Dec. 12, 2010

Semifinals set at U.S. Mixed Doubles Championship

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - Just four teams remain in contention to be named Team USA as playoff action got underway this morning at the 2011 U.S. Mixed Doubles Championship in Duluth, Minn.

After tiebreakers were played last night, six teams advanced to the playoffs. The first round took place today at the Duluth Curling Club. The Minnesota duo of Jared Zezel (Hibbing, Minn.) and Sophie Brorson (Duluth) got past fellow Duluth club members Phil DeVore (Superior, Wis.) and Norma O'Leary (Silver Bay, Minn.), 10-6. They'll now face Brady Clark and Cristin Clark in the semifinal at noon today. In the other quarterfinal, the showdown of siblings saw Duluth's team of Tyler George and Courtney George shut out Seattle's Jake Vukich and Em Good, 12-0. They George siblings will now play Clayton Orvik and Senja Lopac (both of Minneapolis) in the other semifinal.

The 19-year-old Zezel and Brorson took an early 4-1 lead after three ends of play and scored deuces in three more ends to earn the win in the team's first appearance at the Mixed Doubles National Championship. The brother-sister tandem of George and George dominated play, scoring in every end to dismiss Vukich and Good from contention.

Both the Clark rink, the 2009 mixed doubles champions, and the Orvik rink are undefeated. This championship has a double knockout provision meaning that if either team loses its semifinal match, they'll get a second chance to make it to the final. The playoff scenario can be viewed here:

Live scoring from the event is posted online at

The teams are competing for the right to be named Team USA and compete at the 2011 World Mixed Doubles Championship, which will take place April 16-23 in St. Paul, Minn.

Game scores:
*Zezel        022 020 22    10
DeVore        100 302 00    6

Vukich        000 000 xx    0
*George    222 114 xx    12
*last shot in first end

Playoff competitors:
Team Clark: Brady Clark and Cristin Clark (both of Lynnwood, Wash.)
Team J. Vukich: Jake Vukich and Em Good (both of Seattle)
Team George: Tyler George (Duluth, Minn.) and Courtney George (St. Paul, Minn.)
Team Zezel: Jared Zezel (Hibbing, Minn.) and Sophie Brorson (Duluth, Minn.)
Team DeVore: Phil DeVore (Superior, Wis.) and Norma O'Leary (Silver Bay, Minn.)
Team Orvik: Clayton Orvik and Senja Lopac (both of Minneapolis)

USA Curling is sponsored by AIT Worldwide Logistics, Nike, AtomAmpd, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, and is partnered with

Follow us on Facebook (search for USA Curling) and Twitter (@terry_usacurl).


For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling,, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell).