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Bockrath in middle of it all for Sailors

Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week

Middle blocker, one of just two seniors on team, helped Newport Harbor earn big upset over Los Alamitos.

October 25, 2013|By Matt Szabo
  • Newport Harbor High senior volleyball player Carolyn Bockrath is the Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week.
Newport Harbor High senior volleyball player Carolyn… (KEVIN CHANG, Daily…)

Carolyn Bockrath has come a long way during her career with the Newport Harbor High girls' volleyball team, but the distance that could best represent her progress might be a mile exactly.

Players need to run a seven-minute mile as part of varsity tryouts. Bockrath was able to do so in the past, but only with the help of Newport girls' cross country and track coach Eric Tweit.

"Last year, I got 6:54 with a lot of help," Bockrath said. "[Tweit] rode his bike next to me. There was no way I wasn't going to make my mile."

That changed this summer. Bockrath, now a senior, said she was able to run a 6:56 all by herself. It meant quite a bit to her.

"Running was probably my worst nightmare up until this summer ... but it's not going to be given to me," Bockrath said. "I needed to consciously make an effort to bust my butt every single day. My entire mind set has changed on what hard work is. At this point, I'm able to get on other people and make sure they're keeping up their end of the deal. Before, I would have never been able to do that."

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Bockrath, a three-year starter at middle blocker for the Sailors, also has been able to play some of her best volleyball during Sunset League play this year. She's a senior leader on a young team that's short on them. Newport has just one other senior this year, middle blocker Sara Button, who is a first-year varsity player.

You can ask Los Alamitos, the top-ranked team in CIF Southern Section Division 1-AA and Orange County, about Bockrath. The Daily Pilot Athlete of the Week pounded down 24 kills as the Sailors upset the Griffins in four sets on Oct. 14.

Bockrath has led the Sailors (6-18, 4-3 in league) in kills in each of their seven Sunset League matches. Each time, she's tallied at least 19 kills. She's averaging more than five kills per set in league for Newport Harbor, which sits in third place after a road loss to Edison on Thursday.

The Sailors are certainly right in the thick of things in league. Some might be surprised by this development. Newport Harbor sat at 3-12 after a five-set loss to CdM in the Battle of the Bay match. There was talk that this could be the first team in Coach Dan Glenn's 28 years to miss the CIF playoffs.

Bockrath is the lone player still on varsity from the 2011 team that advanced to the Division 1-AA title match and the CIF State Division I Southern California regional semifinals. She wanted to provide leadership for her squad.

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