July 17, 2013
Just one summer after the entire team took an NCAA-sanctioned foreign tour to Italy and France, several Colorado State volleyball players have spent the offseason prepping with national and international programs.
Foss earns silver with USA Volleyball A2 Program
Originally one of 240 athletes competing at an open tryout, junior setter Deedra Foss, along with 47 other top athletes from around the country, were selected to participate in the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Senior A2 Program June 24-July 4 in Dallas, Texas.
Foss’ team, coached by volleyball’s all-time winningest coach and six-time national champion, Andy Banachowski, went 2-1 in pool play, advancing to the semifinals on July 2. After a four-set win over Team Blue, Foss’ Team Gold advanced to the championship match before falling in four sets to come away with silver.
“It was a great experience,” Foss said. “To play with so many top players and coaches will help me become a better player, I think. It was cool to see that I was able to keep up and perform well against that level of talent.”
The week began with Foss backing up Marquette setter Elizabeth Koberstein. By the end of the week, however, Foss caught the attention of her coaches and moved into the regular rotation.
“I got to see Deedra play, and she was really, really good,” said Head Coach Tom Hilbert. “She has the ability to learn on the spot, especially with new players, quicker than almost anyone I know. She proved that she is one of the best players in the country.”
Snider takes game to China through Global Challenge
Junior Kelsey Snider represented CSU through the Bring It Promotions/USA Global Challenge June 14-27 in China. Snider competed in six total matches, three apiece in Shanghai and Beijing. Unfortunately, the U.S. lost all six of its matches to the Chinese professional teams, but Snider left learning plenty from the experience, including a greater desire to win.
“It was tough not winning, but it allowed me to be thankful for the success we’ve had at CSU, and it gave me an even greater desire to want to continue achieving at that level,” Snider said.
Away from the court, Snider and the Global Challenge team spent full days sightseeing in both cities, including a stop at the Great Wall of China.
“The whole experience was really cool,” she said. “We would have liked to have played better, but it was an awesome experience to play against Chinese professionals and in their arenas.”
While the experience was great, the culture was a bit of shock for Snider.
“The food took a lot of getting used to,” she said. “The entire culture is so different.”
Senior Samantha Peters was also expected to represent CSU, but was forced to return back to Colorado after a day of training in Los Angeles before the team departed for China. The team was coached by New Mexico head coach Jeff Nelson.
Coulter leads USA Future Select National Training Program
Associate head coach Brook Coulter took on head coaching responsibilities July 7-11, leading the USA Future Select National Training Program. Created for the top 128 athletes born in 2000 or later, the 2013 FSL NTP took place in Edmond, Okla., at the U.S. Paralympic Training Center.
The five-day program featured High Performance training geared to expose players to international volleyball concepts. Training was designed to help the athletes appreciate the advantage of being an all-around player, and help them progress not only through the High Performance pipeline, but also when being recruited by colleges.
Cranston helps Team Canada to sixth-place finish in Russia
Competing with Volleyball Canada, her native’s national team, former Ram Dana Cranston helped the Red and White to a sixth-place finish at the 2013 Summer Universiade (FISU Games), played in Kazan, Russia.
Considered the second-largest sporting event in the world, after the Olympics, more than 10,400 athletes from 162 countries participated in this year’s bi-annual competition. Canada finished sixth, its highest finish since 1997 and tied for its third-best ever.
“It meant so much to me to get to represent my county on an international stage,” Cranston said. “It was such an amazing experience in so many ways.”
After splitting its two pool-play matches—Canada defeated Norway before falling to Brazil, which went on to take silver—Cranston advanced to the quarterfinals, where it fell to Thailand, which finished third. Canada rebounded with a 3-1 win over Chinese Taipei to play for fifth, before being defeated by Japan.
Like Foss, Cranston became more involved as the tournament went on, recording eight kills in a win over Chinese Taipei, which was the third-most on the team, and earning a start in the final competition.
“I learned how to play my role on a great team, and was able to make a bigger impact near the end of the tournament,” Cranston said. “God had big things in store for me in Russia, and I had an absolute blast playing.”
Cranston will continue playing with Team Canada through the summer before beginning her professional career in France. Two of her 2012 teammates will also be playing overseas this fall, as Brieon Paige has signed a professional contract in Romania, and Megan Plourde will begin her second season of professional ball, playing in Switzerland after last year in Croatia.