Basketball

ACC Women’s Basketball Announces 2021-22 Award Winners

ACC Women's Basketball Announces 2021-22 Award Winners

GREENSBORO, NC (theACC.com) – Virginia Tech center Elizabeth Kitley was named Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Year by the league’s Blue Ribbon Panel and the ACC’s 15 head coaches.

It’s the first time in conference history that the Hokies have produced the league’s Player of the Year.

Notre Dame’s Sonia Citron was named the ACC Rookie of the Year by the Blue Ribbon Panel, while Duke’s Shayeann Day-Wilson was named the ACC Rookie of the Year by the Head Coaches of the league.

Conference head coaches and the Blue Ribbon Panel selected NC State’s Wes Moore as ACC Coach of the Year. Moore claimed the honor for the second straight year from his peers and was the league’s Coach of the Year for the third time overall.

Georgia Tech senior forward Lorela Cubaj won ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors for the second straight season, while NC State’s Diamond Johnson earned sixth player of the year honors .

Boston College primary goaltender Cameron Swartz has been named the ACC’s Most Improved Player.

Kitley ranks second in the conference with 17.7 points per game and is one of three ACC players with multiple 30-point games this season. She is one of only two players in the ACC to average a double-double, contributing 10.2 rebounds per game. Kitley paces the conference in field goal percentage at 53.8 and is also ranked No. 1 in the league in total double-doubles with 14.

Kitley is a finalist for the Lisa Leslie Award (Best Center in the Nation) and the Wooden Award Season Ending Watch List. She has earned ACC Player of the Week honors four times this season, the most of any player.

Selected six times by the ACC Freshman of the Week, Citron becomes the third Notre Dame player to earn ACC Rookie of the Year honors, joining Brianna Turner (2015) and Maddy Westbeld (2021). She is second among all league freshmen with 11.7 points per game and leads all ACC freshmen with 6.8 rebounds per game. Citron is one of three freshmen nationally averaging 11.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal per game.

Day-Wilson leads the Duke Blue Devils with 12.3 points per game, which also leads all ACC freshmen in scoring. She’s won the ACC Freshman of the Week three times this season and could become just the sixth Duke rookie to lead the team in scoring. His 3.5 assists per game lead the conference freshmen and are eighth overall. Day-Wilson is one of four true freshmen nationally and the only one from a Power 5 conference to average 12.3 points and 3.5 assists per game.

After leading NC State to its first ACC regular season title in 32 years, Moore earned ACC Coach of the Year honors for the third time and second straight year. He guided the Pack to a record 17 ACC win program and the program is currently ranked third nationally in the Associated Press and USA TODAY/Coaches polls. NC State holds seven wins over nationally ranked opponents this season, with three top-10 wins.

The Wolfpack was one of only two teams to finish its ACC home roster undefeated with a perfect 9-0 record. NC State has won its last 17 ACC home games.
Moore is one of three ACC head coaches named to the Naismith Coach of the Year 2022 season-ending watch list.

After winning Defensive Player of the Year last year, Georgia Tech’s Cubaj remains one of the top defensive forces in the league as she is a semi-finalist for Naismith Defensive Player of the Year. Cubaj ranks second nationally and leads the league in defensive rebounds per game with 9.4. She also paces the conference in total rebounds with 333, which ranks her fifth in the nation. Finalist of the Katrina McClain award (the best attacker in the country), Cubaj averages 10.7 points, 11.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists.

Johnson contributed 11.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game off the bench for NC State. She scored in double figures in 15 of the Wolfpack’s 29 games, headlining a season-high 24 points against Washington State. Johnston had one of her best performances of the season in NC State’s win over No. 3 Louisville as she scored 14 of her 16 points in the fourth quarter to help the Pack rally to a deficit of 14 points.

Swartz had a stellar season for Boston College as she increased her scoring average by 7.3 points from the non-conference portion of the season to ACC play. She leads the league in scoring in conference games with 19.0 points per game. Swartz had six consecutive 20-point games for the Eagles this season, the longest streak by a BC player in more than 20 years and the longest by an ACC player since 2019.

Nine of the league’s teams are represented on the Blue Ribbon Panel’s All-ACC First Team, as Louisville was the only team with two first-team selections. The head coaches’ All-ACC First Team included players from eight conference teams, with Louisville and Notre Dame each having two selections.


The Blue Ribbon Panel and All-Freshman head coaching teams were identical with Maria Gakdeng of Boston College, Duke’s Day-Wilson, O’Mariah Gordon and Makayla Timpson of Florida State, Payton Verhulst of Louisville, Ja’ Leah Williams of Miami, Aziaha James and Notre of NC State. Lady Lemon.


The coaches also selected the 2021-22 ACC All-Defensive Team which includes Cubaj of Georgia Tech, Emily Engstler and Mykasa Robinson of Louisville, Maya Dodson of Notre Dame and Kitley of Virginia Tech.

The bracket is set for the 45th annual ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament, which runs Wednesday, March 2 through Sunday, March 6 at Greensboro Coliseum. Tournament play begins at 1 p.m. Wednesday with No. 12 seed Syracuse facing No. 13 Clemson. Game two will feature No. 10 Duke against No. 15 Pitt at 3:30 p.m. The first round ends Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., with No. 11 Wake Forest against No. 14 Virginia.

Blue Ribbon Panel Awards 2021-22

ACC Player of the Year Vote
Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech, Jr., C – 948 points
Elissa Cunane, NC State, Sr., C – 861 points
Emily Engstler, Louisville, Senior, F – 720 points

Voting for ACC Rookie of the Year
Sonia Citron, Notre-Dame, Fr., G – 505 points
Shayeann Day-Wilson, Duke, Fr., G – 476 points
Maria Gakdeng, Boston College, France, C – 425 points

ACC Coach of the Year Vote
Wes Moore, NC State – 150 points
Kenny Brooks, Virginia Tech – 73 points
Niele Ivey, Notre Dame – 70 points

Blue Ribbon Group (69 voters)
All-ACC First Team

Cameron Swartz, Boston College, Sr., G
Delicia Washington, Clemson, Gr., G
Lorela Cubaj, Georgia Tech, 5th year, F
Emily Engstler, Louisville, Sr., F
Hailey Van Lith, Louisville, So., G
Deja Kelly, NC, So., G
Elissa Cunane, NC State, Sr., C
Olivia Miles, Notre-Dame, Fr., G
Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech, Jr., C
Jewel Spear, Wake Forest, So., G

All-ACC Second Team
Taylor Soule, Boston College, Sr., F
Morgan Jones, Florida State, Sr., G
Alyssa Ustby, NC, So., F
Maya Dodson, Notre-Dame, Gr., F
Aisha Sheppard, Virginia Tech, Gr., G

Honorable mention
Lotta-Maj Lahtinen, Georgia Tech, Sr., G
Kelsey Marshall, Miami, Gr., G
Diamond Johnson, NC State, So., G
Kayla Jones, NC State, Gr., F
Teisha Hyman, Syracuse, R-So., G
Georgia Amoore, Virginia Tech, So., G

Head Coach Awards 2021-22
ACC Player of the Year: Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech, Jr., C
ACC freshman: Shayeann Day-Wilson, Duke, Fr., G
ACC Coach of the Year: Wes Moore, NC State
ACC Defensive Player of the Year: Lorela Cubaj, Georgia Tech, 5th year, F
ACC Sixth Player of the Year: Diamond Johnson, NC State, So., G
ACC Most Improved Player: Cameron Swartz, Boston College, Sr., G

All-ACC First Team
Cameron Swartz, Boston College, Sr., G
Morgan Jones, Florida State, Sr., G
Lorela Cubaj, Georgia Tech, 5th year, F
Emily Engstler, Louisville, Sr., F
Hailey Van Lith, Louisville, So., G
Deja Kelly, NC, So., G
Elissa Cunane, NC State, Sr., C
Maya Dodson, Notre-Dame, Gr., F
Olivia Miles, Notre-Dame, Fr., G
Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech, Jr., C

All-ACC Second Team
Taylor Soule, Boston College, Sr., F
Delicia Washington, Clemson, Gr., G
Kayla Jones, NC State, Gr., F
Aisha Sheppard, Virginia Tech, Gr., G
Jewel Spear, Wake Forest, So., G

Honorable mention
Kelsey Marshall, Miami, Gr., G
Georgia Amoore, Virginia Tech, So., G

All-Defensive Team
Lorela Cubaj, Georgia Tech, 5th year, F
Emily Engstler, Louisville, Sr., F
Mykasa Robinson, Louisville, Sr., G
Maya Dodson, Notre-Dame, Gr., F
Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech, Jr., C

Freshmen Team (Blue Ribbon and Head Coaches)
Maria Gakdeng, Boston College, C.
Shayeann Day-Wilson, Duke, G
O’Mariah Gordon, Florida State, G
Makayla Timpson, State of Florida, F
Payton Verhulst, Louisville, G
Ja’Leah Williams, Miami, G
Aziaha James, State of North Carolina, F
Sonia Citron, Notre Dame, G