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Published: Wednesday, 10/7/2009

Bowling Green, Kent to play for Centennial Cup

BY DONALD EMMONS
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

BOWLING GREEN - More than Mid-American Conference pride is at stake this week when conference rivals Bowling Green State University and Kent State University tangle in a couple fall sports.

Points toward claiming the Centennial Cup will be on the line when the Falcons and Golden Flashes meet at Kent for football and volleyball. The Centennial Cup is a trophy that will be presented to one of the two universities at the end of a year's worth of head-to-head sports contests. Both schools are celebrating 100-year anniversaries.

"What a great way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of two great institutions," BG baseball coach Danny Schmitz said. "The competitive spirit and rich history will make the Centennial Cup a very interesting story to watch."

A point will be awarded to the winning team each time BG and Kent meet in athletic competition throughout the school year. The year-long contest will conclude when the football teams meet in 2010.

Until then, there's added incentive at play when the Falcons meet the Flashes in conference competition.

"The Centennial Cup is a great opportunity to create healthy competition among top collegiate athletes at Kent State and [Bowling Green] during this historic celebration," BG gymnastics coach Kerrie Beach said. "Kent State is already a huge rival for our gymnastics program and this will only fuel the fire for our athletes to go for the win on competition day.

"This really brings an extra element every time our athletes face Kent State in competition."

STILL CHASING NO. 500: The pursuit of career win No. 500 continues this weekend for BG volleyball coach Denise Van De Walle.

The Falcons' longtime head coach will lead BG (7-11, 0-4 MAC) into a pair of MAC road matches this weekend, playing at Ohio on Friday night and at Kent State on Saturday night. Van De Walle

remains six victories shy of tallying 500 wins for her career that dates back to taking over the Falcons program in the 1980s. Her record over 27 seasons stands at 494-333.

The Falcons have struggled recently, dropping eight consecutive matches heading into Friday's contest with the Bobcats.

However, BG seniors Shari Luther and Kaitlin Jackson lead a team that entered the season with high expectations.

Luther, who has earned MAC East Division offensive player of the week honors once this season, leads the conference in attack percentage with a .374 mark. She also leads the team in kills (179) and blocks (53) while Jackson has accounted for 145 kills and 25 blocks.

BROWN VS. ORANGE SERIES: The Falcons baseball team is closing out fall workouts with the annual Brown vs. Orange World Series.

The Orange team, led by back-to-back homers from Derek Spencer and Clay Duncan, defeated the Brown team 9-4 in Game 1 on Sunday afternoon at Steller Field.

The scheduled five-game series continues, weather permitting, with Game 2 set for today (3:10 p.m.). Game 3 and Game 4, are scheduled for tomorrow and Friday at 3:10 p.m.

Contact Donald Emmons at:

demmons@theblade.com

or 419-724-6302



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