Stevenson women’s volleyball (22-7) to face Babson (24-6) with third consecutive NCAA tournament bid

The Stangs are looking to advance to the round of 32 after Thursdays match against Babson.
The ‘Stangs are looking to advance to the round of 32 after Thursday’s match against Babson.
Emma Trimble

Ithaca, NY – Stevenson Women’s Volleyball (22-7, 6-1 MACC) traveled today to compete in the NCAA Tournament starting this Thursday, November 16 at Ithaca College. There they will take on the Babson Beavers (24-6, 9-2 NEWMAC) out of Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Both teams received at-large bids out of the C-Pool 

The Mustangs look to get back to their winning ways after dropping the MACC final 3-0 to Eastern University. Babson faced a similar defeat in the NEWMAC Conference Finals, losing to Massachusetts Institute of Technology 3-1.  

The keys for the Mustangs will be consistent passing in serve receive and getting digs in transition to get their offense going early. Leading the way for the Mustang offense is star middle blocker Darian Dildy. Dildy, who was recently awarded co-MACC Player of the Year, is leading all of Division III women’s volleyball with an incredible .437 hitting percentage.  

Dildy has established herself this season as one of the most dominant middles across DIII women’s volleyball. (Sabina Moran)

Dildy put a big emphasis on their practice this past week in getting them ready for the tournament. 

“We have been working on the things that make us stronger together as a team. Not just our offense and defense, but our connection as a whole,” Dildy said. 

Dildy also stressed how important their team chemistry is going into tournament play.  

“When our connection and chemistry is at its best, we can be unstoppable, so that is always a top priority while playing,” Dildy said.  

Stevenson will need to be firing on all cylinders to take down Babson, who had a dominant season in the NEWMAC. The Beavers’ key performers include Lauren Gips and Roz Cabuena.

Gips is a junior middle blocker, an All-American honorable mention last year, and a two-time All-NEWMAC first team selection. This year she had 163 kills and 80 blocks hitting .365 on the season. Cabuena, a sophomore libero, received All-NEWMAC second team honors this season. Cabuena seemed to pick up anything that came her way this season, recording 365 digs on the season for an average of 5.29 digs per set.  

The opening round match will be streamed Thursday, Nov. 16 at 4:30 on Ithaca’s Sports YouTube channel. 

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About the Contributors
Kevin Kouchoukos
Kevin Kouchoukos, Sports Reporter
Kevin is a sophomore communication studies major with a minor in marketing from Nottingham, New Hampshire. He wants to pursue a career in sports media and PR. Outside of The Villager, Kevin also works with the athletic communications department. He is also a member of the Stevenson men's beach and indoor volleyball teams. Kevin also has a cockapoo named Wrigley and two cats named Pumpkin and Brian.
Emma Trimble
Emma Trimble, Photography Editor
Emma is a senior business communication major with a minor in film and moving image. Outside of taking pictures for The Villager, Emma also works for Stevenson Athletic Communications. Emma's dream job is to do social media for professional sports.
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