In the Hawks’ first game in four years, they got welcomed back to the scene with a 0-3 sweep by Diablo Valley College. Fast forward two weeks. Fourteen sets later. The progress was showing up. Wins and losses are the ultimate results. But in the case of Las Positas, trying to re-establish its women’s volleyball program, progress of any kind matters. So on Sept. 16, when they found themselves in a five-set dramatic game against West-Hills Leemore, it didn’t matter that they eventually lost. How close they came to winning was proof they’re headed in the right direction.
Hadenfelt’s task is big. She needs to build a program. The Las Positas women’s volleyball program was established in 2018. But after the inaugural season, the program went dormant for three years.
Now it’s back, starting from scratch. Leading the way is a coach with seemingly all the tools to build a proper foundation. Hadenfeldt is local. She was a high school volleyball star who made it to the highest level of college volleyball. She has coached for over a decade. The Hawks’ athletic department is banking on her vast knowledge, her ties to the area and her ability to relate to athletes to get the volleyball going full steam.
The emphasis for Las Positas sports is on development and the signs point to them having landed a keeper. She’s been at clubs around the Bay Area for over a decade, which figures to help with recruiting. This is phase one of what the school would like to become a formidable volleyball program in the region.
“I love seeing the progression of players’ skill development and character,” Hadenfeldt said. “Sports have always been a major part of who I am and helped me to succeed in all areas of life. Being able to give back and mentor athletes,” Hadenfeldt said, “to equip them with the tools and mindset to be their best selves is extremely rewarding. I enjoy seeing players grow in their confidence and push themselves to achieve great things.”
The Hawks have started their first season back at 0-6, but the record doesn’t represent the overall growth of the team. The Hawks started the season losing the first set 25-7 three straight times but as the sets went on, the matches got closer. The Hawks would then go on to losing the following two sets by an average of nine, far less then the 25-7 losses of 18. It’s been a season of celebrating small victories so far for the Hawks’ with their last match coming one set short of them getting their first win.
Hadenfeldt’s long-standing playing career took off at Benicia High School and the Golden Bear Volleyball Club. Hadenfeldt played all four years of high school, receiving multiple Division I scholarship offers, tallying three Junior Nationals open division appearances in her three seasons at the club.
At the end of her high school career, Hadenfeldt took her talents to the University of Connecticut. Hadenfeldt quickly became an accomplished player for the Huskies, earning numerous accolades ay Connecticut, one of the most prominent schools in America for women’s sports programs.
Hadenfeldt has experienced success everywhere her career has taken her. For the last 16 years, she has been on the sidelines as coach.
Hadenfeldt has been coaching volleyball since 2006, starting her coaching career at her alma mater Benicia High School. Hadenfeldt coached the women’s junior varsity team in 2006 and was promoted to women’s varsity head coach in 2007. Hadenfeldt went on to win nine Diablo Athletic League titles in an incredibly successful decade.
After her successful stint at Benicia, she accepted larger roles at The Athenian School and Monte Vista High School from 2017 to 2021. During the offseason, she began coaching club volleyball around the Bay Area, including Golden Bear Volleyball Club and Red Rock Volleyball Club. Most recently, she worked with the NorCal Volleyball Club, coaching high-level athletes who have participated in multiple Junior National tournaments.
“I welcomed the opportunity to start coaching,” she said, “because I couldn’t imagine my life without being involved in sports.”
Jacob Fogelstrom is a staff writer for The Express. Follow him @jacobfogie.