American teams have rough start at 2009 Winter World University Games

Feb. 19, 2009, 4:47 p.m. (ET)
STEVENS POINT, Wis. - Day 1 at the 2009 Winter World University Games didn't go so well for the American teams competing at the Heilongjiang Skating Gym in Harbin, China.

Teams skipped by Chris Pleasants (Seattle) and Katherine Stewart (Minneapolis) are representing the U.S.

Pleasants and teammates Zachary Radmer (Seattle), Jon Chartrand (Seattle) and Bret Nordlund (Issaquah, Wash.) lost a close match to Great Britain, 6-5.

The women didn't fare very well either dropping both matches today. Stewart (Minneapolis) and teammates Amanda McLean (Duluth, Minn.), Casey Cucchiarelli (Wausau, Wis.) and Sarah Mcleod (Esko, Minn.) lost to Korea, 12-1, in the opening round and then fell victim to Canada, 13-3.

The teams return to the ice Friday when the men play China at 9 a.m. and the women play Russia at 2 p.m. (local time, eight hours ahead of CT) against Great Britain.

The round robin features 10 men's and 10 women's teams. This is the third time that curling will be featured as a medal sport at the winter universiad. The USA men, led by 2006 Olympic bronze medalist John Shuster, won gold at the 2007 WWUG in Italy. Other sports featured include ice hockey, figure skating, speedskating, alpine skiing, Nordic combined, snowboarding, free-style skiing, cross country skiing, biathlon and ski jumping.

Results from this event can be found online at http://app.harbin2009.org/wu24info/getResultList.shtml.

MEN'S STANDINGS:
China 1-0
Great Britain 1-0
Korea 1-0
Norway 1-0
Sweden 1-0
Canada 0-1
Finland 0-1
Japan 0-1
Switzerland 0-1
USA 0-1

WOMEN'S STANDINGS:
Canada 2-0
China 2-0
Czech Republic 1-1
Great Britain 1-1
Korea 1-1
Poland 1-1
Russia 1-1
Sweden 1-1
Japan 0-2
USA 0-2

USA Curling is sponsored by AIT Worldwide Logistics, Kodiak Technology Group and Nike.
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