06/17/09 — Babb sets precedent for program

View Archive

Babb sets precedent for program

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 17, 2009 1:46 PM




A precedent setter for the Rosewood High volleyball program.

Paige Babb is certain to carry those characteristics and prestige to Mary Baldwin (Va.) College this fall after committing to the Division III school. A 5-foot-8 setter, Babb is the first-ever scholarship player to advance to the collegiate level during Jennifer Cochran's coaching tenure.

"Paige has grown so much in our program," said Cochran. "She knows the game of volleyball so well that she knows exactly what to do on the court in crucial situations to help her team succeed."

Succeed ... indeed.

A three-year varsity starter, Babb joined the Eagles during their magical postseason run in 2005. Rosewood reached the eastern regional championship of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A playoffs that season.

Babb helped the Eagles repeat as Carolina Conference champions the following fall and has participated on four playoff teams.

"Paige will be an integral part of helping our program to improve and be working towards a positive future for herself as a student-athlete here at Mary Baldwin," said coach Paul Yee. "I believe she has the tools to help us as a setter and (am) looking forward to working with her because I am confident in her abilities."

Babb joins the Flying Squirrels during a rebuilding phase.

Yee inherited a program that has posted just 12 victories over the past two seasons and has endured lower-tier finishes in USA South Conference play. MBC fashioned a 4-32 in 2008.

"I took a weekend visit and stayed with one of the volleyball players," said Babb, who entertained offers from Montreat College and Averett (Va.) University.

"The team is in a rebuilding process because the coach hasn't been there long. They had a lot of injuries and some other problems last year. The players said it's a good program and for me to come in here ready to play."

Yee recruited Babb to play setter.

Eager to experience the speed and intensity of the college game, Babb said she must improve several aspects of her game -- work ethic, attitude and become a vocal leader on the court. Yee has sent Babb workout sheets, which concentrate on conditioning and strength exercises.

But there are other adjustments to make as well.

Babb hopes to flourish in the one-to-one, teacher-to-student ratio and the small classroom settings that MBC offers. She plans to pursue a degree in communications and broadcasting with aspirations of working as a field reporter for ESPN.