Olivia Summiel providing Virginia Tech with missing element

The Wake Forest transfer has been an under-the-radar performer.
Virginia Tech v Syracuse
Virginia Tech v Syracuse / Rich Barnes/GettyImages

In the day and age of the transfer portal, it’s easy for a college coach to quickly plug in holes from the previous season. Virginia Tech football coach Brent Pry is excelling in the turnaround with the Hokies’ football team thanks in part to the transfer portal. This season, women’s basketball coach Kenny Brooks has his team right back in the hunt for a National Championship thanks in part to the transfer portal.

Yes, Brooks had two-time ACC Player of the Year Elizabeth Kitley, Georgia Amoore, and Cayla King returning, but two additions in the transfer portal are playing just as big of a role in the success of the 2023-24 team so far. Michigan State transfer Matilda Ekh has provided the Hokies with a 3-point threat on the offensive end and rebounding on the defensive end. One transfer whose addition to this team sometimes goes unnoticed is Olivia Summiel.

Olivia Summiel providing Virginia Tech with big contributions

Summiel, a Wake Forest transfer, is not going to light up the scorebook offensively and she doesn’t need to. She will hit the occasional 3-pointer, but it’s her work on the boards and on defense that have paid big dividends for Brooks. There is no need to look any further than against North Carolina last Sunday when she scored two points, but grabbed 14 rebounds, 13 on the defensive end, as Virginia Tech clinched a tie for the ACC regular season title and locked up the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament next month.

"She's the reason Liz doesn't have (more double-doubles) and we welcome that,'' said Brooks after the win over UNC. "She had a Dennis Rodman-type performance (Sunday) with two points and 14 rebounds. She adds an element that we really need, something we were missing earlier in the season and I'm so proud of her.''

Since Summiel was put into the starting lineup, the Hokies have been nearly unbeatable. She has added grit and does a lot of stuff that can go unnoticed, but if you have been paying attention this year, it shouldn’t be a surprise at all.