You cannot talk about Jill Townsend without using the word “determination.” After a season-ending major leg injury during the West Coast Conference Semi-Final against St. Mary’s, she was insistent about being with her teammates as much as possible and worked hard to get back on the court with them.
In that game, the Zags had already lost senior point guard Laura Stockton and were tied at the end of regulation against the Gaels. Thirty-one seconds into overtime, Jill collided with a driving St Mary’s player and was on the ground for several minutes. She had already contributed 19 points and six boards to help Gonzaga get that far in the contest.
A broken femur is not a simple injury to recover from, but she was not going to miss out. After just 4 ½ months from when her injury occurred, Townsend was going through rehab and was back on the court with her team. She, along with fellow juniors LeeAnne and Jenn Wirth, Louise Forsyth, Gillian Barfield, are looking to expand their roles after the departure of three star seniors. They had the opportunity to try out their new roles over the summer when the team traveled to Europe for some exhibition games. While she is still working her way back from the injury, Jill was able to play some key minutes during these contests.
Last season, Townsend played in 31 games coming off the bench and shot 51.7 percent from the field. “She’s like a starter for us...She makes an immediate impact on our team. She’s instant energy, instant offense,” said head coach Lisa Fortier. Her intensity and spark gets the rest of the team fired up.
While she may not be physically 100 percent yet, you can count on Jill fighting to get there so that she’s pushing the Bulldogs to go far this year. In the words of Fortier, “She’s really tough, about as tough as we’ve ever had a player be.” We’re going to hold her to that and hope to see an incredible performance from Jill, yet again this season.