Stellar skip Scott swipes the Purple Pipe

Team chemistry is the key to curling success

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Purple Pipe: Jennifer Scott

Shaun Ding and Justin Wu

EAT YOUR HEART OUT, PAUL GROSS. Men with Brooms doesn't have anything on Jennifer Scott, Western's curling skip who swept home the Purple Pipe after an impressive performance last week.

Every week, The Gazette hands out the illustrious Purple Pipe award to a student athlete who has an outstanding performance or has made a significant contribution to their team.

This week’s winner is women’s curling team skip Jennifer Scott, who has led the Mustangs to a perfect 7-0 record going into the upcoming Ontario University Athletics Curling championships, where the Mustangs are the top-ranked team.

Scott recently caught up with Gazette Sports to discuss upcoming challenges, life in curling after Western, as well as some common misconceptions about the world of curling.

How long have you been curling and why did you start?
My dad got me into curling when I was seven years old so I have been playing for 14 years now. The funny thing is that I only started playing competitively when I was 13, and only really stayed in it for all those years because of my dad. I was too scared to tell him that I didn’t want to curl anymore (laughs). But once I got into competitive curling I really enjoyed it.

What is the biggest misconception people have about curling?
Probably that it is just a drinking sport and it’s not very competitive. However, the game has really progressed over the past few years, and now curling is also an Olympic sport. But it’s not like curlers don’t enjoy a few drinks (smiles).

Who is your favourite pro curler and why?
Right now, my favourite is Glen Howard. His team is representing Ontario and is actually playing in Waterloo right now. He and his team actually won the 2007 Brier Championships. They are just a solid team all around and I also like all the guys on the team.

What has made this current Mustangs team so successful so far this season?
I would have to say the team chemistry. Myself and two others (Fiona Muirhead and Jackie Masongsong) have curled together on last year’s team. We also have a new curler Erin Morrissey who has a long history of success in competition. Our fifth is also a real team player, so we all get along really well.

What kind of effect has Coach [Rory] Munro had on the team in terms of his coaching?
Along with our new assistant coach Dave McDonald, Coach Munro puts in so much work for this team. He really wants our team to do well and he will do anything for us to get there. We are all on the same page with respect to our goals.

After your Western career is complete, what opportunities exist for women in the world of curling?
I am hoping to come back to Western for teacher’s college next year so I want to be back with the team again. If not, I would love to play for a women’s team. Curling is not something I am going to stop doing after university.

Are there any things you have learned to do in your second season as skip in comparison to your first?
Last year was my first year skipping the Western team and I also skipped my women’s junior team for the first time. The beginning of the season started off a little rocky but it was just getting into the groove by the end of the season. With one year’s experience I know what strategies to employ and how to call the game. Last season’s experience for me has allowed us to start this season so well.

What does the team need to do to be victorious at the OUAs?
Last weekend was the best weekend we’ve had. I have not seen a team play better. We just really need to keep the performance at that level. If we maintain that type of performance I don’t see any losses in the future (laughs).

Are there any superstitions in curling? Does the team have any type of pre-game rituals?
I personally don’t believe in superstitions but before our games, both the men’s and women’s teams go on the ice together and we do a little cheer. My coach got a fortune cookie that said “your sports team will do well this season,” so we have this cheer: “Cookie no lie!” because that’s what the waitress said (laughs).

If you could choose a celebrity to play you in a movie, who would you choose?
I would choose Ellen Page (from Juno). I think she is absolutely hysterical. I don’t think I’m that witty and sarcastic, but I’d like to be!

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