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Despite not earning a medal, Cranston feels his volleyball career will only benefit from the experience.

Cranston and his fellow team B.C. finished the event seventh out of the nine participating teams, a result he feels the team could have exceeded.

“I think that if we would have played as strong as we can, we could have definitely medalled at the tournament. A lot of the teams that we played we dominated and that’s when we really played as a team.”

Regardless of the end result, Cranston, who was playing in his first tournament and wants to pursue post-secondary volleyball in the future, says the tournament was extremely beneficial for his development.

“You got to see all the other prospects from around the country. You got to see the kids that will be the best in the country at some time. It kind of gives you perspective of where you need to be at and where everyone else is.”

Cranston, who played the position of Libero at the tournament, says he’s quite pleased with the effort he put forth on the court.

“I had a few ups and downs but as a whole I played a lot better than expected so I was really happy with myself. I had an awesome tournament and really enjoyed it.”

The team got off to a good start on the first day of of the Winnipeg-based tournament, finishing second in their pool and setting them for a solid second day. Unfortunately, the B.C. team ran into two very talented teams from Alberta and Manitoba, which resulted in two losses and a significant drop in the standings.

That same Alberta team eventually went on to win the gold medal.

Volleyball is in the 17-year-old’s genes, as both his older sisters play the sport at the post-secondary level, an achievement Cranston one day also wishes to fulfill.

“That’s my dream. If I can play post-secondary, that would be awesome and if I can take it even further than that, that’s crazy good.”

The Fort St. John athlete will continue to develop on the court, as he gears up for another season of High School, as well as Club volleyball.

As a 17-year-old, this was his first and last U16/17 Western Elite Championships, as he is no longer eligible to compete.

However, he knows of a variety of other high level tournaments which take place annually, which will have him compete against players playing at the university or college level. Playing in such tournaments is something Cranston wishes to experience and feels that despite the increase in skill level, if he continues to develop as a player, “you never know.”

 

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