Girls volleyball program head resigns

Claire Conner

Hayley Blanchard resigned as the Girls Volleyball Program Head after four years of working at the school March 24. 

In a press release from the school’s Department of Athletics, Blanchard said she was stepping down to focus on her growing family. 

“I want to thank the entire Harvard-Westlake community for a wonderful four years,” Blanchard said. “I will miss the players and the relationships I have developed and look forward to watching the program grow for many years to come.” 

Blanchard joined the school in 2017 and coached the team for three seasons, and they made it to the playoffs each year. 

Libero Josephine Amayke ’21 said Blanchard’s coaching style involved connecting with players and supporting them on and off the court. 

“Hayley once said that part of her coaching style was communicating with us how she would have wanted to be addressed when she played,” Amayke said. “She always believed in each of us and our abilities and never treated anyone unreasonably for mistakes but rather found solutions and provided support.”  

Outside hitter Sophia Lindus ’22 said the team developed a sense of community and gained valuable skills with Blanchard’s guidance. 

“Throughout the season, Hayley was always there taking an active role in coaching, which was so helpful in creating a good team dynamic for our relatively young team,” Lindus said. “She also stressed effort and communication, two things that helped us succeed in the short term but also important values for life in general.”  

Setter Neha Tummala ’23 said she is grateful to Blanchard for creating a welcoming atmosphere that made her transition as a new ninth-grader a positive experience. 

“I was so fortunate to have gotten the opportunity to be a part of her team last year,” Tummala said. “I really wish I could have played for her again this year, and I’m so sad to see her go, but I know Hayley will always be around at tournaments, so I hope to see her in the gym again soon.”