There is now even more on the line for the first meeting in four years between USC and Lindenwood.
The Grow the Game Challenge announced Sunday that the two teams will play in the Battle for the Tall Slim Tees V-Neck at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 20 in Lebanon, Tennessee, as part of the Off the Block Grow the Game Challenge presented by MotorMVB.
The Battle for the Tall Slim Tees V-Neck is one of six trophy games that will take place next weekend during the non-conference tournament.
While trophy games are uncommon in NCAA Division I-II 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 days of the Grow the Game Challenge.
Tall Slim Tees is a clothing store that produces items specifically designed to fit lean and tall individuals. Its online store also offers a wide variety of styles and options ranging from v-neck shirts to dress shirts.
USC opened its season with two consecutive wins at the Rainbow Warrior Classic in Hawaii. Opposite Ryan Moss in those two wins had a combined 23 kills, including a team-high 15 kills in a four-game win versus NJIT.
The Trojans entered this season after reaching the MPSF Tournament semifinals in 2018. In the final weeks of the regular season, USC also upset its cross-town rival and top-five nationally ranked team UCLA.
Lindenwood is traveling to the Grow the Game Challenge following a 0-2 start to its season with losses to Charleston and No. 2/2 UCLA during the weekend.
The Lions, though, were ranked No. 5 in the season’s first Division II National Coaches Poll and are the defending champions of the Grow the Game Challenge. In addition, libero Diego Negron is the early-season leader in the MIVA with a 2.25 digs per game average.
The Battle for the Tall Slim Tees V-Neck will be the first meeting between USC and Lindenwood since the Trojans defeated the Lions in four games in 2015.
The Grow the Game Challenge will take place Jan. 18-20 at Cumberland University. With a 10-team field, the Grow the Game Challenge will be the largest college men’s volleyball non-conference tournament during the 2019 season.
The match result from the Battle for the Tall Slim Tees V-Neck, along all other 12 tournament matches, will count towards determining the overall tournament champion of the Grow the Game Challenge.