University of California, Merced have a new ace volleyball player in Turlock High's Emily Romo.
Romo recently signed her letter of intent to attend a school that is not far from her hometown after a lengthy recruiting process.
“I decided on UC Merced because I liked that it was close to home, but not too close,” said Romo. “The fact that it is a UC and I'd be getting a higher level of education also impacted my decision.”
Romo, who was always striving to become a collegiate athlete, began her recruiting process a bit later than most.
“The schools I went to visit were interested, but didn't have money to offer because of how late it was in the recruiting process. So I was only offered walk-ons at most schools,” said Romo. “I knew I wanted to play at the collegiate level, but I waited until my senior year and that made it more difficult.”
With the clock ticking away and time becoming a factor, Romo decided to look nearby and immediately began to contact numerous state schools here in California.
“I was in contact with Chico, Monterey Bay and Easy Bay for a while and deciding where to go was a very hard decision for me to make,” said Romo. “Since most teams had a full 2016 roster by then this is why it took me until the end of my senior year to decide on where I would play.”
Romo, who played at the varsity level since her freshman year and also played travel ball, ultimately decided to attend UC Merced, a team that accumulated a 14-10 overall record during their 2015 year.
Romo experienced a lot for herself during her years at Turlock. The good and the bad.
During her junior and senior year at Turlock, the Bulldogs accumulated an overall record of 54-22 and 19-6 in CCC contests.
“Playing volleyball was definitely my favorite part of my high school experience,” said Romo. “It was the one thing I always looked forward to in high school and beating Pitman after years of getting beat was an unforgettable feeling. Turlock hadn't won the CCC in almost 10 years, so that really made an impact on not only me, but my amazing team and the Turlock High volleyball program.”
Romo was first on the team in 2015 with 407 kills and averaged 3.5 kills per set. She also topped all Bulldogs with 101 serving aces, averaging 1 every set.
It's safe to say that Romo was a big assistance to the turnaround for the program, along with outstanding teammates in Julia Handy and Jadyn Tubbs.
“I'll miss high school volleyball in general. I'll definitely miss my team. We had our ups and downs but I loved them and it was an honor getting to play by their side,” said Romo. “I'll miss playing in front of our home crowd, that was a feeling I'll never forget. I'll miss my coaches, Amber ad Fatima. They really made an impact on me, not only on the court but in my everyday life as well.”
Now Romo hopes to embark on her new journey and do something that very few incoming freshmen do, start at the collegiate level as a true freshman.
“My goal going into UC Merced would probably be starting as a freshman and I really feel like I can achieve that,” said Romo. “Another personal goal I have is figuring out what I'd like to major in, hopefully during my freshman year. I am going in undeclared and would really like to find something that I am passionate about and pursue it."