Women’s Curling bring home lessons from OUA Championship

The Gaels win one, lose four at season finale

Despite an unsuccessful run at OUAs, the women's curling team are grateful for being able to compete with one another.
Supplied by Athletics and Recreation

While the Women’s Curling team fell short at the OUA championships last week, for them, experience was still gained, and their cohesion was strengthened—two things hard to come by in a season disrupted by lockdowns.

The Queen’s Women’s Curling team attended the OUA Curling Championship hosted by the Waterloo Warriors Feb. 25 to 27. Queen’s won their first game against McMaster 4-1 but fell to the University of Toronto, X University, and Brock in subsequent matches. The Laurier Golden Hawks defeated the Warriors in the final to claim the tournament banner.

“We tried the best we could with what we were given,” Nicole Massey, ArtSci ’22, said in an interview with The Journal. “But we were very excited to be able to play.”

Due to shifting dates and lockdown situations, the team only had three weeks to train and practice before the tournament.

According to vice Kenna Bartlett, MSc ’23, this meant the team entered the tournament feeling less prepared than in previous years.

“Unfortunately, we were less prepared than we would have hoped for. So that was an interesting situation […] but we made it work,” she said.

“Obviously every other team was in a similar situation.”

The first win against McMaster was a redemption moment for Queen’s. The last time these teams met was in the 2020 OUA finals, where the Gaels lost 7-5.

“Our first game [against McMaster] […] was actually our first full game together as a team,” said Massey, who is the team’s second.

“So that being said, we played really well. And we came up with the win, which was quite nice.”

But after this victory, the team struggled to maintain consistency.

“We started off playing well. We knew the ice well, and then our other games were okay, just an end here, and end there, we didn't play as well,” Massey said.

“The other team just made their shots and took that advantage and were able to win.”

The second game against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues was the most problematic loss for the Gaels. The well-matched teams were back-and-forth until the eighth end. When the game went to an extra end, Toronto laid down the hammer and ultimately prevailed.

“That was definitely our most pressured game,” Bartlett said.

“We didn't play fabulously, and they were definitely a team that we could beat and are capable of beating. So, that was the one we were particularly bummed about.”

Reflecting on the tournament and the season as a whole, Bartlett and Massey were quick to express gratitude for their coach, Scott Davey.

“His dedication to the game and our team, taking time out of his week to practice with us multiple times, is very appreciated,” Bartlett said.

Bartlett iterated this was the first OUA championship for numerous team members. Gaining preliminary experience at this tournament—no matter the outcome—will undoubtedly help them next season.

“I know [the new girls on the team] a lot better now than I did a week ago, so that's really nice,” Bartlett said. “I think that that will be helpful for next year and something to build off of.”

“It would have been nice to get more reps in, but from a team building […] standpoint, I was very proud of how we did."

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