USA Curling

USA ladies lose to Switzerland as round robin begins in Sochi

By Terry Kolesar | Feb. 10, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 10, 2014

Switzerland outlasts USA women in 2014 Olympic opener 

(SOCHI, Russia) - It wasn't the 2014 Olympic Winter Games debut the American ladies wanted as the veteran squad led by Erika Brown fell to Switzerland, 7-4, Monday afternoon at the Ice Cube Curling Center. 

"It was good to get a chance to be in this environment with the crowd. Hopefully we can start off tomorrow like we did today, and then just keep playing better," said Brown, 41, who has represented the U.S. at the 1998 and 1988 Olympic Games as well.

This was just the first of a nine-game round robin for Brown (Oakville, Ontario/Madison, Wis.) and teammates Debbie McCormick (Rio, Wis.), Jessica Schultz (Minneapolis, Minn.), and Ann Swisshelm (Chicago).

"There were a couple of rocks that ran straighter than the rest. They behaved differently today than they have in the last few days. We thought we had them figured out, and tried to manage them the best we could," said Brown, who works as a physician assistant in Canada. The U.S. ladies shot 73 percent in the loss to the Swiss, who finished fourth in Vancouver at the 2010 Olympic Games.

Team USA (0-1) opened with a steal of one point against Switzerland when Mirjam Ott's final stone jammed on a takeout attempt, leaving the U.S. stone in scoring position. After playing great defense in the second end, the U.S. carried the momentum into the third and stole another point as Ott's final stone rolled out after making contact on a takeout.

A series of misses by the U.S. in the fourth end allowed the Swiss to pile up three stones in the four-foot. Brown went for a big takeout with her final rock but left two in the rings and Ott had a draw for three points to take a 3-2 lead.

Switzerland extended its lead to three points with a two-point steal in the fifth end. Facing three Swiss stones in the four-foot, Brown's final stone ended up a few inches short and the Swiss took a 5-2 advantage. 

"It just stayed straight. We had to wait for it to curl, and I think they (the sweepers) got caught up waiting for it to curl and then it sat down on them. We thought it had tee line weight, but it came up short," Brown said about her final stone of the fifth.

The American women were the forced to a single in the sixth as Brown drew into the four-foot against two Swiss stones. 

Ott made two clutch shots in the eighth end to resurrect a deuce to stretch the lead to 7-3. The ninth end didn't get set up as planned and the U.S. had to draw for a single against three Swiss stones to get back on the scoreboard. Needing to set up a big steal, the U.S. ran out of rocks in the 10th end and the Swiss got into the win column.

"We struggled with Erika's rocks going a little straighter than we thought they would. The ice was also quite a bit faster today. We talked about switching her rocks, but she liked the speed of them and didn't want to change them," said McCormick, 40, who is making her fourth Olympic Games appearance.

The U.S. ladies return to the ice at 9 a.m. (MSK) to take on the Russian Federation, which defeated Denmark, 7-4, this afternoon. The U.S. men, led by John Shuster (Duluth, Minn.), take the ice tonight at 7 against Norway. 

Line score:
*Switzerland (Ott) 000 320 020 x - 7 
USA (Brown) 101 001 001 x - 4 
*last rock in first end

Draw 2 scores (women): Canada 9, China 2; Sweden 6, Great Britain 4; Russian Federation 7, Denmark 4; Switzerland 7, USA 2

Draw 1 scores (men): Canada 11, Germany 8; Great Britain 7, Russian Federation 4; Sweden 7, Switzerland 5; China 7, Denmark 4

Standings, Women:
Canada 1-0
Switzerland 1-0
Sweden 1-0
Russian Fed. 1-0
Korea 0-0
Japan 0-0
China 0-1
Denmark 0-1
Great Britain 0-1
USA 0-1

Standings, Men:
Canada 1-0
China 1-0
Great Britain 1-0
Sweden 1-0
Norway 0-0
USA 0-0
Denmark 0-1
Germany 0-1
Russian Fed. 0-1
Switzerland 0-1

Teams are competing in a nine-game round robin through Feb. 17 followed by playoffs on Feb. 19-21. 

NBC's networks will cover all of the U.S. curling competition. Go to http://www.nbcolympics.com/tv-listings to create a customized viewing schedule based on cable provider and time zone. 

Here is a look at the U.S. team's round robin competition schedule (all times local, Moscow/MSK):

U.S. Women:
Tuesday, Feb. 11: USA v. Russia, 9 a.m.; and USA v. Great Britain, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 12: USA v. China, 2 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 13: USA v. Japan, 7 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 14: USA v. Denmark, 2 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 15: USA v. Sweden, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 16: USA v. Canada, 2 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 17: USA v. Korea, 9 a.m.

U.S. Men:
Monday, Feb. 10: USA v. Norway, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 11: USA v. China, 2 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 12: USA v. Denmark, 9 a.m.
Thursday, Feb. 13: USA v. Great Britain, 2 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 14: USA v. Germany, 9 a.m.; and USA v. Russia, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 16: USA v. Canada, 9 a.m.; and USA v. Sweden, 7 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 17: USA v. Switzerland, 2 p.m.

Follow USA Curling on Twitter (@terry_usacurl) and check our website (www.usacurl.org) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/USA-Curling/107975609011) for updates throughout the Olympic Games. 

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For more information: 

Terry Kolesar, Press Officer, Team USA
terry.kolesar@usacurl.org 
719-207-5083 (mobile-Russia)

Rick Patzke, Assistant Press Officer, Team USA
Rick.patzke@usacurl.org
719-207-5089 (mobile-Russia)

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