Virginia Tech's Elizabeth Kitley injured in loss at Virginia

Elizabeth Kitley exits with an injury for Virginia Tech (0:23)

Elizabeth Kitley appears to suffer a noncontact left knee injury in the third quarter for Virginia Tech. (0:23)

Two-time ACC Player of the Year Elizabeth Kitley was forced to exit No. 5 Virginia Tech's 80-75 loss at Virginia on Sunday after appearing to suffer a noncontact left knee injury in the third quarter.

With the Hokies down two with six minutes left in the quarter, Kitley went up for a transition layup and was fouled on the right side of her body. She hit the floor after making the shot and was slow to get up while appearing to grab her left knee.

Kitley left for the locker room with medical staff, and though she returned to the Hokies' bench with 30 seconds left in the period, she did not retake the floor.

"I don't know Kitley's status and to be honest with you, that's where my mind is," Virginia Tech coach Kenny Brooks said in his postgame news conference. "I'm not going to be able to give you guys anything just out of respect for her."

Kitley had 20 points, 9 rebounds and 4 blocks in 22 minutes when she left the game.

"The air got sucked out of my sail," Brooks said. "Because, you know, she's everything to us. ... She's more than a player. She's more than 22 and 11 for us."

Brooks was proud of his squad's resilience without its leading scorer (22.8 PPG) and rebounder (11.4 RPG), which included junior Georgia Amoore putting up a career-high 39 points.

Kitley, a two-time All-American, had been on a tear for the Hokies in conference play and was angling to win ACC Player of the Year for a third consecutive season. The fifth-year senior returned to Blacksburg after leading Virginia Tech to its first Final Four last season.

The 6-foot-6 forward is a projected late first-round pick in the 2024 WNBA draft.

Virginia Tech has now lost two consecutive games following a 10-game win streak. The Hokies fell to Notre Dame in South Bend on Thursday.

As the ACC regular-season champion, Virginia Tech clinched the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament and begins postseason play Friday.

The Cavaliers' win Sunday was their first over a top-five opponent in the Amaka Agugua-Hamilton era, with "Coach Mox" taking over ahead of the 2022-23 campaign. Their four wins over ranked teams this season -- all ACC opponents -- are the most for the program since 1999-2000.

The crowd of 11,975 at John Paul Jones Arena was the largest ever for a women's basketball game held in the state of Virginia.