Louisville picked to win Women’s ACC title

Virginia Tech selected 2nd, Kitley preseason Player of Year

Virginia Tech's Elizabeth Kitley (33) battles with North Carolina State's Elissa Cunane, right, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/Karl B. DeBlaker) (Karl B. DeBlaker, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Charlotte, NC – Coming off a Final Four appearance, Louisville is the 2022-23 Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Basketball preseason favorite, according to the league’s Blue Ribbon Panel comprised of the ACC’s 15 head coaches and a select voting panel. The Cardinals, who were slotted No. 7 nationally in Tuesday’s Preseason AP Poll, received 31 of 60 first-place votes in the ACC balloting with a total of 1,069 points. After earning its highest preseason ranking in the AP Poll (13th), Virginia Tech earned its highest-ever preseason ranking in the ACC predicted order of finish at the No. 2 position. The Hokies picked up 17 first-place votes and 984 points. Three-time defending ACC champion NC State closely followed at No. 3 with eight first-place votes and 963 points. Notre Dame earned the final four first-place votes and 942 points, while North Carolina rounded out the top-5 with 895 points. Miami placed sixth with 674 points, while Duke landed seventh at 627 points. Georgia Tech (623 points) followed in eighth with Florida State (553) and Syracuse (370) rounding out the top-10, respectively. Virginia (303), Clemson (275), Boston College (271), Wake Forest (256) and Pitt (187) close out this year’s predicted order of finish. 

After being named the Blue Ribbon Panel’s ACC Player of the Year after the 2021-22 regular season, Virginia Tech senior Elizabeth Kitley has been selected as the Preseason Player of the Year with 49 of 60 first-place votes. The Summerfield, North Carolina, native ranked second in the ACC in scoring with 18.1 points per game and in rebounding with 9.8 boards per contest last season. Her 55.1 shooting percentage from the field paced the conference, and she ranked second in blocks with a 2.4 clip. Louisville’s duo of Hailey Van Lith (seven first-place votes) and Morgan Jones (one) and Notre Dame’s Olivia Miles (three) all received first-place votes from the Panel and joined Kitley on the Preseason All-ACC team. Also earning the honor were North Carolina’s Deja Kelly, NC State tandem Diamond Johnson and Jakia Brown-Turner, Wake Forest’s Jewel Spear and Virginia Tech duo Ashley Owusu and Taylor Soule. Owusu also earned a spot on the Blue Ribbon Panel Newcomer Watch List. Owusu was joined by NC State’s Saniya Rivers, Syracuse’s Dyaisha Fair, Florida State’s Ta’Niya Latson, Miami’s Haley Cavinder and Clemson’s Ruby Whitehorn. Cavinder and Whitehorn tied for the final spot on the Watch List. Points are determined by the Blue Ribbon Panel ranking, with the votes from the league’s head coaches counting twice. Five ACC teams earned spots in the Preseason Associated Press Poll –  Louisville (No. 7), Notre Dame (No. 9), NC State (No. 10), North Carolina (No. 12) and Virginia Tech (No. 13).

The ACC was the only conference to land five or more teams in the top-15. Conference play starts on Sunday, Nov. 13 with Wake Forest playing at Virginia on ACC Network. The first full day of league games is Thursday, Dec. 29 with seven scheduled contests. The 2023 ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament will be held March 1-5 at the Greensboro Coliseum. For the first time, ACC Network will be the exclusive broadcast home for the first four days of the tournament, with all 13 games available on ACCN. The championship game will air on ESPN or ESPN2. Current ACC member institutions have won three NCAA Championships and made 25 appearances in the Final Four. Seven different institutions have represented the ACC in the Women’s Final Four. The ACC placed four teams in the Sweet 16 last season and is the only conference to have at least three teams in the regional semifinals in each of the last eight NCAA Tournaments. Louisville and NC State each played in the Elite Eight last season, with Louisville reaching the Final Four for the fourth time in program history. Eight ACC teams were selected to compete in the 2022 NCAA Tournament, which tied for the most of any conference. It marked the fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament in which eight ACC teams were selected, leading all conferences each year and matching the ACC record for teams in the field. 

Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason Player of the Year

Elizabeth Kitley, Sr., C, Virginia Tech 

Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason All-ACC Team (60 voters)

Elizabeth Kitley, Sr., C, Virginia Tech (49 first-place votes)

Hailey Van Lith, Jr., G, Louisville (7)

Olivia Miles, So., G, Notre Dame (3)

Deja Kelly, Jr., G, North Carolina

Diamond Johnson, Jr., G, NC State

Jakia Brown-Turner, Sr., F, NC State

Jewel Spear, Jr., G, Wake Forest

Ashley Owusu, Sr., G, Virginia Tech

Morgan Jones, Grad., G, Louisville (1)

Taylor Soule, Grad., G, Virginia Tech 

Blue Ribbon Panel Newcomer Watch List

Ashley Owusu, Sr., G, Virginia Tech

Saniya Rivers, So., G, NC State

Dyaisha Fair, Sr., G, Syracuse

Ta’Niya Latson, Fr., G, Florida State(tie)

Haley Cavinder, Sr., G, Miami(tie)

Ruby Whitehorn, Fr., G, Clemson 

Blue Ribbon Panel Predicted Order of Finish (60 voters)

Louisville (31) - 1068

Virginia Tech (17) - 984

NC State (8) - 963

Notre Dame (4) - 942

North Carolina - 895

Miami - 674

Duke - 627

Georgia Tech - 623

Florida State - 553

Syracuse - 379

Virginia - 303

Clemson - 275

Boston College - 271

Wake Forest - 256

Pittsburgh - 187