Kyle Bugée and his club team exceeded expectations at the recent USA Volleyball Boys Junior National Championships in Reno.
The Los Altos resident was voted to the all-tournament team – dominated by Southern Californians – and his 22nd-seeded Bay to Bay 15 Black squad placed seventh in its division.
“When I heard that I made the all-tournament team, I was surprised,” said Bugée, who joined San Jose-based Bay to Bay Volleyball Club five years ago. “Most of the players who get chosen are from SoCal clubs.”
The outside hitter was one of just five players from beyond Southern California to earn all-tourney honors and the only Northern California representative. Fifteen players total were selected from the 28 teams competing in the 15-and-under Open Division at last month’s event.
“It is very rewarding to see Kyle recognized by other coaches both as a competitor with character and one of the best players in the nation in his age bracket,” Bay to Bay coach Rob Georges said. “I am very proud of his accomplishment.”
Georges added that Bugée “played every minute of every match at the junior nationals – I could not imagine competing without his skill and leadership on the floor.”
While Bugée played a major role in Bay to Bay’s success at the tourney, he was quick to recognize his teammates’ efforts.
“Our team worked really hard during practices and other tournaments to get ready for the junior nationals,” said Bugée, entering his sophomore year at Homestead High. “It paid off.”
Bay to Bay posted a record of 5-6, good enough to tie Borinquen Coqui of Puerto Rico for seventh place in the ultracompetitive Open Division.
Next season, Bugée hopes his team will finish even higher.
“I’m really looking forward to our club season this (next) year,” he said. “We have a strong team and we’re playing really well together.”