CHARLOTTE, NC. (WFXR) — It’s day two of the ACC basketball tipoff event in the queen city of Charlotte with the spotlight on the women and as the season approaches, Virginia and Virginia Tech coming off two very different paths last year. In the breakout room during Virginia Tech’s session with the media, sat a player whose future with the Hokies was uncertain at the end of last season.
“I feel great, the team is feeling great and my summer was really really really good. It was efficient,” said Virginia Tech Graduate Student Aisha Sheppard. Sheppard — one of the greatest to wear a Hokies uniform — faced a decision last spring. “I talked to my mom, I talked to God, I talked to Coach and at the end of the day, I felt like this was the best decision for me and my teammates are glad to have me back and I am glad to be back,” said Sheppard.
With a key part of last year’s success returning, expectations are even higher for tech this season. “The fact that we have all five starters back and we have two amazing transfers as well will just add to our depth and make us better than we were last year and we just not want to be satisfied with last year. We just want to build on that,” said Virginia Tech junior center Elizabeth Kitley.
While the Hokies hope to reach new heights in the coming season, the Wahoos are simply happy to be back on the court after last year’s campaign ended after just five games.
“I feel like the hardest thing was watching everyone else play and then just to stay in it and stay focused and just understand that we’re getting better for the next season, I feel like that was our motivation,” said Virginia junior forward London Clarkson. Virginia seeking its first win since February 27, 2020, the Cavs hoping to prove they can still compete with the best after the longest offseason ever.
“I’m from France and I was away from home a long time so it was long but I worked so hard for it and I think when you commit to something, it’s not as long as it is, then you just work for it,” said Virginia graduate guard Amandine Toi. A renewed sense of optimism for a season that’s now weeks away.