Volume 95, Issue 73

Tuesday, February 12, 2002
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Rookies shine against Waterloo

Emotion spurs on Mustangs

Emotion spurs on Mustangs

By Ryan Hickman
Gazette Staff

On a damp and dreary Saturday afternoon, Kirk Bugler had everyone on their feet.

On senior day in Alumni Hall, fourth-year Mustang volleyballer Bugler led Western to victory serving up the final six points in the third and final game over the Waterloo Warriors (25-18, 25-22, 25-14).

As each serve went over the net – including an ace, the buzz got louder and louder until the final point was tallied, at which point the Mustangs rushed the court and hoisted Bugler into the air.

The ending couldn't have been sweeter for Kirk Bugler, who failed to make the cut in his second and third years.

Mustang head coach, Dave Preston noted the "life imitates art" nature of Bugler's last play.

"Rudy is his favourite movie. He couldn't have scripted it any better," Preston said.

"Bugs," as his teammates call him was overjoyed about the Hollywood-style win. "I couldn't be happier," he said.

Senior day traditionally produces a wealth of emotion according to Preston, noting, for the team's seven graduating seniors, it's especially dramatic. Fifth-year players Peter Testa, Jeremy Jonckheere and Jeff Ranson were recognized, along with fourth-year players Bugler, Luke Schram, Andrew Coles and Matt Fung – a group the team will sorely miss.

"Senior day is very emotional and it is difficult to get the seniors off the floor," Preston said.

With all the hoopla around the day, the Mustangs did not forget about the Warriors on the court. Fifth-year setter Peter Testa explained the focus of the team.

"We knew that we had to concentrate and couldn't show our emotion on the court. We are at a point in our careers that we know what we have to do and let our skills come through," he said.

Testa was placing near perfect sets and feeding fellow senior Jeff Ranson all afternoon. Ranson was raining down kills all over the court, including one laser beam in the second game that cut around a Warrior blocker rocketing down before the attack line.

"They were worried about Coles and Jonckheere in the middle [and] that left me with only one blocker most of the time. We were the more intense team today and played a complete game," Ranson said.

Warrior head coach Doug Hanes noted the strength of the Mustangs. "These are a group of guys who have been together for a while and are very strong. They are the best team in our conference," he said.

With the regular season finished, the Mustangs get some rest while they wait for the outcome of a Windsor-Waterloo showdown to determine their opponent in the playoffs.

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Copyright The Gazette 2002