M.A.T. spikers close season with a win

In only their second year, the Manhattan Academy of Technology girls volleyball team went from a squad that had never played volleyball before to a team that amazed crowds wherever they went with their ability to three hit — bump, set and spike.  The girls were one of the only schools in the city that was able to do this on a consistent basis and proved their abilities on Thursday, November 1st by defeating Baruch in their final game of the fall season at the D.O.E. Championship Tournament.    Baruch had defeated M.A.T. in their first game of the season.

“The girls have showed tremendous improvement, not only in terms of their ability, but how they have come together as a team.  The coaches have done an amazing job of building this volleyball program.”  said M.A.T.’s athletic director, John De Matteo.  “They have proved what can happen through team play and hard work.  Megan Klemchuk, Sabine Kullman and Alana De Matteo are the best coaches any athletic director could ask for.”

Coach Klemchuk said: “We wanted to make the girls feel more unified on the court and push them to come together, make decisions on their own without having to always depend on the coaches to tell them what to do.  We were shocked as to how many girls came out on the season, and we managed to continue the program with 40 girls, the most in the city.  We were able to be competitive and at the same time include all of our student athletes in the games.”

Coach Sabine Kullman added: “By the end of the season, the girls went from individuals to a true team.  They were focused, they communicated, and they played as if each point was the last point to victory.”

In their championship game, M.A.T. led from the very start, saving their best game for last.  Leading the way with great passes, Jia Jia Ren was able to break serve all night and look for her teammates with some great bumps.  The coaches cited her as the team leader on and off the court.  Another player that the coaches raved about was Yollyce Ayala, being recognized as a former J.V. player who worked hard, made the varsity team and contributed all year for her school.

“Jia Jia is able to find her teammates and pass the volleyball even against the best servers in the league.  She has established herself as one of the best volleyball players in the league,” said De Matteo.

Continuing to amaze spectators and volleyball fans alike, Tafarii McKenzie, M.A.T.’s all-city athlete, had an un-equaled 6 spikes in the championship game, inspiring her teammates to play their best game all year.  Other athletes who contributed to the varsity team’s win were Ellen Mullan-Jayes, Daniella Azulai, Anna Waterman, Ashley Thomas, Catherine Nunez, Natajsha Holtz, Amy Ye, Amber French and Yollyce Ayala.

The girls volleyball team will look to continue their success in the winter when they begin the CHAMPS New York City winter volleyball league.