Del Rio signs letter with Fresno Pacific
Outside hitter shined for Falcons in 2019
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 volleyball star Haley Del Rio signed with Fresno Pacific to continue her career.