Sammy Nickalls
April 20, 2016 5:42 am

When 17-year-old volleyball rockstar Anyela Aquino decided to join the boys’ varsity team on Taft Educational Campus in Bronx, New York, everyone was on board — including the coach and the entire team. After all, she began playing volleyball in the Dominican Republic before coming to the United States in eighth grade and is now the star of her city-champion girls’ volleyball team.

“We all want her to be on the team,” Diosnelbi Bonilla, a 17-year-old senior on the boys’ team, told New York Daily News. “She’d help us move on to the playoffs. . . We wanted her to be on the team. She’s super nice and she would have helped us.”

You’d think that would be enough to let Anyela, who’s been playing the sport for a whopping 10 years, get the chance to play libero — a defensive specialist position. However, the Public School Athletic League (PSAL) blocked it, claiming that Anyela would be reducing a boy’s opportunity to play on the team. . . despite the fact that every single boy who tried out for the team earlier in the year made it, according to New York Daily News.

Anyela was slated to join the team, but then a game set for Tuesday was suddenly postponed. “The situation is different from most cases because the team and coach are welcoming Anyela to play for them, and it is the league that is preventing it based solely on her gender,” New York attorney Daniel Szalkiewicz told the Daily News. “The PSAL is essentially telling a young and talented female athlete that it is acceptable to practice with the boys, but don’t you dare make your presence known when it counts.”

However, Anyelawas determined to fight back at all costs. “It may be the worst feeling. . . Having people tell me, ‘No, you can’t play,’ hurt me. . . It hurt me because they aren’t telling me a reason why,” Anyela told CBS New York.

Yesterday, however, a New York judge prohibited the PSAL from removing Anyela’s name from the boy’s roster after her attorney filed a petition claiming that their argument “was based solely on her gender,” according to the Daily News. “We want her to be on the team and fulfill her dream and her destiny,” Siano added.

We could not agree more, and we have a feeling Anyela Aquino’s destiny is very bright indeed. Congratulations and we can’t wait to see you kick butt with the boys!

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