team at the 2018 Grow the Game Challenge.

“I think we had a solid year getting our foundation and culture established, so I cannot wait to see our guys get to work,” Lindenwood coach Joe Kosciw said. “I know they are hungry to keep improving and looking forward to building off of last year’s accomplishments. As far as being able to participate in the Grow the Game Challenge, we are glad to be back and look forward to another fun three days of competition.”

This is the second consecutive year that the Grow the Game Challenge will be played in the Nashville area. The non-conference tournament last season occurred at Lipscomb University.

The Grow the Game Challenge operates as a non-profit organization based in Nashville. The group’s mission is to help bring college men’s volleyball matches to parts of the United States that do not have a NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball team.