USA finishes 4-7 at Women's World Championship in Korea

March 30, 2009, 9:47 a.m. (ET)
(GANGNEUNG, South Korea) - The American women concluded the 2009 Mount Titlis World Women's Curling Championship on a losing note as Denmark's Angelina Jensen rink, defeated the Americans rather soundly, 9-3, Thursday night at the Gangneung International Ice Rink.

Debbie McCormick (Rio, Wis.) and teammates Allison Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Nicole Joraanstad (Madison, Wis.) and Natalie Nicholson (Bemidji, Minn.) finish with a 4-7 record - the worst finish for the four-some in four worlds appearances together and ninth overall. With the Vancouver Olympic Games right around the corner, the U.S. ladies know they have their work cut out for them in the next 10 months.

"I feel like we're underperforming," Pottinger said when asked if the other nations had caught up to or surpassed the U.S.'s level of play. "We just need to execute better and get some confidence. I think the lack of confidence just builds when you don't get the breaks."

The Americans didn't get any lucky rolls tonight either as the Danes shot 92 percent. With the win, the Danes locked down a spot in the page playoff 1-2 game. China earns the No. 1 playoff berth while Denmark is the No. 2. Those teams will face off in the page playoff 1-2 game at 8 p.m. Friday. The winner advances directly to the gold medal game on Sunday. Canada's Jennifer Jones is the No. 3 seed while Sweden's Anette Norberg is ranked No. 4. Those two teams tangle at 2 p.m. Saturday with the winner advancing to the semifinal to play the loser of the 1-2 game.

The USA has now missed the playoffs three years in a row. "Maybe we have prepared too much for nationals and concentrated on that. Now we have only the Olympics to think about so maybe that will help," Pottinger said. "I think maybe we put too much pressure on ourselves just to get here."

The Americans got on the scoreboard in the second end when McCormick was forced to draw for one. A couple of missed shots led to Madeline Dupont (throwing last stones) making a takeout for three points in the third end to jump out to a 3-1 advantage. Once again, McCormick was forced to draw for a single in the fourth end. Dupont tried to extend the lead in the fifth with a draw for two but only snagged one. 

The Americans would be forced to a single again with McCormick making a hit and roll to the button to secure the point in the sixth. Pottinger couldn't quite get the guard up to protect the U.S.'s two stones in scoring position in the seventh end, allowing Denise Dupont to double them out and lie two. Her sister would eventually make a takeout of the U.S. rock half buried behind the center guard for a deuce.

McCormick was staring down four Danish rocks in the eighth end when she made her final takeout - a crunky hit that rolled out and resulted in a steal of three for the Danes to conclude USA's week here at the 2009 Women's World Championship.

Game scores: Denmark 9, USA 3; China 7, Norway 2; Canada 10, Switzerland 7; Germany 8, Russia 6

Team USA line score:
USA* 010 101 00x x 3
Denmark 003 010 23x x 10
*last rock in first end

Standings:
*China 10-1
*Denmark 9-2
*Canada 9-2
*Sweden 7-4
Germany 6-5
Switzerland 6-5
Scotland 5-6
Russia 5-6
USA 4-7
Korea 3-8
Norway 1-10
Italy 1-10
*clinched playoff berths

Universal Sports will air 12 hours of TV coverage from Gangneung, featuring the following games:
* March 28: USA vs. Canada, 7 p.m. ET (tape-delayed)
* March 28, USA vs. Sweden*, 10 p.m. ET (tape-delayed)
* March 29: semifinal or bronze-medal, 7 p.m. ET
* March 29: Final, 10 p.m. ET
*featured game may change

For more information about Universal Sports TV in your area, visit http://www.universalsports.tv/Universal_Sports_on_TV.html

In addition, video-on-demand webstreaming from several of the games are posted at www.universalsports.com. Live end-by-end scoring from the World Women's Championship is available online at http://www.usacurl.org/curlingrocks. All times posted are local (13 hours ahead of Eastern Time Zone; GMT + 9 hours).
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