By Ryan Hickman
AND DIRTY, BUT IN A GOOD WAY. Graduating Mustangs Lyn Christensen
(11) and Jessica Powell have been slamming the crap out of volleyballs
for the past five years.
is usually an aphorism used to describe relationships, but not the leaders
of a volleyball team.
Jess Powell and Lyn Christensen represent the old guard on a very young
Western women's volleyball team and seem like different players at first
Christensen fires down kills with her right hand; Powell is a southpaw.
Christensen is tall and lanky, while Powell is shorter and a little more
muscular. Lyn is from out west Victoria to be exact, but Powell
is Ontario-bred. Powell is also the vocal one, while Christensen leads
by example. Christensen is married and Powell isn't.
Despite the contradictions, Powell and Christensen have come together
to form a tandem that led this year's Mustangs women to a second place
finish in the Ontario University Athletics West conference and the prospect
of a serious run in the playoffs.
"I think that they stand out as leaders because of the age of our
team," said second-year setter Sarah Wilson. "They support us
vocally and can back it up on the court with their performance."
Powell and Christensen slips naturally off the tongue, like they should
be grizzled partners in a crime drama. Jess Powell, after graduating with
a kinesiology degree, is in her first year of teachers college at Althouse
College, which, coupled with her demanding volleyball schedule, keeps
her very busy. Powell definitely wants to take her volleyball prowess
into a coaching role while teaching.
"I love working with kids and sports," said the 5'8" right
side, concerning her plans to coach. "Both go hand in hand."
As you might guess, Christensen is taking a completely different life
path than Powell, as she is working to become a chartered management accountant
with aspirations to run her own business someday.
Christensen, who you might have known as Lyn Turkington last season, came
to the Mustangs via the Malaspina College in British Columbia, where she
spent two seasons and met her husband Zach, who was on the men's volleyball
Powell was cut from the women's team at Western in her first year, after
arriving from Courtice High School, just east of Oshawa. Powell spent
the summer keeping her game sharp and now, in her fifth year, is the captain
of the team.
"Jess is our most consistent player and always puts the ball in play,"
Christensen said. "She is very vocal and keeps us up and intense.
She leads our emotion."
Powell said Christensen has her own way of sparking the team. "Lyn
leads by example," Powell said. "She is our go to girl if we
want a kill."
Kills are definitely Christensen's weapon of choice on the volleyball
court. She leads the Canadian Interuniversity Sport in scoring with 5.20
points per set and unleashes kills more frequently than any other women's
volleyball player in Canada at 4.07 bombs a set.
"This team has so much potential," said Powell of the women
she'll be leaving behind. "[They] will dominate next year."
Powell might be talking about next year's women's volleyball team, but
both herself, and Christensen, have some unfinished business to take care
of before they leave.
"I want to go to Nationals this year," Christensen stated sternly.
The Mustangs women get the playoff party started this Saturday against
Wilfrid Laurier University at Alumni Hall at 1 p.m..