Camp Director / Head Coach
The Swarthmore volleyball program has been under the direction of Harleigh (Leach) Chwastyk since 2002; during that time, nearly 100 student-athletes have participated in an NCAA Division III program earning regional and national recognition, both on and off the court.
Coach Chwastyk reached the 200 win mark early in the 2015 season and has the most in school history, and the eighth-most wins in the Centennial Conference. The 2012 season was highlighted by a program-first win over a nationally-ranked opponent, #10 Eastern University, and received votes in the AVCA top 25 national poll. In just the last five seasons, Chwastyk’s charges set new program watermarks for best conference finish and five postseason ECAC tournament appearances. Her peers within the conference recognized Chwastyk by naming her the Centennial Coach of the Year in consecutive seasons (2009, 2010).
Through dedicated recruiting efforts, Chwastyk has brought players from 18 states to campus. Twenty-two of her players have been placed on the all-conference list and Genny Pezzola ’12 was an AVCA All-Region selection. The 2012 season marked the first time two Garnet players - Allie Coleman '13 and Kat Montemurro '13 - were All-Centennial First Team selections.
The student-athletes at a demanding academic setting have responded, earning the AVCA Team Academic Award (team grade point average is above 3.3) nine times while accumulating 35 academic all-conference selections, five CoSIDA Academic All-District selections, and two Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Performer of the Year awards.
Chwastyk is the current chair of the Centennial Conference volleyball coaches’ committee and represents the 11-member Division III conference in several aspects: ECAC championship selection committee, an AVCA national poll voter, and most recently chaired the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III All-America Awards committee.
At Swarthmore, one of the top private liberal arts colleges in the country, Chwastyk is an active participant in the College community. She is the coordinator of the Physical Education program within the Athletics Department and, as an instructor, introduced to the student body Pilates and Orienteering classes. Her committee work on campus is extensive, serving on the steering committee in the Physical Education & Athletics’ department review, the Swarthmore Foundation, Garnet Hall of Fame Nominating Committee and the Physical Education & Athletics Advisory Committee.
Prior to Swarthmore, Coach Chwastyk was an assistant at Smith (Mass.) College from 2000-02 for two years while she completed a Master of Science degree in exercise and sport studies. Her head coaching resume includes stints with the men’s club program at Swarthmore, the Liberty Belles Volleyball Club 17-under team and the boys’ junior varsity program at Conard (Conn.) High School. Her summer technician docket sees Chwastyk as camp director of the Chwastyk Volleyball Camps at Swarthmore (http://www.chwastykvolleyballcamps.com) and the Cape Cod Volleyball Camp run by legendary Barnstable (Mass.) High School two-time national coach of the year Tom Turco.
Chwastyk’s collegiate playing career saw her serve as the two-year captain of the Trinity (Conn.) College volleyball team, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 2000. An All-NESCAC performer in 1999, Chwastyk still holds three blocking records at Trinity. A two-sport athlete, Chwastyk was a forward on the Bantams’ women’s basketball team that captured the ECAC New England Championship in 2000. Over the years, Chwastyk also captained the Adirondack team in the Empire State Games and made the adult club circuit with various USA Volleyball teams.
An ardent believer in community and service, Chwastyk’s most recent endeavor is serving as co-director of the Snell-Shillingford Coaching Symposium (http://www.centennial.org/Symposium/about), an opportunity for undergraduate female student-athletes to explore career and leadership opportunities in athletics. After serving as a participant and a coach in the Cathy D’Apice Memorial Volleyball tournament in an effort to aid breast cancer research, Chwastyk started a similar effort within the Centennial Conference in 2006 with the Dig for a Cure service project. To date, the now-conference wide effort has raised over $50,000.
Chwastyk resides in nearby Rutledge, Pa. with her husband, David, and their son, Logan (5), and daughter, Calleigh (2).
Camp Staff / Assistant Coach
Linda Zhang began coaching with the Garnet as an assistant coach in 2017. Zhang is a 2008 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where she earned a degree in politics, philosophy, and economics. She was the four-year starting setter for Penn, and earned Honorable Mention All-Ivy honors as a sophomore and Second Team All-Ivy honors as a senior. At Penn, Zhang finished her freshman season with the highest hitting percentage in the conference as a setter. During her senior year, she helped lead Penn to a second-place finish in the Ivy League and became the fourth Quaker ever to record at least 3,000 assists in a career.
During her senior year at Portage Northern High School, Zhang finished sixth out of 12 finalists in the voting for the 2004 Michigan Miss Volleyball Player of the Year as voted on by the Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association (MIVCA) and the Detroit Free Press.
Prior to joining Swarthmore’s staff, Zhang served as a volunteer assistant coach at Immaculata University for the 2016 season. She has also coached with Delaware United Volleyball Club for the last two years, and will be continuing her third season this upcoming spring. Zhang also helps with the Delaware United camps and clinics during the summer. Prior to coaching at Delaware United, Zhang coached for two years with SC Midlands Volleyball Club in South Carolina and where she also helped run the setters positional practices.
Zhang currently resides and works in Wilmington, Del.