Dragons’ ace seals comeback win

In a surprising turn of events, the M.A.T. Lady Dragon volleyball players came back from a two-point deficit to win a late match against the city volleyball champs from the Bronx, M.S. 218. 

With the Dragons down 24 to 23, M.A.T. won a late point Monday to tie it up which put seventh grader Anna Waterman at the service line, serving for the game point.  With the pressure on, and a packed gym cheering her on Anna served up an ace, winning the game for M.A.T and gathering hugs and cheers from her teammates and parents. 

“I’m speechless,” said Coach John De Matteo.  “In all my years of coaching, never have I had a moment like that.  Anna was on the line with the hopes of her entire school and teammates on her shoulders and she came through in the clutch.  I would be proud of her either way, had she made the point or not because she represented her teammates so well…. 

“Words cannot say how much I appreciate all the hard work that the girls have put in this season so far. They’ve improved more than any other team I’ve ever had, going from barely being able to hit the ball when it was served to them, to bumping, setting and spiking with the best that N.Y.C. has to offer.  Next year, it’s going to be scary how good they will be.  Coach Kullman, Coach Klemchuk and Coach Alana De Matteo have done an amazing job with them.”

The team looks forward to finishing out their season with games against 140 and 131, fielding both a Varsity A team and a B team, which will play separate games from now on. 

Also instrumental in the game against the Bronx school were hitters Jia Jia Ren, Ellen Mullan Jayes, Amber French, Daniella “Chippy” Azulai, sixth graders Natasha and Selena.  The team will finish its season with the student-faculty volleyball game in March.