UNC guard Kelly makes both All-ACC first teams; Ustby earns second-team honors

By R.L. Bynum

North Carolina guard Deja Kelly made both 10-team All-ACC women’s teams announced on Tuesday and fellow sophomore Alyssa Ustby earned a second-team honor.

Kelly, an ACC All-Freshman Team pick a season ago, led the No. 16 Tar Heels (23–5, 13–5 ACC) in scoring and was sixth in the league at 15.8 points per game. She also led the ACC in free-throw percentage at 85.6%.

Kelly made the team picked by the 69-voter Blue Ribbon panel and the team picked by the head coaches.

 “I’m so happy for Deja to be recognized as one of the league’s most consistently impactful players,” UNC coach Courtney Banghart said. “Deja has grown in every statistical category from a year ago, on both sides of the ball and on the glass. She loves the game and is committed to the growth process. She has been a critical piece to our success this season.”

Alyssa Ustby leads UNC in rebounding, is second in scoring and her 12 double-doubles are third-most in the ACC.

Ustby made the Blue Ribbon panel’s second team. She leads the team in rebounding at 8.6 per game and is second on the team and 15th in the league in scoring at 13.1 points per game. She is third in the ACC with 12 double-doubles.

“Alyssa’s motor is special,” Banghart said. “She is relentless on both ends of the floor. She can defend five positions and can score all over the floor. She has made a huge jump in her game since her freshman season — she is a better ballhandler, a better shooter, and a more complete player. Alyssa puts in the work and she was rightly recognized as one of the league’s best.”

They’ll lead the No. 4-seed Tar Heels into the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, starting with a semifinal game at 11 a.m. Friday (regional sports networks). They’ll play the winner of Thursday’s 11 a.m. second-round game between No. 5-seed Virginia Tech (21–8, 13–5) and the winner of Wednesday’s 1 p.m. first-round game between No. 12-seed Syracuse (11–17, 4–14) and No. 13-seed Clemson (9–20, 3–15).

ADVERTISEMENT

Kelly is joined on both first teams by player of the year Elizabeth Kitley of Virginia Tech.

Also on the coaches’ first team are Boston College guard Cameron Swartz, Florida State guard Morgan Jones, Georgia Tech forward Lorela Cubaj, Louisville forward Emily Engstler, Louisville guard Hailey Van Lith, N.C. State center Elissa Cunane, Notre Dame forward Maya Dodson and Notre Dame guard Olivia Miles. The Blue Ribbon first team includes Clemson’s Delicia Washington, Notre Dame’s Olivia Miles and Wake Forest’s Jewel Spear, as well as Kelly, Swartz, Cubaj, Engstler, Van Lith, Cunane and Kitley.

Both groups named N.C. State’s Wes Moore coach of the year. Notre Dame guard Sonia Citron is the Blue Ribbon panel’s rookie of the year while Duke’s Shayeann Day-Wilson was the coaches’ pick.

Additional awards by the coaches were Cubaj as defensive player of the year, N.C. State’s Diamond Johnson as sixth player of the year and Swartz as most improved player.

ACC postseason awards

Blue Ribbon Panel Awards

Player of the Year
Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech, Jr., C — 948 points
Elissa Cunane, N.C. State, Sr., C — 861 points
Emily Engstler, Louisville, Sr., F — 720 points
Rookie of the Year
Sonia Citron, Notre Dame, Fr., G — 505 points
Shayeann Day-Wilson, Duke, Fr., G — 476 points
Maria Gakdeng, Boston College, Fr., C — 425 points
ACC Coach of the Year
Wes Moore, N.C. State — 150 points
Kenny Brooks, Virginia Tech — 73 points
Niele Ivey, Notre Dame — 70 points
All-ACC First Team
Cameron Swartz, Boston College, Sr., G
Delicia Washington, Clemson, Gr., G
Lorela Cubaj, Georgia Tech, 5th Yr., F
Emily Engstler, Louisville, Sr., F
Hailey Van Lith, Louisville, So., G
Deja Kelly, North Carolina, So., G
Elissa Cunane, N.C. 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, North Carolina, 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, N.C. State, Gr., F
Teisha Hyman, Syracuse, R-So., G
Georgia Amoore, Virginia Tech, So., G

Head coaches’ awards

ACC Player of the Year: Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech, Jr., C
ACC Freshman of the Year: Shayeann Day-Wilson, Duke, Fr., G
ACC Coach of the Year: Wes Moore, N.C. State
ACC Defensive Player of the Year: Lorela Cubaj, Georgia Tech, 5th Yr., F
ACC Sixth Player of the Year: Diamond Johnson, N.C. 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 Yr., F
Emily Engstler, Louisville, Sr., F
Hailey Van Lith, Louisville, So., G
Deja Kelly, North Carolina, So., G
Elissa Cunane, N.C. 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, N.C. 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 Yr., F
Emily Engstler, Louisville, Sr., F
Mykasa Robinson, Louisville, Sr., G
Maya Dodson, Notre Dame, Gr., F
Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech, Jr., C

All-Freshman Team (Blue Ribbon and head coaches)

Maria Gakdeng, Boston College, C
Shayeann Day-Wilson, Duke, G
O’Mariah Gordon, Florida State, G
Makayla Timpson, Florida State, F
Payton Verhulst, Louisville, G
Ja’Leah Williams, Miami, G
Aziaha James, N.C. State, F
Sonia Citron, Notre Dame, G

Photos courtesy of UNC Athletics Communications

1 Comment

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s