In less than a month, the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team will kick off the much anticipated 2023-24 season at home against High Point University. Fresh off a trip to the Final Four last spring, the Hokies return some players with plenty of experience. One of those players is Elizabeth Kitley.
To say that Kitley’s first three seasons in Blacksburg have been successful would be a major understatement. With preseason practices underway, Kitley recently was predicted by ESPN to join some elite company by the end of the season.
Elizabeth Kitley preseason ACC Player of the Year candidate by ESPN
ESPN recently predicted each conference Player of the Year and Kitley was selected for the ACC to win the award for a third consecutive season. Last season, the 6-foot-4 graduate student center from Summerfield, North Carolina averaged 18.2 points a game, 10.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and shot 55.8% from the field.
Kitley played a big part in Virginia Tech winning their first ACC Tournament Championship, then played a bigger hand in the Hokies winning the Seattle Regional and advancing to the Final Four. She had 12 points and 14 rebounds in a first-round win over the University of Chattanooga, then had 14 points and 14 rebounds in a second-round win over South Dakota State. In the Sweet 16, she had 12 points and eight rebounds in a win over the University of Tennessee, then had 25 points and 12 rebounds in an Elite Eight win over Ohio State. Against LSU in the Final Four in a 79-72 loss, Kitley had 18 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks.
If Kitley wins the award again, she will be joining an elite company as a three-time ACC winner with Alana Beard and Alyssa Thomas. If she stays healthy, it would be surprising to see Kitley capture the award again, but the ACC is loaded with good teams and players and it’s going to be an 18-game grind along with a touch non-conference schedule. They wouldn’t want it any other way.