Squad prepares for Division I state meet


Carly Wallace ’20 receives the ball in a game. Photo Credit: Ryan Albert / Chronicle

Ryan Albert

The girls’ volleyball team is looking forward to state after losing to Corona Del Mar in the CIF-SS Quarter Finals.

The girls made it to the third round of CIF playoffs, an improvement from last year’s first-round elimination.

The team has overcome defeats, like their first loss to Alemany in 21 years, and went on to win against Temecula in their biggest upset in the second round of playoffs.

Volleyball program head Hayley Blanchard said that the best part of this season was that win against Temecula, the third-seeded team.

“We were the clear underdogs and people were not expecting us to come out,” Blanchard said. “The girls played great and handled the match mentally really well.”

Although the team is no longer in contention for a CIF Southern Section victory, its victory in the second round of CIF playoffs allows them to compete in Division I State.

After their post-season victories, Blanchard is hoping to find success in Division I State.

“The top four teams from SoCal will not be [in our division] so it will be us battling all the other teams that also lost tonight,” Blanchard said.

Outside hitter Bella Hedley ’18 believes that the team’s improvement came as a result of their cooperation and close unity they found.

“Everyone came in very talented individually but we really learned how to play with each other and to build team chemistry,” Hedley said.

Libero Isabel Wiatt ’18 agreed that the team’s chemistry and attitude in play contributed to the team’s success.

“Once we established this bond, we stopped playing for ourselves and started playing for each other,” Wiatt said. “This made us much more aggressive, and has ultimately led to our team’s success.”

The team’s success comes after a season of assimilation with a new coaching staff.

Wiatt said that some players were nervous for a new coach, but that Blanchard turned out to be the best coach she has ever had.

“She knows the perfect balance between being a coach and being a friend,” Wiatt said. “We love her, she has been extremely valuable to our girls’ volleyball program, and was an excellent addition to the HW athletics team.”