A Serve to the Success of Student Athletes

The Laura M. Ratto Endowed Scholarship was awarded to Helena Peric

Helena Peric ucr

BY PAT KOHLMEIER

Laura Ratto ’00 is passionate about volleyball.

A standout volleyball player at UCR in the late 1990’s, Laura was Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2001, UCR’s first Rhodes Scholar Nominee, and ranked third in the Highlanders history books for both career assists and assists per game.

Since graduation, volleyball has remained central to her life as a professional beach volleyball player, vice president of operations for the National Volleyball League, an indoor and beach coach at all levels, founder and former CEO of Volleyball Network, and currently as an independent sports business consultant.

Laura’s parents, Richard and Barbara Ratto, have supported their daughter’s love of volleyball throughout her educational and professional career. To celebrate Laura’s accomplishments, they established the Laura M. Ratto Endowed Scholarship, providing an award each year to help financially support an outstanding scholar who is a member of the UCR Women’s Volleyball Team.

The Rattos’ desire to give future Highlanders the opportunity to follow in their daughter’s footsteps was realized this year when the Laura M. Ratto Endowed Scholarship was awarded to Helena Peric ’16. Helena, a 6’1” outside hitter, shares Laura Ratto’s commitment to the game.

In 2015, she finished eighth in the Big West Conference in kills per set, led the team in total kills, and helped the team to its best conference record since joining the Big West. This June, the day after graduating with a degree in Media and Cultural Studies, Helena signed a one-year contract to play with Sens Olympique Volleyball Club, a professional club in France.

Helena credits her success, both on and off the court, to the support she received from UCR and the Rattos, which not only alleviated the cost of attending UCR, but allowed her to focus and fully pursue the sport she, too, is so passionate about.

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