Oct. 1, 2012
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.—After averaging 4.17 kills and 1.00 aces per set in a pair of conference wins over the weekend, senior Dana Cranston has been named this week’s Mountain West Volleyball Player of the Week. The announcement was made by the conference Monday morning.
The award is Cranston’s first career honor, and CSU’s second in the past four weeks after Megan Plourde was named the league’s player of the week on Sept. 10, one day before earning AVCA national player of the week honors.
"The honor is really humbling," Cranston said. "I'm glad that our team gets recognized for what we accomplished this weekend. I don't think this honor belongs to only me, though. We had some really great performances from a lot of different people this weekend, and that's how we got the results we did. The fact that the honor came to our team reinforces the fact that the hard work we are putting in at practice is paying off, and that we need to continue doing that every week."
In home sweeps over Nevada and San Diego State, Cranston led her teammates in kills both matches, tallying 14 and 11, respectively. In Saturday’s win over the Aztecs, Cranston also recorded a career-high six service aces, the most by a Rams player in four seasons.
While Cranston had 25 kills in the two matches, equally impressive was that she did so while hitting a combined .523, posting just two attack errors on 44 total attempts (25-2-44). Her .565 hitting percentage against the Wolf Pack on Thursday was a season high. In addition to her six aces on Saturday, she also recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 10 digs.
With CSU leading by just two, 10-8, in the first set against Nevada, the Rams called timeout. Coming out of the break, CSU went on a 5-0 run, with Cranston supplying a block and two kills, to give the Rams a 15-8 lead.
On Saturday, leading by one, 11-10, in the opening set, CSU took five consecutive points behind two kills, a block and a service ace from Cranston. The Fort St. John, B.C. native was again instrumental in Set 2. Tied at 3-3, Cranston went back to serve, sparking a 7-0 CSU run to give the Rams a comfortable 10-3 lead. During that stretch, the outside hitter recorded two of her six aces.
For the week, Cranston, a 2011 All-Mountain West recipient, averaged 4.17 kills, 2.33 digs and 1.00 aces per set, while hitting .523. She averaged 5.50 points per set over six total sets. Overall, her figures on the week were well above her season averages, including in kills (0.92 kills per set higher than her season average), hitting percentage (.305 higher), aces (0.70 per set higher) and total points (1.55 points per set higher). She has now recorded 10 or more kills in five straight matches, and 11 times on the season.
With the wins, CSU improved to 2-1 in Mountain West action, and 9-5 overall. The Rams remain at home this week, hosting the Wyoming Cowgirls, the only team besides CSU to earn a first-place vote in the league’s preseason poll.
The match will begin at 7:45, and will take place in conjunction with the University’s Homecoming & Family Weekend. More than 30 former players will be recognized during the match as part of this year’s volleyball Alumni Weekend. Tickets for volleyball’s Border War can be purchased online. Tickets can also be obtained over the phone at 1-800-491-RAMS, in person at the McGraw Athletic Center or at local King Soopers and City Market locations.