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Virginia Tech women’s team in search of their leader on the court

“We’re still searching and trying to find it organically because we don’t want to force feed it into a certain area.” -Kenny Brooks

Virginia Tech's Taja Cole makes a late game lay up against North Carolina
Virginia Tech's Taja Cole makes a late game lay up against North Carolina (WSLS)

ROANOKE, Va. – After losing their first two ACC games of the season, there was nervous energy around the Virginia Tech women’s team -- fear that they would start conference play 0-7 as they did a year ago. But that all changed Sunday, as they defeated North Carolina 76-70 with a total team effort.

It’s clear that from top to bottom, their roster has dynamic talent that can impose their will at any moment. That’s an attribute that any coach would love to have. Though Virginia Tech head coach Kenny Brooks is thankful for it, he admits it’s both a blessing and a curse.

“It’s a blessing because you can look to a lot of different areas to get production from. It’s also a curse because sometimes you don’t know where you want to go exactly when you need a bucket,” Brooks said.

“Last year, I knew exactly where we wanted to go. I knew and I think all 2,000 people in the arena knew that we were going: to Taylor Emery off a ball screen somehow, some way. This year we’re still trying to find our leader. We’re still searching and trying to find it organically because we don’t want to force-feed it into a certain area,” said Brooks.

Virginia Tech does have multiple options. Aisha Sheppard has seen her role drastically increase from a year ago, taking command of the floor both inside and out. Dara Mabrey was effective as a freshman, and even more so as a sophomore with her sharp shooting and passing skills. Radford transfer Lydia Rivers and freshman Elizabeth Kitley have both created a post presence for the Hokies this season.


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