Tournament preview notes: 2019 Division III Grow the Game Challenge

The Off the Block Grow the Game Challenge series isn’t finished yet.

The inaugural Division III Off the Block Grow the Game Challenge will feature five first-year NCAA Division III programs and take place Friday and Saturday at Trine University in Angola, Indiana.

Check out the tournament schedule and what to know about each team entering this non-conference tournament.

Tournament schedule

FRIDAY MATCHES

Time Match Follow live
6 p.m. North Park vs. Mount Union Video (Periscope)
6 p.m. Concordia-Chicago vs. Thomas More Video (Facebook Live)
8 p.m. Trine vs. Thomas More Video (Periscope)
8 p.m. Concordia-Chicago vs. Mount Union Video (Facebook Live)

SATURDAY MATCHES

Time Match Follow live
9 a.m. Trine vs. Concordia-Chicago Video (Periscope)
9 a.m. North Park vs. Thomas More Video (Facebook Live)
11 a.m. Mount Union vs. Thomas Moore Video (Periscope)
11 a.m. North Park vs. Concordia-Chicago Video (Facebook Live)
1 p.m. Trine vs. Mount Union Video (Periscope)
3 p.m. Trine vs. North Park Video (Periscope)

Trine

Location: Angola, Indiana
Conference: MCVL
Head coach: Brendan Ledwith (formerly with USA Volleyball)
2019 record: 0-1
What to know: Trine had a men’s volleyball program from 1991-2002 and won the 1998 MIVA NAIA Division championship. The Thunder, which now compete at the NCAA Division III level, are making their return back to men’s volleyball this season.
Player to know: Outside attacker Eric Santiago-Garcia had both a team-high nine kills and eight digs in a season-opening loss to Loras on Wednesday.

Concordia-Chicago

Location: Chicago
Conference: NACC
Head coach: Rhyen Staley (formerly with Joliet Catholic Academy)
2019 record: 0-0
Player to know: Freshman setter Matthew Geiser is making his college debut after helping lead his high school team to the Arizona state semifinals last year.

Mount Union

Location: Alliance, Ohio
Conference: Independent
Head coach: Matt Mihelic (formerly the Boys Program Director for Ohio Valley Region of USA Volleyball
2019 record: 0-1
Player to know: Libero Andre Chen had a match-high 13 digs in the team’s season-opening three-game loss to Wittenberrg on Tuesday.

North Park

Location: Chicago
Conference: Independent
Head coach: Michael Sopocy (formerly with Resurrection Prep)
2019 record: 0-2
Player to know: Outside attacker Frank Mauigoa finished with a team-high nine kills on a .429 attack percentage and added two blocks in North Park’s four-game loss to Greenville on Friday.

Thomas More

Location: Crestview Hills, Kentucky
Conference: Independent
Head coach: John Spinney (head coach of both the Thomas More men’s and women’s volleyball teams)
2019 record: 0-3
Player to know: Outside attacker Nick Richard leads Thomas More with 29 kills through the first three matches of the seaosn, including having both a team-high 13 kills and six digs in a four-game loss to Hiram on Saturday.