M.A.T.s Jia Jia Ren, an internationally ranked table tennis player, also helped the school reach the volleyball championships this fall.
M.A.T. girl spikers reach the finals in final year
The first class of girls to ever play volleyball at Manhattan Academy of Technology Middle School finished their career in dramatic fashion by defeating top schools Baruch and Wagner on their way to the Manhattan volleyball championship. The girls played a tough game against the 4-time champs, Hunter Middle School, and made the game a lot closer than anyone thought it would be.
Surrounded by a large entourage of parents and members of the M.A.T. community, the Dragons celebrated the success of their program, rather than be upset about the loss.
M.A.T. managed to tie the game up at one point in both matches and only lost the first match by a small margin of 3 points. At one point, the crowd saw both teams play perfect volleyball, passing, setting and spiking over the net in a series of close plays and long, fast volleys.
The girls improved tremendously from when I first saw them play, said John DeMatteo, the Chinatown schools athletic director. They are now legitimate players and many of them have the ability to play at the next level in high school and beyond.
Coached once again by Megan Klemchuk and Sabine Kullman, the girls met in the morning three times a week.
The girls once again were led by the powerhouse duo of Daniella Chippy Azulai and Jia Jia Ren. Daniella, who also runs cross country and track & field and plays soccer and tennis for M.A.T., was an outstanding passer and team leader in her final year.
Jia Jia, who also plays table tennis (and was ranked in the top 32 at last years world Junior Olympics in San Francisco) and soccer for M.A.T., showed why she is one of the best athletes in the city by taking her volleyball skills and leadership prowess to another level this fall. Both girls will look to play volleyball in high school next year.
The girls volleyball team will continue to play in the winter CHAMPS league starting in January, where they will play an entirely new set of teams.