Hokies open 2016-17 hosting UNC Asheville

BLACKSBURG - The Virginia Tech women's basketball team is set to open the 2016-17 season on Friday in Cassell Coliseum, hosting UNC Asheville. Game time is slated for 3:30 p.m. and will tipoff a triple-header in Cassell as the Tech volleyball team will take the court at 6:15 followed by the men's basketball home opener at 9 p.m.

Date/Time: November 11, 2016 / 3:30 p.m.
Opponent: UNC Asheville
Site: Blacksburg, Va. (Cassell Coliseum)
Radio: 100.7 FM WNMX / HokiesXtra - App
Talent: Andrew Allegretta, play-by-play
Live Stats: HokieSports.com
Live Video: HokieVision - Free (WatchESPN)
Game Notes: Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech returns three starters and six letterwinners overall from last season’s team that finished with an 18-14 overall record and helped the program to its first postseason appearance in nine years as Tech received an at-large bid to the WNIT. Last year also marked the first winning season for the Hokies since 2006-07.

Sidney Cook returns after leading the Hokies in scoring and rebounding last season, averaging 10.7 and 5.8 respectively per game. Vanessa Panousis is poised to set a new Tech record as the senior guard is just three 3-pointers shy of the old mark of 200 set by Carrie Mason (2002-06). She topped the 1,000th point mark last season, becoming just the ninth Tech player in history to do so as a junior. Guard Chanette Hicks also returns after a record setting rookie year, hitting new marks for single-season steals, steals in an ACC season, freshman class steals and freshman class assists.

Regan Magarity (5.8 rpg, 7.3 ppg), Samantha Hill (2.5 ppg, 1.0 apg, 1.5 rpg) and Rachel Camp (5.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg) are also back on the court this season for the Hokies.

Joining the ranks are six newcomers. Diandra DaRosa, Genesis Parker and Kaela Kinder will take to the court this fall. Erin Garner and Michelle Berry will sit out due to NCAA transfer rules while Kendyl Brooks will redshirt in 2016-17.

UNC Asheville was picked to finish at the top of the Big South in the league’s preseason poll after finishing last year with a 26-7 record and 16-4 in the conference. The Bulldogs won the regular season in 2015-16 despite being selected eighth at the beginning of the season.

Two Bulldogs were selected to the preseason all-conference team, including reigning Big South Player of the Year Chatori Major. She led UNCA in scoring last season with 13.7 points per game. Tianna Knuckles joins Major on the preseason team after averaging 12.2 points per game and knocking in 73 baskets from outside the arc.

This marks just the second meeting between the two programs and the first in over 15 years. Virginia Tech claimed the win previously, defeating Asheville 85-47 on Dec. 28, 2000.

The Hokies had four players in double-digits in that game and were led by Tech Hall of Famer Tere Williams with 19 points. Ieva Kublina came off the bench to drop in 16 points for the Hokies.

Up Next: Virginia Tech remains at Cassell Coliseum to host Georgetown on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 4 p.m.

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