Both are playing abroad as Hayward joined Valencianas de Juncos in Puerto Rico, while Mahaffey signed with Deportivo Soan in Lima, Peru.
The duo is just the latest pair of Lady Vols to turn pro following their time at Tennessee, joining Breana Runnels and Tessa Grubbs.
“We are so excited for Natalie and Danielle to begin their professional volleyball careers,” head coach Eve Rackham Watt said. “Both are prepared and ready for this opportunity. I know they will represent our University of Tennessee volleyball program well and continue to grow their games. I am proud that we have so many former Lady Vols playing professional volleyball across the world and their enthusiasm for the game remains strong. We are looking forward to watching them from afar and cheering them on.”
An All-American at Tennessee, Mahaffey played five seasons for the Lady Vols from 2018-22. A versatile player, she moved into the middle after spending two seasons as an outside hitter. She capped her UT career with 764 kills and 376 blocks.
In kills, Mahaffey ranks 15th in Lady Vol history during the rally-scoring era and is fifth in total blocks.
Following a standout senior campaign in 2021, the Cincinnati, Ohio, native captured AVCA and VolleyballMag.com All-America accolades. Mahaffey was strong in the middle all season as she posted 183 kills and a career-high 139 blocks. For the year, she averaged 1.38 blocks per set – ranking second in the Southeastern Conference and eighth nationally.
Returning for a fifth season in 2022, Mahaffey battled back from an injury in the preseason to help the Lady Vols make a late-season push to punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season.
During her career on Rocky Top, she helped guide Tennessee to the Big Dance in 2018, 2021 and 2022.
One of the best setters in Tennessee history, Hayward finished her time in the Orange & White with 3,015 assists – the third most by a Lady Vol in the rally-scoring era and the sixth most in Tennessee history all-time.
Her 10.05 assists per set career mark ranks sixth all-time in UT history and she is second all-time in Tennessee’s record books with a .366 career attack percentage (min. 100 attacks per season). Hayward also recorded 30 double-doubles as a…