The Community behind HB’s Volleyball Team


Taken from Instagram

The HB Varsity Volleyball team celebrates a win against Manchester Memorial during a tribute game to Jeanie Dreyer. “We are a very competive team and we work together during every match to beat our competitors,” said Meaghan Coutu, 22.

Emma Harley, Staff Writer

On Monday, October 18, the Hollis Brookline Girls Varsity Volleyball team won 3-0 against Manchester Memorial while also celebrating their second-ever Jeanie Night. The girls played a strong game; the scores of the sets were 25-7, 25-11, 25-11.

Jeanie Night is a tribute game to two past player’s late mothers, Jean Dreyer, who sadly passed away last year. Jeanie Dreyer battled against Multiple Myeloma Cancer for 10 years, all the while bringing positivity and hope to those around her. Multiple Myeloma is a type of cancer that affects plasma cells and can cause bone pain, nausea, fatigue, and many other symptoms. “Our team had a Dig Orange Night when Sarah and Emily were playing on the middle school team with this year’s seniors. We came together as a team to support the family in Jeanie’s last year. Shortly before she passed, we all made posters and went to the Dreyer’s house to share them with her. When she passed, our team came together and decided to devote our 2020 season to Jeanie’s memory. We had our first Jeanie Night last year and we plan on keeping it every year,” said Coach Balfour.

Jeanie’s family went to the game and were able to accept a check in her honor. “It was great having Mike, her husband, Sarah and Emily and their brother Mitch at the match, along with so many friends, family and loved ones. We presented the family with a check for $3,500 from the fundraising we did for Jeanie’s Jar of Hope. Having everyone playing in the match and taking part in the celebration was also special,” said Coach Balfour. Jeanie’s family carries on her legacy through the organization, Jeanie’s Jar of Hope. Their mission is “Nurturing Hope and Enhancing Quality of Life through Compassionate Care Initiatives.” The title is labeled after a practice the family used to get through difficult times. They kept a jar with positive affirmations and “anytime things were particularly difficult or dark, they would gather and read some of the positive things in that jar and it would set things right.”

The team also celebrated another victory that night. “The game went fantastic; it was awesome seeing how much depth we have in our bench and how we could play everyone, in both their positions and in ones they were uncomfortable in, and still play so well together. In past seasons, we would struggle with putting our bench in and maintain a consistent point lead, and I loved seeing how we could maintain consistency throughout,” said one of the team captains, Emily Sartell 22. Another captain, Meaghan Coutu 22, explained the highlights of the game: Sophomore Annette Schluck had 8 kills, Junior Abby Hoffpauir had 7 kills, Junior Sophia Jordan with 31 assists and 3 aces and Sophomore Maia Schneider with 9 aces. The team’s strength comes from their compatibility on and off the court. They are able to hold each other up through hardships and persevere.

Past teams at Hollis Brookline have all been extremely talented and many want to know the secret to creating a winning team. “I think a lot of people might have thought that, with 5 seniors graduating last year, that we would be in a rebuilding year. We are not. We always lose around 5 seniors but always return a solid bunch and add great players to the groups. We are pleased to finish the regular season 16-2 and 2nd place going into the Division 1 tournament,” said Coach Balfour. The program at Hollis Brookline is highly competitive but also fosters a sense of community in the players. With bountiful talent filling in positions each year, the team welcomes new girls with open arms.

The captains believe the volleyball team’s success comes from their virtuous sportsmanship. “I think the most important part about our team is how dedicated, competitive and how close we are to each other,” said Meaghan Coutu, 22. Emily agrees that a strong season depends on strong players. “Although we have captains, each and every player on this team takes control and are their own leaders especially during challenging times which adds to the team chemistry,” said Emily Sartell, 22. Jeanie’s Night is an example of the deep appreciation the team holds for its players and their families. “We always treat each other with respect and kindness,” said Meaghan Coutu, 22.

The varsity volleyball team played the division 1 playoff finals against Bow and unfortunately lost 3-0 on November 6. To donate and learn more about the foundation, Jeanie’s Jar of Hope, visit