TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN
Janelle Schwindt of Kelsey Russill’s team eyes up a shot.
The curling gods didn’t work in the favour of Brandon’s Kelsey Russill or Kortney Teale to get them into a tiebreaker at the provincial Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Virden, but both skips view the event as a huge success.
Russill’s foursome, which includes Janelle Schwindt, Kristy Howard and Roz Ripley, closed out the round robin with a 4-3 record after beating Shannon Birchard 8-7 in an extra end on Saturday morning. Had Janet Harvey beat Barb Spencer, then Russill would have made the tiebreakers.
However, the second-year team was proud of what it accomplished during the week as it was without Stacey Fordyce, the squad’s normal skip, and it doubled its win total from the 2013 Scotties.
"It would have been really cool to play in the tiebreakers because that would have been beyond our goals," Russill said. "I would not say we were disappointed. We are very happy with our outcomes and our standings for sure."
Russill felt her team improved a lot this season and believes everyone wants to return. She said the key will be to play more games leading into the women’s regionals and provincials.
"I think it’s all about getting the right experience in the season," said Russill, who will play in the Brandon women’s bonspiel, which starts on Friday. "Unfortunately it didn’t pan out … Hopefully next year we’ll get more games before regionals."
Teale’s team of Pam Robins, Kristen McLellan and Jolene Cumming also finished 4-3 in the Red Group and would have secured a tiebreaker if Harvey had won her last round-robin game. Teale closed out the event with a 9-4 thumping of Dauphin’s Lisa Menard, who finished 1-6. Teale felt 4-3 was a great mark for a first-year team.
"I’m very happy with my team, especially since we’ve only been together since October," she said. "I think we curled really well. I’m not too sure how many games we’ve actually played together but I’m sure it’s less than most of the other people here."
Teale’s team hasn’t talked about its future either, but after a solid run at provincials she hopes they stick together.
"I’m looking forward to hopefully curl with them next year, but we’ll see how things go because life gets in the way sometimes so we’ll see how it works," she said.
Meanwhile, Souris native Michelle Kruk, the lead for Winnipeg’s Darcy Robertson, barely missed the playoffs. Robertson was eliminated on Saturday after losing 7-3 to Chelsea Carey in a tiebreaker.
Former Brandonite Robin Campbell, who skipped Team McCreanor, went 2-5.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 13, 2014