By Jamie Umbach, Vikes Communications
VICTORIA – The University of Victoria Vikes Varsity Council is pleased to announce the winners of the athletes and team of the month awards for the month of February 2016. The council would like to congratulate fourth-year women’s basketball player Jenna Bugiardini, third-year men’s swimmer Jon McKay and the Vikes women’s basketball team on being awarded February’s athlete and team of the month awards.
Jenn Bugiardini, Women’s Basketball
FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE MONTH
With no fifth years on the team for the 2015-16 season, fourth year and Hamilton, Ont. product Jenna Bugiardini was one of the leaders of a young Vikes women’s basketball team this year. Bugiardini played a critical role in earning the Vikes a place in the playoffs in February with three double-doubles – all of which included a 20+ point performance. In the Canada West Play-In Series against the Trinity Western Spartans on Feb. 26-28, Bugiardini added 26 points and 11 rebounds in a Game 1 win for the Vikes before totalling 27 points and 13 rebounds in a losing effort in Game 2. In the crucial Game 3 decider on Feb. 28, Bugiardini added 17 points and five rebounds to help secure the Vikes a spot in the Canada West Quarter-Finals against the MacEwan Griffins.
Jon McKay, Men’s Swimming
MALE ATHLETE OF THE MONTH
Prior to the 2016 CIS Swimming Championships in Quebec City, Que. in February, third-year Vike Jon McKay had his sights set on the 1500-metre gold medal after finishing with a bronze in the event at last year’s championships hosted by the Victoria Vikes. McKay picked up the 1500-metre gold with a time of 15:41.44 – 15 seconds ahead of second place – to earn his first career CIS gold medal. McKay also added a fifth-place finish in the men’s 400-metre freestyle in Quebec City to go along with his CIS 1500-metre gold. McKay now aims to perform at the Olympic Trials, which run Apr. 5-10 in Toronto, Ont.
TEAM OF THE MONTH
The Vikes women’s basketball team was in need of a weekend sweep over the Brandon Bobcats on the final weekend of the 2015-16 Canada West season to guarantee their place in the playoffs. Led by veterans Jenna Bugiardini, Nicole Karstein and 2014-15 Canada West Rookie of the Year Amira Giannattasio, the Vikes secured their spot in the post-season with 76-66 and 70-65 wins to bring the Trinity Western Spartans to CARSA for its first-ever playoff games. In the next round, the Vikes took Game 1 84-69 before Trinity Western tied the series with an 84-79 win. On Feb. 28, the Vikes moved on to the Canada West Quarter-Finals against the MacEwan Griffins with a strong defensive performance and a 62-44 win. Fourth year Jenna Krug played 118 minutes of game time over the three play-in games, earning the title of unsung hero for the Vikes in the first-round victory.