Del Rio signs let­ter with Fresno Pa­cific

Out­side hit­ter shined for Fal­cons in 2019

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - FRONT PAGE - By Thomas Gase tgase@timesher­al­don­line.com @tga­sevth on Twit­ter

The first time Ha­ley Del Rio de­cided to go to a four-year col­lege at Hum­boldt State, she wasn’t ready for it. This time, how­ever, the vol­ley­ball star is ready to hit on all cylin­ders.

The for­mer Solano Col­lege and Va­cav­ille High out­side hit­ter is mov­ing on, this time to Fresno Pa­cific, as she signed a let­ter with the school in Fe­bru­ary to con­tinue her ath­letic and aca­demic goals this fall.

The Sun­birds are a Divi­sion II squad that com­petes in the PacWest Con­fer­ence. They fin­ished 5-17 last sea­son, but Del Rio is ea­ger to help make a dif­fer­ence.

“For me per­son­ally the rea­son I wanted to go to Fresno Pa­cific is I just think it’s an amaz­ing con­fer­ence the team plays in,” Del Rio said. “It’s very com­pet­i­tive and I’m a com­pet­i­tive per­son. I could have gone to a Divi­sion I pro­gram and the coaches at Fresno Pa­cific were telling me that, but they also told me I could make more of dif­fer­ence at their school in their pro­gram.”

Del Rio pre­vi­ously played at a Divi­sion II pro­gram at Hum­boldt State, but came back to Solano af­ter just one year.

“I learned it’s not al­ways an easy thing to go straight from play­ing high school to play­ing at a four-year col­lege,” Del Rio said. “Com­ing back and play­ing at Solano I be­came more sea­soned and I think I de­vel­oped into more of a leader and a con­sis­tent player.”

Say­ing Del Rio was just a con­sis­tent player this past year is kind of like say­ing Nike oc­ca­sion­ally sells a shoe.

The 19-year-old dom­i­nated on the court in in 2019, lead­ing the Bay Val­ley Con­fer­ence with 174 kills (386 to­tal for the year) and was even­tu­ally named MVP of the con­fer­ence. She

played in all 42 sets in BVC play and over­all had 254 digs, 35 blocks and 49 aces. She was named all-Nor Cal 2019 and dur­ing Week 7 was the North­ern Cal­i­for­nia player of the week. The out­side hit­ter was also rec­og­nized as all-tour­ney for the Solano Clas­sic in Septem­ber.

“She was a strong out­side hit­ter that led our team on both the of­fen­sive and de­fen­sive side,” Solano head coach Darla Wil­liams said in an email. “Ha­ley is a strong leader and has a drive for the game. I am hon­ored

she came back to Solano to play for us and now her fu­ture looks bright. She gets to con­tinue play­ing the game she loves and gets to do it at a very aca­demic col­lege to pur­sue her de­gree in pre-med. I am glad she gets to stay in Cal­i­for­nia for the next level of com­pe­ti­tion.”

So when Del Rio’s new head, Shasta Mill­hollin, who played for Solano her­self in 2005, called Wil­liams ask­ing if she had an out­side hit­ter she could use in a year, Wil­liams didn’t have to look far.

“Yeah she con­tacted Darla and then watched me play two games this sea­son,” Del Rio said about Mill­hollin. “She has told me I’ll be a 6-10 out­side hit­ter. That fac­tored

in greatly to me want­ing to go there. Just know­ing I can walk on the team and al­ready hav­ing a coach be­lieve in me enough to put in the lineup means a lot.”

Del Rio took her cam­pus visit shortly af­ter de­cid­ing she was go­ing to sign.

“I loved the cam­pus, but I’m also go­ing to ma­jor in pre-med as I want to be a physi­cian as­sis­tant,” Del Rio said. “That was a ma­jor rea­son I went to the school is there pro­gram for that is great. It’s a lit­tle smaller school too, which means more one-on-one time with pro­fes­sors, which is some­thing I want.”

SOLANO COL­LEGE — CON­TRIB­UTED

Solano Col­lege vol­ley­ball star Ha­ley Del Rio signed with Fresno Pa­cific to con­tinue her ca­reer.

Del Rio

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