Bison Athlete Profile: Rachel Cockrell

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Rachel Cockrell’s success on the volleyball court this season is a testament to her work ethic and perseverance. In her rookie season, Cockrell was named to the CIS All-Rookie team. Unfortunately, a lingering injury forced her to miss the entirety of the 2011-12 season, but Cockrell did all she could to get back into game form.

Heading into the 2012-13 season—officially her second year of CIS eligibility—Cockrell was named one of three team captains. Nine games in, she’s leading the Bison attack with 130 kills and pitching in on defence with 17 blocks. The Manitoban caught up with Rachel after the Bisons’ win over Thomson Rivers University on Friday night.

The Manitoban:
How has the season been so far for you?

Rachel Cockrell:
Awesome, it’s really great. We’ve got a good group of girls and it’s a fantastic atmosphere. I couldn’t ask for any better. We had a rough weekend last weekend [against UBC Okanagan], but we’re hoping for a turnaround now.

M:
Is this where you expected the team to be now, at 6-3 after nine games?

RC:
I thought we’d be a bit higher, but you have your ups and downs. We have a big weekend coming up against UBC.

M:
With the fall portion of the schedule wrapping up, how do you think this team will do down the stretch? Is the winter break a good or bad thing in terms of keeping momentum?

RC:
Oh, it’s definitely a good thing. I have full confidence in this team that we are going to go all the way and hopefully win this.

M:
You also enjoy playing competitive beach volleyball with (first-year Bison) teammate Taylor Pischke. Is it nice to have her on the team?

RC:
Yes, it’s so nice. We’ve played together for so many years it’s nice to have her back here for sure.

M:
You mentioned the team chemistry earlier. As a captain, what is your role? Do you try and keep people motivated?

RC:
Yeah, you definitely have to make sure everyone is staying focused. We all have one goal—to win the CIS National Championships—and every day when we practice we have to remember that’s our goal. Play every ball like it’s our last. That’s the biggest thing.

M:
You’re enrolled in the Faculty of Arts. What’s your academic focus?

RC:
I want to be an occupational therapist, so I’m majoring in Psychology [and] minoring in Biology.

M:
Switching over to questions to get to know Rachel Cockrell the person, what’s your favourite band, or genre of music?

RC:
I like lots of techno, but I also like country and basic pop. I’ll give you one of each. For techno right now, it’d be Tiesto; country, Luke Bryan; and pop would be… Rihanna.

M:
Any recent movies that you would recommend to readers?

RC:
Hmm, recent movies (Someone down the hall yells “Twilight!”) [laughs] I haven’t seen Twilight! I haven’t gone to see a movie in forever. I’m more into TV shows. Nashville, Vampire Diaries

M:
So, given the option between TV and Movies…

RC:
TV for sure!

M:
Why would you recommend Nashville or Vampire Diaries?

RC:
Because Nashville is all about country singers! [laughs] And Vampire Diaries, why not? They’re vampires!

M:
What’s your favourite pre-game meal?

RC:
Booster Juice. I always have a Booster Juice and a Booster Bake before every game.

M:
Your choice: Coke or Pepsi.

RC:
Pepsi, although I don’t drink pop ever!

M:
Finally, if you could be an animal, which animal do you think best represents you?

RC:
Kangaroo. People always say I’m like a kangaroo because I can jump!

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