Meet Your Team - Dana Cranston

Dana Cranston | #20 | Position: Leftside | International Matches: 25 | Hometown: Fort St. John, BC | Nicknames: Dan, Danada, DCranst, DC from BC, Smooth 

For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
— 2 Timothy 1:7

Since I started writing these player blogs I was excited to eventually get the opportunity to write Dana’s. Not only is she a wonderful teammate to me and everyone else, she is also one of my dearest of dear friends. For those of you who know Dana, you are well aware that she is one of the greatest human beings on this earth. The NICEST individual you will ever meet. That’s not even an exaggeration. I don’t know any person that has met Dana that doesn’t immediately love this girl or have the best things to say about her. On the court she is a stable player that will step in to any role that she is asked to play, without any hesitation or grudge. Her passing is hella-solid (that platform, tho!) and her swings are flippin hard to block – her vertical is slightly outrageous. At one point this summer she was getting frustrated at connecting on the fast sets we were running; she literally jumps too high!! What a problem to have! On the court she is one of the most hard working and passionate players we have. She is a fierce competitor and her celebrations are enough to turn any game around. That kick-double-fist-pump-upper-cut celly… It just makes everyone smile. #ideasfromthebench are always perfectly on point and she has the most ideal things to say in team meetings… “wise beyond her years” I think was said in Argentina this past summer. Dana brings a special contagious energy to the matches we play and those working around her will always try to step up, just as she has. Although she can be incredibly pensive at times, she's usually being a big goofball and I love her for it. She is such a joy to play with and be around and I am just so so thankful for this girl - it's hard to articulate how much I love her (but hopefully you'll understand a little bit after you finish reading this!).

  • 2010 – present: Team Canada Volleyball 
  • 2010 – 2011: IOPV Istres Ouest Provence Volley, France 
  • 2009 – 2012: Colorado State Rams
  • 2009: Team BC
  • 2006 – 2008: North Peace High-school, NBCVC Ice (Club Volleyball) 

Another special thing about Dana (there are just so many!) is her complete devotion to her faith in God and Jesus Christ. The thing I love about Dana and her faith is that she is so open, honest, and real about everything. She doesn’t try to hide anything and if her feelings have wavered one day, she is honest about that. She knows that God has a plan and will guide her through life on whatever path He has chosen for her. She embraces that. She shares that. She has taught me so much over the last year and I feel the most important of those is that God does have a plan for all of us and that we will get out of whatever struggle we are in at that moment. The hardships are for us to learn from and make us stronger (however hard that is to see that at the time). She never complained about the million questions I asked her, wanting to learn more about everything and anything, or the 6hour airplane “interrogation” on the flight from South America to Europe (yaaaaa, sleeping pills weren't doing their job…). Dana was one of the few teammates that I turned to after my brother's accident and she has been by my side ever since. When I had to leave my family so soon after the accident to go play in Turkey last year she was always there to make sure I was surviving, and sent me daily excerpts in order to give me the strength I needed to get through each day. Whatever I was feeling was okay. In fact, it was a gift! Even now, constant voice messages are being left on whatsapp (wifi is next to non-existent for me so hooray for advanced technology and the millions of apps available!) just to make sure we’re updated on daily-life events! When I balled my eyes out at a church service this summer, she was right beside me to help me through with her Dana-strength and smile. She is a huge support system for me. Her strong faith in God is such a comfort and I know others have turned to her for help in many other situations. She recruits people to be stronger in their faith just by being herself. If you have the pleasure of knowing Dana you understand what I mean when you can feel His presence around her. You can see that He shines His light down on her and she shines on other people. She has an extremely large impact on everyone she comes across.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight." -Proverbs 3:5-6

After our long summer with Team Canada and World Championships, Dana has taken the fall and winter months off in order to rest her bionic knees. I know that she would love to be playing right now but this was definitely the smartest decision for her health in the long run. She says that if she wants to be able to play throughout all of next summer, then her knees absolutely need a bit of R&R at some point in the year. She is still hoping to pick up a late contract halfway through the season (in January) so she can kick-butt somewhere in Europe and be in good form before coming back to TC in the summer! Otherwise, she will be joining the FTC troops in sunny, warm, and aesthetically-pleaseing Winterpeg. 

Awards:

  • 2012: Capital One Academic All-American (CSU’s second ever), AVCA All-American third team, AVCA All-West Region, Mountain West Player of the Year, Senior Class Award Finalist, CSU Team MVP
  • 2009 – 2012: Mountain West Scholar-Athlete, Academic All-Mountain West
  • 2011: Debbie Murphy Award (Most Inspirational Player), Capial One Academic District VII second team

Fan Fun Facts 

  1. How did you come across your faith? "I really came in to faith in college. I was so homesick when I left and our senior libero invited me to bible study at her place. At that point, I just wanted to be around people so I said yes; before that, I don't think I had ever even opened up a bible in my life. Batty (teammate) helped me along and God really grabbed my heart. Later that fall I prayed to receive Christ and my life has been magnificent since. Not in the sense that everything has been perfect, it's far from that, but in the sense of continual joy, even when practices go long every day of the week. In trusting in a bigger purpose when I dont know where I will be in a month and in knowing that this volleyball career is about a lot more than me and sharing that with the people I love! Jesus is freaking cool!! I love him."
  2. Favorite place in the world? “Back home in Fort St. John! My parents have land just outside the city which is prime location for quadding, snowmobiling, sledding, and skating on our pond.”
  3. How was growing up in such a remote area? “I love that I am from a small town. You know everyone so much more intimately and everyone was/is so supportive of this crazy life I live. I have a huge extended family on my mom’s side and most of them live there, which makes the holidays a blast.”
  4. Dana has two siblings: Barb, 21, and Blain, 19. Both are currently playing volleyball as well: Barb (outside hitter) is in her 4th year at Grant McEwan and Blain is setting at GPRC (Grand Prairie Regional College). When Dana is describing them to me, it sounds like they spend most of their time together in hysterical laughter – they are willing to look silly in order to make each other laugh.
  5. Her father Arley runs an oilfield company in Fort St. John and is said to keep her whole family grounded with perfectly hilarious comments at the necessary times. Her mother, Karen, is her best friend and after meeting this woman once you begin to understand why. The first time I met her, I was embraced in the largest hug of life. This is also where Dana gets her incredible cheering abilities from; her mom is the greatest super fan!!
  6. When Dana gets angry, you know it’s a major problem which needs to be dealt with asap (it doesn’t happen very often.. so you know it's legit).
  7. She speaks in sarcasm just about as much as I do. It’s splendaaaa.
  8. Loudest voice on and off the court, especially when our team needs some cheering & positive reinforcement.
  9. Has recently learned to knit and is loving it. I think it's clear that our National Team needs to start a knitting club.
  10. Her knees have extra bones in them; “tendonitis and joint funkiness”. Next time you complain about knee pain… think again. When asked about it she replied with: “I am an old soul... and an old knee soul I suppose. So I have bionic legs. Really, I am a transformer sooooo you’re welcome. The good news is it doesn’t take very long to transform before practice so I don’t have to schedule extra time for that. It can just fit into the schedule!” Again with the positivity. BAM! 
  11. The knee bump also has it’s own name…
  12. She can resite the ABC’s backwards.
  13. Dana has slightly larger than average feet and one of the longest inseams known to man… or woman I suppose.
  14. For being one of the nicest people ever, it may be strange for you to learn that she calls everyone a dick. Yes - that is correct. Just don't be a dick and in you're in the clear.
  15. She’s always up for anything. Even if she doesn’t particularly want to, she’ll always say yes because she knows you want to go. We went exploring every opportunity we had this summer - from FISU Games in Russia last year, Grand Prix to World Championships this summer, we flew around and explored the globe together!
  16. She always plays with Connor’s green wristband on and my family loves her for that.

  17. Still so involved with Colorado State University Volleyball. The most supportive alumni ever!
  18. She used to hate reading in College and now she loves it. 
  19. Dana’s hometown of Fort St. John has about 20,000 people so it’s a decent size… but in the absolute middle of nowhere. Google map it – I dare you.
  20. She can put the most positive spin on any situation. This past summer, the day after she broke her finger, her car got broken into (and the window smashed), and didn’t make a travel roster, her response was “That’s ok, I’ll be fine. Things like this happen. There are worst things that could have happened to me.” Kids, take note... 
  21. On the road, you can usually find her dancing with Lucifer and I in Mandy’s room. She’s also bff’s with Byron.
  22. Dana’s always the first to volunteer to take someone for icecream, even though she’s lactose intolerant. 
  23. Graduated from CSU with a Business Administration Major. 
  24. Has a choreographed dance to Shake It Off (by T. Swift).

If you want to check out her CSU bio click here

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
— Ephesians 6:10-20

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Twitter: dcranst