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Courtesy: hailstate.com

Gardiner Earns SEC All-Freshman Team Honors

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December 02, 2013
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STARKVILLE, Miss. – After one of the best rookie seasons by a Mississippi State hitter in program history, Kimmy Gardiner earned a Southeastern Conference All-Freshman Team selection, the conference office announced Monday morning.

Gardiner turned in 399 kills on the season to go along with a .244 hitting percentage, 247 digs, 44 blocks, 26 assists, 24 service aces and 445.0 points.

“I’m honored to be listed among this great class of athletes,” Gardiner said. “As young as we were this year, they could have chosen a number of people off our team so I think this represents our team effort all season long. First, I’d like to thank my teammates for pushing me and always working to get better throughout the season. I’d also like to thank my coaches for all their hard work this year and the Mississippi State fans being unbelievably supportive all season.”

Gardiner was twice named SEC Freshman of the Week during year. Her first selection came just one weekend into her career when she earned Maroon Classic All-Tournament team honors by tallying 64 kills, 52 digs and five blocks in the four-match tournament. Gardiner’s second selection came after turning in 32 kills, 18 digs, four aces and three blocks against then 15th-ranked Kentucky and Georgia.

The opposite from Grapevine, Texas, finished the season leading all SEC non-seniors with 4.03 kills per set, which was third-best overall. She also led all underclassmen with 4.49 points per set and was fourth overall in the category. Gardiner turned in 10 double-doubles on the season, good enough for sixth-most among NCAA rookies.

Gardiner managed to accomplish all her feats before missing the last four matches of the season with a hand injury.

“We knew from the moment we began recruiting Kimmy that she would be a special player for us,” fifth-year MSU head coach Jenny Hazelwood said. “She has a tremendous work ethic and refuses to accept anything but the best. She’s not only one of the top freshmen in the SEC but one of the best in the country and her maturity on the court was vital to us this year. It is a very well deserved honor for Kimmy and I could not be happier for her.”

Hazelwood has now guided a player to SEC All-Freshman team selections for the last three consecutive years beginning with Lainey Wyman in 2011 and MSU’s current record-setting libero Roxanne McVey in 2012.

Regional and national AVCA awards will be announced in the coming weeks with Gardiner and several of her teammates up for multiple awards.

The fourth-ranked Missouri Tigers took home a bulk of the conference awards as Molly Kreklow was named SEC Player of the Year and Wayne Kreklow was name SEC Coach of the Year after UM posted the first undefeated season in conference history. The Tigers also had four All-SEC selections.

Fans can follow the Mississippi State volleyball program on Twitter @HailStateVB, Instagram @HailStateVB and Facebook at facebook.com/HailStateVB.

Complete SEC Postseason Awards
Player of the Year: Molly Kreklow, Missouri
Libero of the Year: Taylor Unroe, Florida
Freshman of the Year: Carly Kan, Missouri
Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Camila Jersonsky, Auburn
Coach of the Year: Wayne Kreklow, Missouri 

All-SEC Team
Krystal Rivers, Alabama
Meredith Hays, Arkansas
Camila Jersonsky, Auburn
Alex Holston, Florida
Chloe Mann, Florida
Živa Recek, Florida
Taylor Unroe, Florida
Brittany Northcutt, Georgia
Whitney Billings, Kentucky
Alexandra Morgan, Kentucky
Briana Holman, LSU
Lisa Henning, Missouri
Carly Kan, Missouri
Molly Kreklow, Missouri
Whitney Little, Missouri
Juliette Thévenin, South Carolina
Allie Sawatzky, Texas A&M
Shelby Sullivan, Texas A&M

All-Freshman Team
Krystal Rivers, Alabama
Alex Holston, Florida
Anni Thomasson, Kentucky
Briana Holman, LSU
Kimmy Gardiner, Mississippi State
Carly Kan, Missouri
Jazzmin Babers, Texas A&M

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