STARKVILLE, Miss. – Following a superb opening weekend, Kimmy Gardiner has been named SEC Freshman of the Week, the conference office announced Tuesday.
“I’m really honored and excited to receive this recognition and to be able to share it with this program, my teammates and the coaches,” Gardiner said. “With it only being the first week of the season, I know we can only go up from here.”
Gardiner, an opposite from Grapevine, Texas, registered 19 kills with only two errors in 35 attempts (.486) during her career debut against Southeast Missouri State Friday night. She followed that up with a 15-kill performance in the nightcap against UALR.
During Saturday’s action, Gardiner posted her second-straight 15-kill match against UALR and then recorded her first-career double-double against SEMO with 15 kills and 21 digs.
The Maroon Classic All-Tournament Team member tallied 64 kills on the weekend to go along with six assists, 52 digs, five total blocks and a .269 hitting percentage. She is currently third in the conference with 4.57 kills per set.
“Kimmy had an outstanding weekend,” MSU coach Jenny Hazelwood said. “She is a great six-rotation player that can do it all on the court. I couldn’t be more proud of her both on and off the court. She works extremely hard and has done everything the coaching staff has asked of her.”
Gardiner is the seventh Bulldog all-time to garner SEC Freshman of the Week honors but the first since Lainey Wyman accomplished the feat twice in 2011.
The Bulldogs are set for a trip to Waco, Texas, for the Baylor Classic where they will meet UT-Arlington at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, followed by a Saturday doubleheader against Tulsa and Baylor beginning at 12:30 p.m.