BLACKSBURG – For the first time in ACC women’s basketball history, the Freshman of the Year and Sixth Player of the Year are Hokies, as Elizabeth Kitley and Trinity Baptiste collected the honors from the conference office Tuesday morning as announced live on the ACC Network’s program ‘Packer and Durham.’
The accolades come on the heels of Monday’s announcement that Kitley, a three-time ACC Freshman of the Week was included on the All-Freshman Team.
Elizabeth Kitley: Freshman of the Year
Kitley’s impact on the court was felt from the opening tip, where she scored 27 points in her collegiate debut, going 13 for 15 from the field. That debut was the second-best in program history and her 13 made field goals are the most by any conference player all season.
The Summerfield, North Carolina native who was tabbed as the conference’s Freshman of the Week three times, the most of any rookie averaged 12.4 points per game and 7.6 rebounds. Kitley was second in the ACC with 60 blocks and recorded a league-best eight in the Hokies’ victory at Notre Dame.
Kitley registered six double-doubles on the season and is second in the conference in field goal percentage (.564). She has started in all 29 of the Hokies’ contests.
The freshman center finds her season totals littering the Virginia Tech record book with her 60 blocks ranking sixth all-time, 56.4% shooting percentage sixth, and her conference field goal percentage (.573) and block total (41) setting new records.
Trinity Baptiste: Sixth Player of the Year
Baptiste, a junior forward started the first seven games of the season before transitioning to her role as an impact player off the bench, averaging 9.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game over the course of the 2019-20 campaign.
The Tampa, Florida native recorded four double-doubles on the season (all points and rebounds) including two in back-to-back contests against Purdue and Gardner-Webb in December. Against the Runnin’ Bulldogs Baptiste pulled down a career-high 17 rebounds against Gardner-Webb.
Virginia Tech was 11-1 in games in which Baptiste scored in double figures, with the lone loss coming in the regular season finale against fifth-ranked Louisville, the ACC champions.
She went for a season-high 20 points on two different occasions, the first vs. Maryland Eastern Shore (Nov. 19) and again vs. Boston College (Jan. 23).
On the season Baptiste shot 44% from the field and led the Hokies in free throw shooting at 84%. She also shot 38% from beyond the arc and contributed three triples in the Hokies’ victory over Wichita State at the Coqui Classic where they squad set a program record with 18 3-pointers.
In total, Tech’s award haul of one first team player, an All-Freshman Team member, an All-Defensive Team member and the addition of Tuesday’s award winners makes the 2019-20 season by far the most lauded postseason award class since the school joined the ACC.
Tech will travel to the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, North Carolina Tuesday evening ahead of practice at the Coliseum on Wednesday morning. As the five seed, the Hokies await the winner of the 12/13 matchup – North Carolina against Wake Forest. Tipoff between the Tar Heels and Demon Deacons is set for 1 p.m. on Regional Sports Networks on Wednesday, March 4.
Tech’s second round game on March 5 will tip at 11 a.m. and will be broadcast on Regional Sports Networks.