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Published: Tuesday, 5/8/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Former Falcons star returns as an assistant

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Ali Mann was captain of the Falcons' 'Sweet Sixteen' team in 2006-07. Ali Mann was captain of the Falcons' 'Sweet Sixteen' team in 2006-07.
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BOWLING GREEN -- Ali Mann, one of the best players in Bowling Green State University women's basketball history, was named an assistant coach for the Falcons on Tuesday.

Mann, a captain of the Falcons' 'Sweet Sixteen' team of 2006-07 and one of 13 players named to the All-Anderson Team, begins her duties May 23 under new head coach Jennifer Roos.

"Ali is one of the top young assistants in the coaching profession," Roos said in a release. "She has gained valuable experience recruiting the Midwest region as well as nationally at two Division I institutions. Ali has performed a myriad of duties at both institutions and has excelled with those responsibilities.

"Along with her recruiting experience, her passion and knowledge of our culture and system at BGSU make her a great fit for our staff. She knows first-hand what it takes to be a champion on the court, and her drive to succeed also extended into the classroom as an undergraduate.

"She achieved great success while living out her dreams here at BGSU as a student-athlete; I am confident she will do the same as a coach, reconnecting with a campus and a community that has meant so much to her."

Mann returns to BGSU after spending last season as an assistant coach at Colgate. She also spent two years (2008-10) as an assistant at IPFW and served as head coach with the Quinta dos Lombos under-19 team in Portugal in 2010-11.

A four-year starter at BGSU from 2003-07, Mann helped the Falcons post a 103-25 record during her tenure. BG won Mid-American Conference regular-season and tournament titles in each of her final three seasons. The Falcons also won NCAA tournament games against Oklahoma State and Vanderbilt in 2007, becoming the first MAC women's team to advance to the round of 16.

Mann finished her career ranked second in school history in career scoring (1,825 points) and third in rebounding (911 boards). She currently ranks third in both categories.

She earned all-conference honors in each of her four seasons and became just the sixth player in MAC history to be named player of the year, freshman of the year, and tournament MVP during her career.

"I couldn't be more excited to return to Bowling Green," Mann said. "Jennifer Roos has been a mentor and role model for me, both as a student-athlete and as a coach. I'm looking forward to learning even more from her and continuing the success of the BGSU women's basketball program."

SOFTBALL STEPS UP: The BG softball team has taken a large step forward this season, earning the third seed in the MAC tournament, which begins today at Firestone Stadium in Akron.

BG will play the winner of the Central Michigan-Kent State contest at 7:30 p.m. as it begins its trek through the tournament, which ends Saturday. The winner earns an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament.

Bowling Green finished the regular season with a 35-20 mark, a 23-win improvement over last season. The Falcons finished second in the MAC's East Division with a 15-7 record, nine wins better than a year ago.

As a result, BG coach Shannon Salsburg was named the MAC's coach of the year.

Freshman pitcher Jamie Kerles was named the MAC's freshman of the year after posting a 16-11 record and 2.30 ERA while striking out 132 batters in 173⅔ innings. Kerles was named All-MAC first team along with junior infielder Hannah Fulk, who set the school record with 13 home runs while hitting .319 with 31 RBIs and 49 runs scored.

Kerles also was named to the all-freshman team along with fellow pitcher Paris Imholz, who was 17-9 with a 1.85 ERA.

BASEBALL QUEST: The Falcon baseball team will host Toledo in a three-game series at Steller Field at 3 p.m. Friday and continuing with single games Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m.

BG is ninth in the MAC with an 8-13 mark, and only the top eight teams advance to the tournament. The Falcons, who are two games behind eighth-place Miami, also have the three games at Buffalo next weekend to make up that deficit and earn a tournament berth.

The MAC tournament will be played May 23-26 at All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon, Ohio.

TENNIS HONORS: Four members of the BG tennis team received post-season honors from the MAC as the Falcons reached the semifinals of the MAC tournament.

Sophomore Nikki Chiricosta was selected All-MAC first team thanks to her 45-20 overall record, which included a 23-9 singles mark and a doubles record of 22-11, while sophomore Emily Reuland was named to the second team. She had a team-best 49-17 record, including a 25-8 singles record and a doubles mark of 24-9.

Junior Maddy Eccleston, a St. Ursula grad, received the Leann Grimes Davidge Sportsmanship Award, which is presented annually to the player who displayed outstanding sportsmanship in MAC competition and is voted on by the players.

Junior Katie Grubb, who won both her singles and doubles matches in a win over Eastern Michigan in the MAC semifinals, was named to the all-tournament team.

Contact John Wagner at: jwagner@theblade.com, 419-724-6481, or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.



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