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Hokies Start the Season Victorious, Trounce High Point 94-55

By Zachary Ozmon | November 06
Kitley finished the contest with 27 points and 11 rebounds. (Will Trent)

Hokies basketball has been restored back in Blacksburg, as the Hokies opened their regular season home opener with a win over the High Point Panthers. Cassell Coliseum is once again open for business this year, but this time hosting a 2023 Final Four squad as well as the 2023 ACC champions.

Last season is in the past, though, and as much fun as it is to reminisce on the greatness of the team from a year ago, this team is a brand new crew with lots of potential and plenty of talent.

That talent was on display tonight as the Hokies rolled the Panthers by a score of 94-55. Elizabeth Kitley picked up right where she left off as she dominated the floor for the Hokies, dropping a smooth 27 points and 11 rebounds on 70% shooting. Amoore did her thing as well, finishing with 14 points and nine assists on only one turnover.

The Queens of Cassell, of course, did their thing, but they have some new faces to incorporate into the system.

“It's been an up-and-down challenge, but I think we have made very large strides as long as chemistry goes,” Elizabeth Kitley said. I think that showed tonight.”

“This last week we practiced really hard, just practicing being in tough situations with each other and making plays out of them.”

Even if this is a new season, it’s still the same old Hokies system we know and love, as they shot the ball at a very efficient rate. They hit 14-16 field goals in the first quarter and started strong in the contest, as they had amassed a 38-15 lead by the end of the quarter.

With such a huge lead so soon in the game, the Hokies got to feature some of their new transfers and recruits, one of which was Matilda Ekh, who gave fans a little taste of what she can bring to the table this season.

“I was nervous; I'm always a little nervous, of course, playing in a new city and a new arena," Matilda Ekh stated. I got a little bit of confidence when I started playing, and hitting my first shot helped me relax.”

“I love playing with Georgia because she is going to find me when I'm open, and with Cayla because she is going to help spread the floor. They can't focus too much on anyone because we have threats from so many different positions.”

Ekh put up 15 points in her debut in Blacksburg, canning three of them from beyond the arc. We know what she is made of from her previous play at Michigan State, but pairing her with another sniper in Cayla King is going to make it tough for other teams to keep up.

As far as other newcomers on the team, players like Rose Micheaux, Carleigh Wenzel, and Olivia Summiel all got respectable minutes in the contest and showed Hokie Nation the hustle and toughness they can bring as the season is just getting started.

A great performance all around in the Hokies first showing, as they displayed much of what made them special last year, as well as some new faces that look to make their marks in Blacksburg with their whole season ahead of them.

Next up, a date with the notorious No. 3 Iowa Hawkeyes and the uber talented Caitlyn Clark in the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, NC this Thursday. With such a big game taking place this early in the season, Kenny Brooks and Co. will certainly have to be on their A-game if they want to come out of Charlotte with a victory.

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Born in Chesapeake and raised into a family of hokies, Virginia Tech is where I call home now. Attended New River Community College as a freshman and now a sophomore at VT as a transfer student in Fall 2022. Majoring in Sports Media and Analytics, I’m excited for what’s to come for me as a student at VT.

Virginia Tech sports has always been something I have been a fan of. From afternoons in Lane Stadium to nights in Cassell Coliseum, I have loved every second of it no matter the outcome.

One of my first memories of being a Tech fan was our upset win against Ohio State 35-21 where CB Donovan Riley had the game sealing pick-6. More recently, beating UNC in 6 overtimes, our run to the sweet 16, and of course winning the men’s basketball ACC Championship with upsets over UNC and Duke.

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