USA Curling

USA ladies suffer fourth straight loss in round robin in Saint John

By Terry Kolesar | March 18, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2014

American ladies suffer fourth straight loss at 2014 Women's World Championship 

(SAINT JOHN, NB, Canada) - Some days you're the bug and some days you're the windshield. The American team's fourth straight loss landed with a splat at the Harbour Station during round robin play at the 2014 Ford World Women's Curling Championship presented by Booster Juice.

Tonight's 8-6 loss to Switzerland's Binia Feltscher lowers Allison Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Nicole Joraanstad (Verona, Wis.), Natalie Nicholson (Bemidji, Minn.), and Tabitha Peterson (Eagan, Minn.) to 3-4 in the standings with four games left in the round robin as the playoff chase starts to intensify.

"We struggled early. We just got a little bit caught. We had a set of straight ones (rocks) that we didn't catch and it cost us some shots," said Pottinger, who is playing in her 12th world championship. "They'd get one or two in behind cover and we were digging." 

The U.S. team found itself in a quick deficit as they struggled with rock positioning but tried to rally in the second half, taking Switzerland to the final stone of the 10th end in a game that looked to be heading toward an early finish.

"It was definitely a better second half, and I think that's something for us to remain positive about and come back tomorrow," said Pottinger, 40, who won the world title in 2003. "This is not going to be an easy round robin. We've got a bunch of games that still matter a lot."

The U.S. team has round robin games left against the Czech Republic (1-6), Latvia (1-6), Korea (5-2), and Scotland (2-5). The top four teams advance to this weekend's playoffs. 

"The way we played in the back half really shows how we can play," Pottinger said. "I feel like we've just struggled ...like the game against Canada, we just got caught off guard with the rocks and the ice and it was the same thing tonight."

The U.S. had difficulty getting ahead in the rock count in the first few ends that quickly left them playing catch-up. In the first, the U.S. had to play a tough raise to try to score a point but could not convert and Switzerland stole two points to start things off. In the second end, the U.S. again allowed the Swiss to place two stones in the four-foot, leaving Pottinger a tough shot once again. The veteran skip attempted a double takeout but had to use soft weight to squeeze past the guard and could not remove both stones. The third end didn't shape up any better for the American ladies either as Pottinger's final stone came up a few inches short and the Swiss stole a point. 

In a 0-4 deficit, the U.S. got in trouble again with back-to-back misses that left two Swiss stones above the tee-line in scoring position in the fourth end. The Americans were forced to play a raise double takeout but didn't hit the stone firm enough to remove the Swiss rocks.

In the fifth end, the U.S. made a double takeout place three stones in scoring position with Pottinger's first rock. Feltscher could not convert the double takeout, leaving the U.S. with an open draw for three that came up a few inches short. The U.S. got that point back in the sixth end when Switzerland missed a raise takeout with the last shot. 

The U.S. capitalized on another steal opportunity in the seventh end as Feltscher's final stone was heavy. In the eighth end, the U.S. got a stone buried in the top of the eight-foot behind a center guard. Pottinger just had to throw center guards in the team's plight to steal granite. Switzerland ended up scoring a point with a draw into the side of the four-foot . 

A perfect raise double takeout put two points on the scoreboard for the U.S. in the ninth end. Trailing now by just a single point, the U.S. got the potential steal for the win set up with two stones in the eight foot courtesy of a miss by the Swiss early in the end. Pottinger's final stone sunk deeper into the house than the U.S. would have liked, however, setting up a hit-and-stay for the win for the Swiss ladies.

"The team from the United States played a better second half. Hence, we almost lost our advance of three stones. At the end it was closer than we wanted to have it after leading 6-0 after four ends," said Irene Schori, vice skip for Team Switzerland.

With the win tonight, the Swiss kept pace with Canada and Sweden at the top of the standings with 6-1 records. China won its fifth straight game to improve to 5-2 after defeating Scotland, 8-3. The Czechs earned their first win of the championship with an 8-4 victory over Denmark.  "We had many tight games but in the end, the win wasn't there. It was a bit sad for us, but we are happy that we won now," Czech skip Anna Kubeskova said.

USA line score:
Switzerland 211 200 010 1 - 8 
*USA 000 021 102 0 - 6 
*last rock in first end

Draw 11 results: Canada 8, Scotland 3; Czech Republic 8, Denmark 4; Switzerland 8, USA 6; China 6, Germany 4

Draw 10 results: Korea 9, Switzerland 2; Sweden 11, Germany 4; Russia 8, USA 5; China 9, Latvia 5

Draw 9 results: Russia 10, Scotland 4; Sweden 7, Denmark 2; Korea 8, Czech Republic 5; Canada 8, Latvia 4

Standings:
Canada (Homan) 6-1
Sweden (Sigfridsson) 6-1
Switzerland (Feltscher) 6-1
Korea (Kim) 5-2
Russia (Sidorova) 5-2
China (Liu) 5-2
USA (Pottinger) 3-4
Scotland (Barr) 2-5
Denmark (Dupont) 1-6
Germany (Lehmann) 1-6
Latvia (Regza) 1-6
Czech Republic (Kubeskova) 1-6

After the round robin concludes, the top four teams will advance to the Page playoffs on Friday. In the Page playoff format, the top two teams face off in the 1-2 game with the winner advancing to the final and the loser playing the winner of the game between the teams ranked third and fourth in a single semifinal. The winner of the semifinal becomes the other contender for the gold medal on Sunday. 

Here is a look at Team USA's round robin schedule (all times listed as ADT):
* Wednesday, March 19: USA v. Czech Republic, 9:30 a.m.; USA v. Latvia, 7:30 p.m.
* Thursday, March 20: USA v. Korea, 9:30 a.m.; USA v. Scotland, 2:30 p.m.
* Friday, March 21: Tiebreaker games, if needed, 9:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m.; Page 1-2 game, 7:30 p.m.
* Saturday, March 22: Page 3-4 game, 9 a.m.; semifinal, 2 p.m.
* Sunday, March 23: Bronze-medal game, 12 p.m.; gold-medal game, 7:30 p.m.

2018 Olympic Qualification:

In addition, the 2014 World Curling Championships mark the start of a new qualification period for the next Olympic Winter Games in 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. All WCF member associations competing in Saint John and at the 2014 World Men's Curling Championship in Beijing later this month will be eligible to enter the next WCF Olympic Qualification Event, which is scheduled to take place in December 2017 should they not make it to the 2018 Olympic Games on direct qualification.

TV & Webstream:

World Curling TV (WCTV), the television arm of the World Curling Federation, is providing extensive live and video-on-demand coverage to broadcasters around the world from Saint John. WCF broadcast partners for the event include TV4 in Sweden, Russia 2 in Russia, CCTV in China, Universal Sports Network in the USA, SporTV in Brazil, TSN in Canada (RDS in Quebec).

In addition, selected live coverage of the 2014 World Championship events is available via the World Curling Federation's YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV.

Event information links:
www.curling.ca/2014worldwomen-en/
www.worldcurling.org
www.usacurl.org 

Social media:
Facebook, USA Curling: https://www.facebook.com/pages/USA-Curling/107975609011 
Facebook, event: www.facebook.com/WorldWomensCurlingChampionship
Twitter Hashtags: #FWWCC #curling

USA Curling is sponsored by AtomAmpd, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, Sitrin, and The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, BalancePlus, and is partnered with Hilton HHonors, United Airlines, RJM Licensing Inc., and CurlingZone.

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For more information: Terry Kolesar, press officer, Team USA, terry.kolesar@usacurl.org, 608-338-9900.

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