USA women can't hold on to lead in singles competition at 2008 Continental Cup

Dec. 23, 2008, 3:40 p.m. (ET)
(CAMROSE, Alberta) - USA's Debbie McCormick rink finished up their performance at the 2008 Continental Cup of Curling earning two more points for North America in the singles competition Saturday afternoon at the Edgeworth Center. The men's singles competition is on tap next with Team World leading North America 103-77.

The American women started out the hot shots competition with Nicole Joraanstad (Madison, Wis.) attempting the run through. She made contact with the guard but missed the stone on the button for zero points. Her opponent, Swiss skip Mirjam Ott wouldn't fare much better as she made contact with the stone on the button but rolled her shooter out for just a single point.

American skipper Debbie McCormick (Rio, Wis.) would take the next two shots - the draw to the button and the draw through the port. She earned the full five points on her first but just two points as she only made it as far at the 12-foot on the second attempt. Swiss lead Janine Greiner earned three points on her first and two on her second shot as the Americans took a 7-6 advantage.

Lead Tracy Sachtjen (Lodi, Wis.) would attempt the raise, earning two points as her stone only reached the 12-foot. Swiss vice skip Carmen Schafer doubled her with four points as she just slid to the back of the four-foot. Vice skip Allison Pottinger added two more points for the Americans with the hit-and-roll portion to Valeria Spalty's single to tie the game at 11-11.

Throwing the final shot - the hit and roll - Joraanstad made contact with the first stone but didn't remove the second. They'd end up splitting the total available points, however, as Schafer suffered the same fate with her attempt. 

"It's a lot of fun," Pottinger said of the singles competition. "Generally, you make these shots in practice and then you're just a little bit off when it counts." That might be a good way to summarize Team McCormick's performance here at the Continental Cup. The American ladies lost both of their team games and mixed doubles matches but earned ties in the final two events.

"I think it was a good week except for our two team games," Pottinger said. "We just need to be ourselves and not listen to too much outside stuff. We love feedback and you want information from your coaches, but every once in awhile you have to say 'enough' and just be ourselves."

North America's Stefanie Lawton rink earned a victory over Anette Norberg, 15-12. China's Bingyu Wang outplayed Jennifer Jones's team, 18-16.

The Continental Cup involves team games (72 points), mixed doubles (36 points), singles (32 points) and skins (men's, women's and mixed, worth a total of 260 points). The first side to score 201 points is declared the winner. The Continental Cup is a joint effort of the Canadian Curling Association, World Curling Federation and the United States Curling Association. This is the sixth Continental Cup, with North America holding a 3-2 advantage over Team World. 

Standings (after 7 1/2 events):
Team North America 77
Team World 103

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS (all times local)
Saturday, December 20
Draw 9 - 7:30 p.m. - Skins games (men's, women's and mixed B)

Sunday, December 21
Draw 10 - 8:30 a.m. - Final women's skins game 
Draw 11 - 2 p.m. - Final men's skins game 
Closing ceremonies - 4:15 p.m.

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