Photo courtesy of Hailey Brooke McFadden
Photo courtesy of Hailey Brooke McFadden

Deacon Spotlight: Hailey Brooke McFadden

Hailey Brooke McFadden is a junior defensive specialist and libero from Holly Springs, NC. Last season, McFadden played in each of the team’s 31 games, and this season she has already totaled 43 digs.

What are the team’s goals for this season?

We talk a lot as a team about being relentless. Relentless pursuit in the classroom and on the court. We want to improve our record in the ACC and make it to the NCAA tournament. I think being relentless every day in practice is going to elevate us to that level.

Who are some of the players to watch on the volleyball team this season?

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Our senior captains, Kylie Long (outside hitter) and Caroline Wolf (libero) are our most experienced and decorated players. They are two amazing leaders and have dedicated so much time and energy into the bettering of the our volleyball program. They are some of the best in the league, we are lucky to have them. Of the freshmen, I think Maddie Holt brings a lot of athleticism and consistency as a setter and Caroline Kuhn is a new big hitting right side who takes big time swings. Both these freshmen have really earned their starting spots.

As a junior, how do you lead the younger players?

The best way to lead is by example. Showing up on time, being positive, doing what the coaches say all set a standard that we expect the freshmen to uphold. I also try to be approachable for questions and often try to think back to when I was a freshman.

What was the most difficult aspect of transitioning to collegiate volleyball?

Because I play in the back row, I think the biggest change was the speed of the game. Balls are hit way faster to you on serve receive and defense. Also, in high school you may play a team that has one or two super stars. In the ACC, all the teams are made up of just those super stars.

What personal athletic achievement are you most proud of?

Either winning my conference my senior year of high school and being conference MVP after two straight last place finishes, or qualifying for beach nationals. At Wake, it would be when we beat Pitt last year 3-1 at home when they were ranked No. 2 in the ACC.

What sort of preparation does the team do throughout the week?

On Mondays we come into the office for individual film (watch what we did or did not do well in the previous game), Tuesdays we do film as a team (watch what we did or did not do well as a team) then practice, Wednesdays and Thursdays we watch film of the other team (see where their hitters hit, understand their rotations and plays) then practice and we lift every day during the week except our off day and game days. Practices are roughly two and a half hours but are fast paced and usually game based.

What do you and your teammates like to do in your free time?

We go and watch our friends on other teams games like football, soccer, tennis, etc. Some of us go to the movies together after practices (especially scary movies). We really love Noodles and Company and a few of us will drive to Greensboro to get some. I really like to hike and camp. I sometimes drive out to Boone on off weekends and just pitch a tent and relax with teammates or friends on other sports teams.

Do you have a message for Wake Forest volleyball fans?

We really appreciate your support at the games. The fans sit so close we definitely notice when they are there, and it makes a huge impact! Thank you guys for coming and we can’t wait to see you at our next game. Go Deacs!

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