September 6, 2013

Cresto: A New Court, A New School, And A New Opportunity

Written by student intern Grace Vickers

One of the most difficult things in life is realizing you might be in the wrong place. What's even harder is making a change while still moving forward. GiGi Cresto (GC) did just that. And she did it flawlessly.

Cresto, a redshirt freshman for the Santa Clara Broncos volleyball team, realized that her initial decision to play volleyball at the University of Utah was not what she had envisioned. Besides being 800 miles away from her home in San Diego, Calif., Cresto also entered her freshman season at Utah still recovering from a torn ACL, an injury that happened during a state match in her senior year of high school. She missed being relatively close to her friends and family.  Plus a smaller, Jesuit school, such as Santa Clara, fit her ideal college image. Cresto has started the season off strong, contributing 30 assists vs. Fresno State last weekend. Santa Clara Broncos (SCB) had a chance to ask the rising star some questions about her past and what the future holds.

SCB: What is your favorite thing about Santa Clara?

GC: I love how it has a bit of everything. The campus is amazing, there are great opportunities academically, and it is in a great area for future career prospects. The volleyball program is something I am extremely honored to be a part of. The team is hardworking and dedicated to the sport. 

SCB: What is your favorite thing about the team and/or coaching staff?

GC: The girls and coaches know how to work hard and get the job done. They are committed to doing everything they can to get better, and really care about each other, on and off the court. There is a great sense of "togetherness."

SCB: You are a business major.  What are your future aspirations in that field?

GC: I would really like to go to graduate school after earning my undergrad business degree. I am not sure specifically what I would like to do after that, but want to apply some of my other interests (health, wellness, investment, travel, exercise, real estate, law, etc.), whatever it may be. 

SCB: How long have you played volleyball? 

GC: Since I was in 4th grade. At that time, I played other sports as well-- basketball, tennis and golf. After playing volleyball for a while, I realized it was the sport for me. I still golf occasionally, and love playing tennis. 

SCB: Was playing a sport at the DI level always a goal of yours? If yes, did you think it would be volleyball, or something else?

GC: Yes, it has always been a goal of mine. I played tennis competitively before I fully committed to volleyball, so for a time, tennis was my sport of choice. Once I really got into volleyball, I knew that's where my future was.  

SCB: Since you have a year of college under your belt, do you feel like you are in a little bit of a different mental state than the other freshmen? 

GC: Yes, I do. Last year, I got to experience leaving home and going to school out of state. I have grown a lot in this last year as a result, and have learned much about myself, as well as what it takes to be successful in college, academically, as well as athletically. Santa Clara is new to me, just as it is to my other freshmen teammates, but I have a bit of a different perspective, having been away from home before. I am so thankful that I get to experience all of this with them-- it is a new start for all of us. 

SCB: What are your goals for your time at Santa Clara - volleyball related and academically?

GC: Academically, I want to take full advantage of what Santa Clara has to offer, and learn as much as I can, while building connections and exploring different areas of business. Athletically, I want to do everything I can to make the team better. I would love to win conference and get to the NCAA tournament each year.

SCB: As a setter, what is your favorite quality in a hitter?

GC: I love to see hitters that are aggressive and really go after the ball. It is so much fun to play with girls who are trying new things and doing everything they can to earn the point and win. 

SCB: What is your favorite set/play? 

GC: As a setter, anytime a hitter gets into a situation where they have one blocker up on them is ideal. It is an awesome feeling to have a hitter get a kill when there is no one up. A fast "go" set to an outside hitter, or a back one (A) to a middle, are both really fun to set, but it is the outcome in each situation that makes the play great. 

One of the most difficult things in life is realizing you might be in the wrong place. What's even harder is making a change while still moving forward. GiGi Cresto (GC) did just that. And she did it flawlessly.

Cresto, a redshirt freshman for the Santa Clara Broncos volleyball team, realized that her initial decision to play volleyball at the University of Utah was not what she had envisioned. Besides being 800 miles away from her home in San Diego, Calif., Cresto also entered her freshman season at Utah still recovering from a torn ACL, an injury that happened during a state match in her senior year of high school. She missed being relatively close to her friends and family.  Plus a smaller, Jesuit school, such as Santa Clara, fit her ideal college image. Cresto has started the season off strong, contributing 30 assists vs. Fresno State last weekend. Santa Clara Broncos (SCB) had a chance to ask the rising star some questions about her past and what the future holds.

SCB: What is your favorite thing about Santa Clara?

GC: I love how it has a bit of everything. The campus is amazing, there are great opportunities academically, and it is in a great area for future career prospects. The volleyball program is something I am extremely honored to be a part of. The team is hardworking and dedicated to the sport. 

SCB: What is your favorite thing about the team and/or coaching staff?

GC: The girls and coaches know how to work hard and get the job done. They are committed to doing everything they can to get better, and really care about each other, on and off the court. There is a great sense of "togetherness."

SCB: You are a business major.  What are your future aspirations in that field?

GC: I would really like to go to graduate school after earning my undergrad business degree. I am not sure specifically what I would like to do after that, but want to apply some of my other interests (health, wellness, investment, travel, exercise, real estate, law, etc.), whatever it may be. 

SCB: How long have you played volleyball? 

GC: Since I was in 4th grade. At that time, I played other sports as well-- basketball, tennis and golf. After playing volleyball for a while, I realized it was the sport for me. I still golf occasionally, and love playing tennis. 

SCB: Was playing a sport at the DI level always a goal of yours? If yes, did you think it would be volleyball, or something else?

GC: Yes, it has always been a goal of mine. I played tennis competitively before I fully committed to volleyball, so for a time, tennis was my sport of choice. Once I really got into volleyball, I knew that's where my future was.  

SCB: Since you have a year of college under your belt, do you feel like you are in a little bit of a different mental state than the other freshmen? 

GC: Yes, I do. Last year, I got to experience leaving home and going to school out of state. I have grown a lot in this last year as a result, and have learned much about myself, as well as what it takes to be successful in college, academically, as well as athletically. Santa Clara is new to me, just as it is to my other freshmen teammates, but I have a bit of a different perspective, having been away from home before. I am so thankful that I get to experience all of this with them-- it is a new start for all of us. 

SCB: What are your goals for your time at Santa Clara - volleyball related and academically?

GC: Academically, I want to take full advantage of what Santa Clara has to offer, and learn as much as I can, while building connections and exploring different areas of business. Athletically, I want to do everything I can to make the team better. I would love to win conference and get to the NCAA tournament each year.

SCB: As a setter, what is your favorite quality in a hitter?

GC: I love to see hitters that are aggressive and really go after the ball. It is so much fun to play with girls who are trying new things and doing everything they can to earn the point and win. 

SCB: What is your favorite set/play? 

GC: As a setter, anytime a hitter gets into a situation where they have one blocker up on them is ideal. It is an awesome feeling to have a hitter get a kill when there is no one up. A fast "go" set to an outside hitter, or a back one (A) to a middle, are both really fun to set, but it is the outcome in each situation that makes the play great.