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Bowling Green Takes Chesapeake Opener

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Bowling Green Takes Chesapeake Opener

Adam Regini helped lead Bowling Green to a win.

Bowling Green won the first tournament in the Chesapeake Collegiate Rugby Conference (CCRC) 7s series this past weekend, defeating Salisbury in the final.

BGSU was in a pool with Columbia and Georgetown, and beat both of those teams by shutouts (29-0 v Columbia, 15-0 v. Georgetown). In the knockout round, the Falcons defeated James Madison 19-5, and then defeated Salisbury in the final 29-7.

It was a strange tournament for Salisbury, as they beat St. Mary's (Md.) and Old Dominion in pool play but lost to Mount Saint Mary's. That put them, according to the seeding of the tournament, tied for 4th with Georgetown (who beat Columbia 29-5). The tiebreakers couldn't decide which team would move on. So Salisbury and Georgetown flipped a coin, and while they say Tails Never Fails, Salisbury Coach Bill Creese called Heads, and won.

So Salisbury went on to the semis, where the Sharks surprised Mount Saint Mary's 25-7 in the semis.

This tournament was open to non-CCRC teams, which is why Bowling Green was there. But the CCRC teams also played for series points, and by virtue of finishing 1st among CCRC teams, Salisbury took home 3 points in the five-tournament series. Pat Mullens was a force for Salisbury in the air, and the team as a whole did really well in keeping possession - that's how they beat MSM in the second meeting.

Mullens was huge on restarts, and Blake Carroll and Jordan Bakouche also played well. However, said Creese, their approach of dominating possession was turned on its head in the final. "We were not able to get any ball until the last two minutes of the match. They outmatched everyone all day with possession and size."

BGSU Head Coach Tony Mazzarella said he was especially pleased with his team's defensive effort - allowing 12 points over the course of four games.

"I was pretty impressed with how good our defense really was," said Mazzarella. "It seemed like we had our guys backing each other up quite a bit. Even if there was a minor break we had the defense working the entire time. We've got a long 7s season, so having a strong defense is a good starting point."

Veterans Adam Regini and Nick Ross were outstanding, but some new faces, such as freshman Bobby Kiskin and speedy Dominic Charnier, who has been pushing to break into the starting lineup, also impressed.

James Madison took 3rd over MSM 29-14. Georgetown, perhaps ruing that coin toss, beat Old Dominion and Temple (the latter in a nailbiter 17-15) to take 5th.

Salisbury takes 3 points in the standings, JMU 2, and MSM 1. The points over the course of five tournaments will help seed the conference championship April 22 in Stafford, Va.

Next week is round 2 of the CCRC series, to be held in Harrisonburg Va. Nine teams, including outsiders South Carolina, are registered.