A bit of a tune-up with their coaches served Team Koltun well over the weekend.
After a winless streak at their previous bonspiel, the Whitehorse curling rink took three wins and three losses at the Colonial Square Ladies Classic, a Grand Slam event on the women’s World Curling Tour, this past weekend in Saskatoon.
“It went well, especially considering the tournament before we really struggled,” said skip Sarah Koltun. “But we went home the weekend before this to work with our coaches, Lindsay Moldowan and Bill Tschirhart, and we put in a lot of time at the rink at home, trying to work on some things.
“So when we went to Saskatoon it was really refreshing that we were playing a bit better. It was comforting for us because it’s not fun to not be playing well. It was good for us to turn things around a bit. We still have a lot of work to do, but it was a step in the right direction for us.”
The Koltun rink, which includes third Chelsea Duncan, second Patty Wallingham and lead Jenna Duncan, didn’t reach the playoffs of the triple knockout format, but took wins over some top teams and finishers.
Koltun opened with a 6-3 win over Team McDonald of Manitoba, who went on to place sixth out of 31 teams.
After a 6-4 loss to Manitoba’s Team Thurston, who placed seventh, the Koltun crew topped Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni, a member of the 1999 world junior champion rink and fourth-place finisher on Sunday.
Team Koltun also beat Saskatoon’s Team Fritzle 7-2.
“It’s a grand slam curling event, so it’s definitely one of the top tournaments in Canada for the bonspiel season,” said Koltun. “So it was really good for us to get into that tournament and get that kind of competition. It’ll be more the level we’ll be playing when we get to the Scotties (Tournament of Hearts). It was an excellent experience for us.”
The Whitehorse team’s main goal for the season is a second straight appearance at the Scotties, the Canadian women’s championship.
The rink made their first appearance at the Scotties last year as the first Yukon team to qualify for the championship in 13 years. Hindered by illness, they came away with two wins.
They reached the quarterfinal of Surrey, B.C.‘s Cloverdale Cash Spiel, a women’s World Curling Tour event, this past September.
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