Gomillion remembers when the Wahoos and the Terrapins were ACC rivals. That relationship changed in the summer of 2014, when Maryland joined the Big Ten, but the programs met in non-conference play each of the past two seasons.
In College Park, Md., the Terps defeated the Cavaliers 3-1 in August 2021. In the rematch last September at Memorial Gym, Maryland defeated Virginia 3-0.
During those matches, Gomillion said, it never occurred to her that she might one day wear the Hoos’ blue and orange, but she’s excited about her new surroundings. When she visited UVA in the spring, “I was just blown away,” she said.
She played a prominent role for Maryland as a freshman and sophomore, but Gomillion opted to enter the transfer portal at the end of last season.
“I think, overall, I wanted to take my game to the next level,” Gomillion said, “and I wanted a coaching staff that really poured into me and saw the vision and pushed me to be the best player I can be. And I was big on culture. I wanted to be pushed, not just by the coaches but by the athletes on the court, people that can hold me accountable, on and off the court too. It’s just as important in the classroom as it is on the court. So I think that was the reason why. I’m big on culture.”
Her strong play for the Terps notwithstanding, Gomillion did not hear from many schools after entering the portal, and she was still looking for a new home when winter turned to spring.
“I honestly thought I wasn’t going to play volleyball again,” Gomillion recalled. “I was saying, ‘What if this is just it, and I’m just a regular student?’ Because it wasn’t going how I thought it was going to go. But I think that’s the beautiful thing about my story. Not everything happens instantly. But I just put my trust in God, and he worked behind the scenes and did his thing. He didn’t just give it to me straight away.
“My perspective on volleyball completely changed over the course of those four or five months, just being in the portal. I know how blessed and grateful I am to have the opportunity to do these things at a high level, and I don’t take it for granted. I was in [the portal] for a while, and it did get hard. There were times that I did cry. But I just remembered my mom kept saying, ‘Be patient, be patient, be patient.’ ”
The transfer portal is flooded with players, Wells noted, and college coaches have to determine how to best to allocate scholarships.