The inaugural match for the Cumberland men’s volleyball team just got whole lot sweeter thanks to a partnership between Scoopz Italian Ice and the Off the Block Grow the Game Challenge presented by MotorMVB.
The Grow the Game Challenge announced Wednesday that the first-year NAIA program and Bluefield College will play each other in the inaugural Battle for the Scoopz Grand Cannoli.
This trophy game will take place at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 18 in Lebanon, Tennessee, and will be a part of the Grow the Game Challenge. Cumberland University is the host site for the 2019 Grow the Game Challenge, which is the nation’s largest college men’s volleyball non-conference tournament and will feature NCAA and NAIA teams from around the country.
While trophy games are uncommon in college men’s volleyball, they are used on other college sports such as football to hype up games and emerging rivalries. This trophy game concept is being utilized for the Grow the Game Challenge as a way to spotlight certain matches during the three-day non-conference tournament.
Scoopz is a local eatery in Lebanon that opened in 2018 and serves gelato, ice cream and Italian ice. It also unveiled new menu items this fall such as sandwiches and cannolis, which are now available year-round.
Cumberland is the first college in Middle Tennessee to sponsor a men’s volleyball program.
Coach Scott Barbe has recruited both locally and nationally to compile his roster for the Phoenix’s inaugural season. Along with five players from Tennessee, the team includes players from Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Colorado, South Dakota and Puerto Rico.
The Battle for the Scoopz Grand Cannoli will be the first of three times that Cumberland and Bluefield play each other in 2019. The two conference opponents will also meet for Mid-South Conference matches in February and March.
Bluefield ended last season winning a program-record seven matches. In addition, the NAIA team in Match pulled off its biggest upset in the program’s four-year history as it upset Belmont Abbey, a NCAA Division II team.
Both Cumberland and Bluefield
will compete in the NCAA Division III/ NAIA Division of the Grow the Game Challenge
The match result of the Battle for the Scoopz Grand Cannoli, along with the other match results in this division, will count towards determining the tournament champion of the Grow the Game Challenge.