CURLING: USA eliminated from playoffs at 2008 World Championship
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 27, 2008 USA eliminated from playoff hunt at 2008 World Women's Championship (VERNON, British Columbia) - Debbie McCormick's door to playoffs at the 2008 Ford World Women's Championship was slammed shut by Switzerland's Mirjam Ott, 7-4, Thursday morning at the Greater Vernon Multiplex. The Americans have now lost their last four out of five games and will be playing simply for Olympic qualifying points and pride when they meet Russia in this afternoon's round robin finale. Nations accumulate points towards qualifying for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games at the three world championships leading up to the event. "It's disappointing," said McCormick, who won the world championship back in 2003. We don't like losing, and we know we're better than this." McCormick (Rio, Wis.) and teammates Allison Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Nicole Joraanstad (Madison, Wis.) and Tracy Sachtjen (Lodi, Wis.) struggled again this morning with execution and rock placement which plagued them most of the week. "I feel like we've been really close but we're on the wrong side of the inch... so I guess that's execution," McCormick said. "It's been a hard week for all of us. We've been battling colds and with Natalie not being able to play at all." (Nicholson, the team's lead, never threw a stone in the tournament as she battled the flu since her arrival in Vernon.) The Americans started strong this morning against the Swiss, stealing a point when Ott, the two-time Olympic silver medalist, missed a runback double takeout. The Swiss had a good end set up in the second but McCormick cut them down to one with a soft tap of her own stone into second count. The Swiss skip came in too strong and Pottinger swept her stone out of the four-foot. McCormick tried to blank the third end but left her stone in the house on her final takeout. Ott made a clutch double takeout in the fourth end to set her team up for three points. The Swiss would go ahead 5-2 when McCormick's final stone in the fifth end got swept out of the back of the house. "I missed that draw, and that was big...we could have only been down by one then," the American skip said. The U.S. nearly gave up another steal in the sixth but after the measurement it was judged that McCormick's last rock was closer to the button. The teams exchanged singles over the next two ends with both skips making clutch draws into the four-foot for their respective teams. The ninth end certainly wasn't going to be blanked as the Swiss originally hoped as a lot of stones were in play. Pottinger made a crucial draw to give the U.S. a chance to steal but Swiss vice skip Carmen Schaefer chipped that and the other U.S. rock in the house out to put the Swiss ladies in control again. Pottinger's double takeout attempt jammed and only removed one of three Swiss stones in the four-foot. McCormick was able to double them out with Ott following behind her to remove the USA stone both times to score one. Down three points heading into the final end, the U.S. tried unsuccessfully to set up the guards to tuck some stones behind but the Swiss continued to show their strength as they removed every stone the Americans tried to score with. Game scores: Italy 6, Czech Republic 3; Denmark 6, Canada 3; Switzerland 7, USA 4; Japan 9, Germany 4 Line score: USA 101 001 010 x 4 Switzerland* 010 310 101 x 7 *last stone in first end Standings: China 8-1 Canada 8-2 Switzerland 8-2 Denmark 7-3 Japan 6-4 Sweden 5-4 USA 5-5 Russia 4-5 Germany 4-6 Italy 2-8 Scotland 1-8 Czech Republic 0-10 USA Curling is sponsored by AIT Worldwide Logistics, AmerAust Technologies and Nike. (30) For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling, firstname.lastname@example.org, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell).