Cumberland, Fontbonne to play in Battle for The Cox Team House Keys

A team coming off of setting a program record for wins in a single-season and the newest college men’s volleyball program in Tennessee will meet in the inaugural Battle for The Cox Team House Keys.

The Grow the Game Challenge announced Sunday that Cumberland and Fontbonne will play each other in the trophy game on 3 p.m. Jan. 19 in Lebanon, Tennessee, as part of the Off the Block Grow the Game Challenge presented by MotorMVB.

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-day non-conference tournament.

The Battle for The Cox Team House Keys was created to celebrate the booming real estate market in the Nashville area.


The Cox Team is one of the top realtor teams in Middle Tennessee. The husband and wife duo of Jason and Lena Cox have assisted hundreds of families buying and selling homes, while developing a family realtor business that emphasizes integrity and community involvement.

Cumberland University is the host site for the 2019 Grow the Game Challenge. The three-day event is the nation’s largest college men’s volleyball non-conference tournament and will feature NCAA and NAIA teams from around the country.

Cumberland is entering its inaugural season after announcing in 2017 that it would start a NAIA men’s volleyball program. The Phoenix for the 2019 season have a roster comprised primarily of freshmen with players from Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, North North Carolina, Colorado, South Dakota and Puerto Rico.

Fontbonne finished last season setting a program record with 19 victories. The NCAA Division III school from St. Louis also has won at least 15 matches in each of last three seasons.

Among the starters returning for the Griffins includes all-conference libero Zach Rothstein, who set the school’s single-season record with 331 digs last season.

Both Cumberland and Fontbonne will compete in the NCAA Division III/NAIA Division of the Grow the Game Challenge.

The match result of the Battle for The Cox Team House Keys, along with the other match results in this division, will count towards determining the tournament champion of the Grow the Game Challenge.

The Grow the Game Challenge will be Jan. 18-20. Tickets for all tournament matches can now be purchase online at $8 for a day pass and $20 for a tournament pass.