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Rundown of the Hokies Historic Season With Still More to Come

By Zachary Ozmon | March 27
Hokies team
Virginia Tech starters (CBS Sports)

Regular Season

The Hokies regular season was unlike any other as they posted their program's best record of (27-4, 14-4 ACC) since joining the conference in 2004. Starting their season 9-0 and going 10-0 against non-conference opponents, the Hokies were poised to make a run at the regular-season title. Despite the hot start, they struggled to find their groove after starting the ACC season 3-3. A combination of losing key Maryland transfer Ashley Owusu and not developing their key rotations as a team proved to be a tough task for Virginia Tech to come back from, but that's exactly what they did.

In a conference that had borderline eight-ranked teams at different points of the season, the Hokies caught fire as they won their last 11 out of 12 conference games. In their conference play, they beat the University of North Carolina twice, North Carolina State twice, Florida State, Duke, and Louisville. That's good for seven ranked conference wins.

While the Hokies chemistry and team mold would continue to evolve throughout the season, Elizabeth Kitley was the player that stood out for Virginia Tech. In her senior year, she surpassed many historic program records that had been held by previously long tenured Hokies for years, if not decades. In her career, regular season and postseason, she holds the program record for 2,030 total points and counting, being the only player to join the 2,000-point club at Virginia Tech. She has made the most field goals by a Virginia Tech player with 824, as well as leading the program with 264 blocks and securing 56 double-doubles.

Kitley has shown her prowess all season and has never shied away from the moment during her time at Virginia Tech. She has continued to play to her potential and has massively helped put Virginia Tech on the map.

With Kitley out of the way, another player that comes up in this historic season is Georgia Amoore. We all know what she did in the ACC Tournament, which we will get into, but in the regular season, she made a great tandem with Kitley. She played in a program high 34.1 average minutes throughout the season, which shows her grit and toughness on the court. She has made 114 three-point buckets and counting this season, which is a program record, and she also recorded the program's first ever triple-double back on December 1st against Nebraska.

You're probably thinking, what other historic moments have happened this season? How much better can this season get? Well, let's just keep on going.

ACC Tournament

Before the conference tournament, the Hokies knew that this was just another part of their historic season that they had to perform in. After completing their best regular season in ACC program history, Virginia Tech players and coaches knew their season and their story were far from over.

Traversing the ACC was no easy task this year, and even though Virginia Tech handled the competition well, they didn’t even finish at the top of their conference, tying with Duke for second place and finishing behind Notre Dame at the top spot.

They earned a three seed in the ACC tournament and went on to defeat Miami, Duke, and Louisville en route to the program's first ACC championship. In the three games, the Hokies outscored their opponents by 55 points. While Elizabeth Kitley dominated the regular season for the Hokies, the ACC tournament had Georgia Amoore’s name written all over it. She set an ACC record for most threes in the tournament with her 14 made shots beyond the arc, as well as a Virginia Tech program record 65 points throughout the three games.

Acc champs
The Hokies gathered around the ACC Tournament trophy (Virginia Tech Athletics)

Winning the tournament was a massive step in the right direction for the program but they still were not satisfied.

NCAA Tournament

After earning the one seed in the NCAA tournament and hosting the first two rounds in Blacksburg, the Hokies cruised through the competition to reach the Sweet 16, winning the two games by a margin of 37 points. After their Round of 32 game, Virginia Tech head coach Kenny Brooks stated that the team's goal from the beginning was to make the Sweet 16 and mimic the 1999 team that also reached the Sweet 16 as a four seed in the tournament and took on the one seed Tennessee Volunteers. While Virginia Tech had done exactly that, they were ready to keep progressing.

Sweet 16

Similar to the 1999 team, the Hokies were set to match up against Tennessee, but this time the seeds were swapped as the one-seeded Hokies played the four-seeded Volunteers. This time, the matchup ended differently, and Virginia Tech did something that the prior Sweet 16 team and no other team had ever done: advance to the Elite Eight.

Being led by All-American Elizabeth Kitley and honorable mention Georgia Amoore, the Hokies handled the Volunteers in a hard-fought match that included many different runs of scoring that ultimately ended in favor of the Hokies. After being down 18 early in the third quarter, the Volunteers came alive, and their press defense enabled a 19-4 run that brought them back within one point near the middle of the fourth quarter. Virginia Tech clamped down late, and some timely buckets gave the Hokies the victory, 73-64, which was their 30th win, and gave them their first Elite Eight appearance in program history.

Elite Eight

With the stage set in Seattle once again, No. 1 Virginia Tech took on No. 3 Ohio State, which defeated No. 2 UConn in their Sweet 16 matchup.

Coming into the matchup on Monday, the Hokies knew it was freshman forward Cotie McMahon and senior guard Taylor Mikesell for Ohio State that they had to look out for.

Both teams started red hot from the floor and continued their progression all the way to the half, with the Hokies leading 48-45 by the end of the 20 minutes. Taylor Mikesell went into the half shooting 5-6 from long distance, and Kayla King was trying her best to match her, going 3-3 from three.

Although the hot shooting from the Buckeyes offense was keeping them in this game, it wasn't long until their shots went cold and Elizabeth Kitley and Georgia Amoore took over. Ending the game with 25 points and 24 points, respectively, Kitley's height along with Amoore's ability to break the press and create her own shots made for a great recipe down the stretch for Virginia Tech.

In a thriller of an Elite Eight matchup, the Hokies took down the Buckeyes by a final score of 84-74 and advanced to the Final Four, something this program and its fans never knew was possible.

With the win, the Hokies once again added to their historic resume this season and continue to cement their place in Hokies history through 2022–2033.

T soule final four
Taylor Soule helps cut down the net after their Elite Eight win (Sports Illustrated)

Final Four

There is still more to this story as the Hokies keep dancing in hopes of their first ever Final Four win and a National Championship appearance. Virginia Tech (31-4) faces a powerhouse in the SEC as they take on the LSU Tigers (32-2) for their Final Four matchup this Friday at 7 p.m. on ESPN.

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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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