After graduating from Colorado State University, Fort St. John’s professional volleyball player Dana Cranston is putting on the red and white and representing Canada at the 27th Summer Universiade (FISU Games) in Kazan, Russia next month.
Countries from all over the world send teams to the FISU Games, which take place every two years and have hundreds of athletes competing in 27 different sports.
Cranston, who trained with Team Canada for the summers of 2010 and 2011, is happy to finally travel with the team to compete and represent her country abroad.
“This has been a dream I’ve had since I was little and it’s actually here,” she said on Wednesday. “It’s cool that the next steps are building for me right after school. Just being a part of it and being able to make an impact instead of just sitting there and training is awesome.”
“It’s my first time going to Russia, and my first time travelling with Team Canada, too. I’m really excited. I’ve trained with them for so long, now it’s something new, something a little different.”
Cranston will join 11 other Canadians selected from the Women’s A National Team to compete at the FISU Games. Some of the other players are familiar faces, since she has played with a few in the past, but Cranston won’t see the team’s overall chemistry until next week when she travels to Winnipeg to train for 10 days.
“I think our team has a really good chance of doing well, so it’s cool that it’s not just go and enjoy the trip, we’re there to compete,” she said.
“Brazil is in our pool, and that will be a hard one.”
Following the FISU Games that wrap up July 17, Cranston and Team Canada will welcome Peru at the end of August for a series of games, followed by the 2013 NORCECA Championships (North America, Central America and Caribbean zone qualifier) on Sept. 16 in Omaha, Nebraska.
Cranston will have a full summer playing for Team Canada, but now that she’s graduated from university, what will she do when the fall rolls around again?
“I’ve signed a contract to play in France,” said the outside hitter. “It’s the best situation. I want to continue playing volleyball and see where it takes me, and this is the only chance I have to do that.
“I want to see the world while I can.”
Cranston’s last season with the Colorado State University Rams volleyball teams was a very successful one. She was named the 2012 Mountain West Preseason Co-Player of the Year, was chosen as a top-10 finalist for the 2012 Senior CLASS Award and was named an American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American player, which is volleyball’s highest honour for an individual player.
The American All-Star heads to Winnipeg on Sunday to train with Team Canada before competing in the FISU Games July 6-17.