East Lansing, Mich. – Freshman outside hitter Biamba Kabengele (Burlington, Ontario) has earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors, as announced by the Big Ten office on Monday afternoon.
This is the second time this season Kabengele has earned Freshman of the Week honors – she also received the distinction after her performance in the final non-conference weekend at Western Michigan where she stepped in and averaged 3.64 kills per set and hit .333.
Kabengele was inserted into the Spartan starting lineup for the first time in Big Ten play and responded with 2.57 kills per set and a .263 hitting percentage. She averaged 0.86 digs per frame and added three blocks (one solo) against a pair of top-10 opponents. Her eight kills in the match against Wisconsin was a high for her in a Big Ten match, and she bettered that two days later with 10 kills against the Gophers.
The first-year player is hitting .244 on the season, averaging 2.38 kills and 0.50 digs per frame. She’s also contributing 0.32 blocks per set.
Kabengele is just the fourth player in MSU history to earn Freshman of the Week honors multiple times in a season. The last was Alyssa Garvelink in 2014, where she earned the distinction twice. Alexis Mathews was a two-time recipient in 2010, and Kori Moster was a three-time winner in 2011.
Kabengele is also one of three first-year players in the Big Ten to earn the award multiple times this season. She and Michigan’s May Pertofsky are both two-time winners, while Northwestern’s Temi Thomas-Ailara has received honors three times.
Thomas-Ailara and Kabengele will be on the same court on Friday as the Spartans travel to Evanston to take on Northwestern at 8 pm ET.