Noise-canceling Hokies block out distractions before Final Four

Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 4:22 PM EDT
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DALLAS, Texas (WDBJ) - They say everything is bigger in Texas, and for the Virginia Tech Lady Hokies Friday night, that couldn’t be more true.

The team will face LSU in the Final Four at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. It’s a position some felt was unachievable for a program that only ever made it to the Sweet 16 nearly 25 years ago, but the players say the chatter doesn’t get to them.

“We’re more proving ourselves right than proving people wrong,” says senior guard Cayla King.

That perspective, looking inward, has also helped the Hokies remain grounded as they receive national attention for their deep March Madness run.

“We just believe in each other, honestly. I think there’s been like a lot of, like, side comments like ‘they shouldn’t have been a one seed, they wouldn’t even make it this far,’ and that’s fine,” adds senior guard Kayana Traylor. “I think we trust, and the work that we put in, we trust each other. So the outside, it really doesn’t matter.”

The level of certainty in the program’s talent has been cultivated through dedication and overcoming early-season adversity.

“Just the confidence that we have in each other,” sharp shooting junior point guard Georgia Amoore explains. “Throughout the season, we started out 3-3 and it was looking kind of shabby. But the confidence just grew and the trust in Coach Brooks and each other. I think that is very much what helps us. Our core group is very unselfish.”

Finding their place in the nationwide spotlight, and among their teammates.

“They give me confidence all the time to be, like, you belong here,” notes transfer forward Taylor Soule. “We want you on the team, Georgia and Liz literally telling me like every single day, how much they want me here. And so it’s a great feeling.”

All while setting their sights on the thing that matters most, the final score when the clock hits zero.

“We try not to pay attention to the outside. We just want to focus on the game. Because when we focus on the outside things, we not ourselves,” says senior forward D’asia Gregg.

“That’s all we have to do at the end of the day is win,” explains back-to-back ACC Player of the Year Liz Kitley. “We see a lot of people say things and we don’t even feel the need to say anything back, because we just want to let our actions speak, and they have so far. So if they want to keep saying stuff, and that’s fine. If anything, it’s more motivation for us to just keep winning.”