Curling qualifies for championships

Men’s team splits games to finish third; women’s team eliminated

The Queen’s men’s and women’s curling teams hosted the Ontario University Athletics Crossover
tournament at the Royal Kingston Curling Club last weekend, and the men’s squad grabbed third place
in the regular season standings and a spot in the upcoming provincial championships.

“They’ll be very competitive out there,” head coach Scott Davey said, adding that there’s no particular
advantage to top playoff seeding. The top four teams advance to the playoffs, where they play a
series of games in a round robin. No team is eliminated, but a new bracket is set up for the semi-finals. One member of the men’s team is more superstitious than Davey.

Jonathan Beuk, a first-year masters student, has been a part of the team for the past four years,
and believes the seeding does make a difference.

“There’s been sort of a first-place curse,” Beuk said. “We finished first in the regular season in the past two years, but finished second overall both times.” Davey said practices will be a bit different this week due to the absence of their skip, Rob Retchless. “Unfortunately our skip is out of town at the Quebec provincial championships this week,” Davey said. “So he’s not available this week ... but he’ll obviously be there.” Davey said he’s hoping the team can peak at the provincials and he’s confident they’re on the right track. “We’ve not had a lot of time to play as a complete team this year,” he said. “This past weekend was the first weekend that the four main players were able to play together.”
Queen’s women, however, were unsuccessful in their bid for a playoff spot. They went into the tournament with a 1-2 record and needed to have a strong performance in all four of their games to secure a playoff spot. “They played really well all weekend,” Davey said. “They won all three of their first games.” But the Gaels couldn’t keep up their streak and finished the seasonin a three-way tie for third place. Davey said that the league uses a shootout format to determine which teams move forward in the event of a tie. The shootout requires that each player on the team throw a rock. Points are awarded depending on how close the rock is to the button.

“It’s not a good way to determine anything,” Davey said. Queen’s finished third in the shootout, which meant they finished fifth overall and out of the playoffs. With the season coming to a close, the team will bid farewell to three graduating seniors. Stephanie Horner, Stephanie Gray and Lisa Mannik have all been with the team for four years. Davey said the team will obviously feel the loss, but is optimistic about the upcoming seasons.

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