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Chemistry is major for Brooklyn Tech girls volleyball

Margaret Kwateng and Karolina Kowalska might as well be joined at the hip. The Brooklyn Tech seniors are close friends, share the same major at school and are both stars on the Engineers girls volleyball team.

“We spend a lot of time talking about volleyball instead of classwork,” Kowalska said with a laugh.

Their major is, ironically, biochemistry. And there’s no doubting the pair’s connection.

They played beach volleyball together as a twosome this summer and have taken that to the court this season. On Monday, Kowalska and Kwateng led Brooklyn Tech to a 21-25, 25-13, 25-20 win against Franklin K. Lane in a PSAL Brooklyn A2 matchup at Lane.

Kwateng had 20 assists and 14 kills and Kowalska had 18 kills and nine digs in the victory.

“Their connection is great,” Engineers coach Rosanne D’Augusta said. “They’ve been on the team all four years.”

Added Kowalska: “I look at her and I know what she’s gonna do.”

Kwateng, herself, wasn’t quite sure what she’d be doing heading into the preseason. She has been strictly a setter for Brooklyn Tech and her Starlings club team most of her high-school career. But with the graduation of outside hitter Alana Kotlyar last year, Brooklyn Tech (4-0) would be lacking punch. So D’Augusta decided to run a two-setter, 6-2 rotation with Kwateng and Catherine Wilk.

“She’s one of our best hitters,” the coach said, “and her hands are amazing.”

Why not use her versatility, the coach thought. The results have been solid so far, but Kwateng, who hasn’t hit since her sophomore year, said she’s still adjusting.

“It’s a little nervewracking,” she said. “I don’t remember how to hit sometimes. I don’t recognize when to tip and when to take a full swing.”

If Monday’s win against Lane was any indication, Brooklyn Tech will be fine. Wilk, who chose volleyball over girls soccer, had 18 assists and eight digs and sophomore Amy Ye had seven aces. Lane (2-1) took the first set, but the second two went smoothly for the Engineers.

“The crowd was a factor,” D’Augusta said. “I told them that they got into their heads.”

Kowalska said her team loves playing the Knights, though. They provided much-needed competition and scrappiness in a weak division. Brooklyn Tech will get a nice test this weekend in the Aviator tournament, which will feature CHSAA teams like Fontbonne Hall and Bishop Kearney and PSAL power Susan Wagner.

It’ll provide another chance for Kwateng to get used to figuring out when to do what at the net.

“I get to hit this year %u2013 it’s so much fun,” she said, smiling.

And more likely to be a phone topic with Kowalska than biochemistry.

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