After seven years of hard work and dedication, senior libero Kayla Tomas can finally say that it all paid off as she has signed her letter of intent to play Division One volleyball at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).
Tomas’ love for volleyball started after she went to watch University of Maryland’s volleyball team with her dad at the age of 12. She immediately knew she wanted that this was the sport she wanted to play. “There was just so much energy on the court,” she says, “and I felt this sport would help change me for the better and help me gain more confidence.”
The process of becoming the volleyball player she is has been a long one for Tomas. Not everyone believed that she would be able to make it as a volleyball player. She says, “So many people were doubting me and telling me I’m too short and skinny…but I believed in myself.”
Tomas got her first offer from UMBC. After seeing her at their volleyball camp, the coaching staff at UMBC expressed interest in Tomas and thought she would be an excellent addition to the team. Being so young, Tomas wasn’t ready to commit yet. She wanted to have the opportunity to get more offers, and even apply to colleges to have the chance to experience the college application process.
Later on in her high school career, she received two more offers: one from Towson University, and another from James Madison University. After visiting with coaches from those two schools, Tomas realized that UMBC was the right fit for her. She says, “The faculty made me feel like I was being welcomed into a family. It felt as if it was meant to be.”
Tomas was overjoyed to see friends, family, and teachers at her signing. She says, “Seeing the amount of love and support that my family and friends have for me just shows how I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.” Committing was so important for Tomas because she wasn’t ready to stop playing. She says, “I knew I didn’t want to give up volleyball just yet because I’d been playing for so long. It didn’t feel right to end after high school.”
Tomas looks forward to her volleyball future at UMBC. She says, “Getting to know this new family is going to be exciting and I just can’t wait to see what the future holds.”