February 8th, 2022 Hailey Harward

Hailey Harward is an accomplished beach volleyball player. Initially from Phoenix, Arizona, she attended Long Beach State for three years before completing graduate school at the University of Southern California. Currently finishing her sixth collegiate season, Hailey has achieved numerous defense and all-conference awards and even led her team to win the national championship in 2021.

Unlike volleyball, faith was not part of Hailey’s upbringing. It wasn’t until she moved to USC that she encountered the Lord. Hailey described how she moved in with roommates who were all women of God. Hailey saw how faith was working in their lives and wanted it in hers. She began to ask them questions and even bought herself a Bible to learn more and engage in their faith focused conversations.

Although she was interested, Hailey felt uncomfortable at first and wanted to wait until she felt genuine about her faith before accepting God. After taking her time, Hailey realized that she wanted God’s presence in her life. During the interview, she said that “faith exposes me.” She thinks it exposes her comparisons, self-expectations, jealousy and self-worth. Faith pushes her to identify these things and become a better person.

Since becoming a believer, Hailey has found a connection between faith and sports. She says that “sports can be an act of worship” to honor the Lord. She notes that by leaning on God, she is able to feel peace on the court. During the live, she shared about the nerves and pressure present at the national championship. In order to overcome her fears during the tournament, she read her Bible and devotional. Taking time for God helped her calm down and give glory to God while playing.

Outside of volleyball, Hailey’s faith life has helped her become more confident in herself. By being confident in who God wants her to be, she is able to freely express herself using her God given skills. As a final thought, Hailey said that “everyone is on their own unique journey.” She encouraged the viewers to invite God along with them on the journey and enjoy every moment.