Virginia Tech Center Elizabeth Kitley Announces Her Return To Blacksburg
from David Cunningham, on the Tech Sidelines and Managing Editor at Virginia Tech SportsWar.com/www.virginiatech.sportswar.com
Virginia Tech center Elizabeth Kitley(Northwest Guilford High School) is returning for a fifth season. (Jaylynn Nash/ACC)
On Sunday night, Virginia Tech All-American center Elizabeth Kitley announced she’ll return to Blacksburg for the 2023-24 season.
Let’s gooooo pic.twitter.com/3X56E2MHJV
— Liz Kitley (@elizabethkitley) April 2, 2023
A two-time ACC Player of the Year, Kitley could become the third individual in league history to win the award three times, joining Alana Beard (Duke, 2001-04) and Alyssa Thomas (Maryland, 2011-14). A 6-6 center from Summerfield, N.C., Kitley averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds this season.
Kitley was one of four Tech players eligible to return for a fifth season thanks to a COVID year, along with Cayla King(Northwest Guilford High School), Taylor Geiman and Ashley Owusu. Geiman has a job lined up after graduation, which head coach Kenny Brooks previously mentioned; Owusu told reporters in Greensboro during the ACC tournament that she was not planning on using her final year of eligibility. As of 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 2, King had yet to announce a decision.
Run it back? pic.twitter.com/tOJUMOk42y
— Cayla King (@caylanicole22) April 3, 2023
Kitley’s statement comes after a Final Four appearance for the Hokies, their first in program history. Alongside point guard Georgia Amoore, Kitley helped Virginia Tech reach heights never seen before in the program. The school won an ACC championship, was a No. 1 seed, advanced to the Elite Eight and to the Final Four this year, all firsts.
WNBA mock drafts had Kitley as a top-10 pick. But in a new era with NIL, along with the opportunity to continue to play with Amoore, one of her best friends, and in a place she is adored and idolized, it’s a move that makes sense. She’s a centerpiece of a Hokies squad that made history, and should King return and Tech reload, it’ll be a group poised for success come 2023-24.
Kitley was a finalist for multiple national player of the year awards, including the Naismith Trophy and the Wooden Award. She’s a two-time ACC Scholar Athlete of the Year, too, and a two-time All-ACC Defensive Team performer.
She is the all-time leading scorer at Virginia Tech with 2,048 points and counting. On top of that, she has a program-best 271 blocks. Across four seasons, she started all 122 games in which she appeared, including 35 in 2022-23.
Kitley is the program’s leader in double-doubles, too. She recorded her 57th of her career in the Final Four vs. LSU on Friday in Dallas, posting 18 points (7-of-12 FG) 12 rebounds and seven blocks.
With Kitley’s return, Virginia Tech will be expected to make some noise next season. She and Amoore, who earned Honorable Mention All-American honors from the Associated Press, will surely conquer headlines. The Hokies will be in the conversation, both in the ACC and nationally; how Kenny Brooks retools his roster to complement Kitley and Amoore will become more clear in the coming months.