Dana Cranston would make a terrible blackjack dealer.
She keeps turning up aces, six of them in the CSU volleyball team’s 3-0 win against San Diego State Saturday afternoon.
Senior libero Izzy Gaulia added another two aces to give the Rams a season-high eight in the match compared to just one service error.
“It’s a lot of momentum because you hardly have to work for the point,” Cranston said. “You’re standing there ready to bust your butt for the next point and it’s a free one.”
The Rams played nearly mistake free all game, only hitting four unforced errors in 106 attempts.
“That’s as good as any team in the country,” CSU coach Tom Hilbert said. “You give away 10 points in three sets, that is phenomenal.”
CSU kept control of the match the entire time, only trailing briefly in the second set, but used a 7-0 run to take a 10-3 lead and never let the Aztecs closer than four points for the rest of the match.
“They were in an uncomfortable environment and hitting more errors than they generally do,” Hilbert said.
SDSU committed 17 unforced errors and only hit .123 for the match. It was the third consecutive match CSU held its opponent under a .200 hitting percentage.
The Aztecs also had 24 more attempts than the Rams despite both teams totalling 52 digs.
“A great deal of them are from the fact that we blocked the ball and it went back over and they played it again,” Hilbert said. “That takes a team out of its rhythm.”
Cranston exemplified CSU’s efficiency, hitting .476 in the match while totalling 11 kills and 10 digs for her third consecutive double-double.
“I’ve come to the realization that I need to be consistent at that level in order to do well,” she said. “It’s a little bit of a different mindset and it’s definitely more aggressive.”
CSU only allowed one extended run by the Aztecs, a four point spurt in the third set. The team has been working on tightening up its weaker rotations in order to keep the momentum in games.
“That will become the big thing for us on the road, is how to get out of tough situations because teams will play us better in their gyms,” Hilbert said.
The Rams have won their last two games after dropping two in a row against New Mexico and UCLA, starting to build momentum in the Mountain West season.
“It definitely gives us a boost in our confidence, we played solid in the last two matches,” Gaulia said. “If we just keep doing what we’re doing in practice we can keep doing well at home and especially away.”