CURLING: Defending women's champions dominate opening round at U.S. Seniors

Jan. 17, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 17, 2008 Defending women's champions open with win at 2008 U.S. Senior Nationals (HIGHLAND PARK, Ill.) - Pam Oleinik's defending senior national champions showed their world bronze-medal winning form as the women's action got underway Thursday afternoon at the Exmoor Curling Club. Oleinik (Brookfield, Wis.) and teammates Laurie Rahn (Lake Forest, Ill.), Susan Curtis (Rogers, Ark.), Jo Ann Matthews (New Berlin, Wis.) and Donna Purkey (Greenwich, Conn.) handed Jamie Hutchinson's Massachusetts rink a 14-1 defeat to start the tournament in the win column. Team Oleinik, which won bronze at the 2007 World Senior Championships last Spring in Edmonton, scored 10 points in the first three ends to build what proved to be an insurmountable lead. In the other women's match-up, Star Pfiffner's team defeated the Delores Montgomery rink from Ohio, 8-5. Pfiffner (Madison, Wis.) and teammates Cynthia Godar (Oconomowoc, Wis.), Jennifer Stannard (Stamford, Conn.) and Maureen Guay (Savage, Minn.) broke a 3-3 tie with four points in the fifth end. They followed up with a steal of one in the next end and held off Montgomery's team for the win. In men's action this afternoon, Merlin Orvik's Minnesota team handed the Paul Pustovar rink its first loss by a score of 8-5. Orvik (Shoreview, Minn.) and teammates Mark Arnold (St. Paul, Minn.), Mark Lusche (Isanti, Minn.) and Neil Kay (St. Louis Park, Minn.) started strong by stealing the game's opening end. They followed up with deuces when they had last-rock advantage to build a 6-3 lead. Another steal in the sixth and a single in the eighth sealed the team's first win. Phil DeVore's Minnesota team bettered its record to 2-1 with a 9-5 defeat of Michael Parry's Massachusetts team. DeVore (Superior, Wis.) and teammates Ron Gervais (Tofte, Minn.), Doug Cameron (Duluth, Minn.) and David Bopp (Proctor, Minn.) put four points on the scoreboard in the second end and followed up with a deuce for a 6-2 lead halfway through the match. Parry's rink was limited to singles but stole one point in the sixth end to pull within two points at 6-4. But, DeVore's team answered with three points in the seventh end that Team Parry couldn't better. Action today continues with draws at 4 and 8 p.m. Live scoring from this event is available at The men's round robin continues through Sunday. The top two teams from each pool will meet in Sunday's semifinal with the championship final on tap at 8 a.m. Monday. The women will play a double round robin with the team with the best record earning the national title. The winning teams will represent the U.S. at the World Senior Championships in Vierumaki, Finland, March 8-16. Line scores: Orvik 202 021 01 8 Pustovar* 020 100 20 5 Parry* 101 011 01 5 DeVore 040 200 30 9 Hutchinson 000 100 XX 1 Oleinik* 442 031 XX 14 Montgomery* 010 200 11 5 Pfiffner 102 041 00 8 *last stone in first end Standings: Pool A: Leland Rich (Alaska) 2-0 Brian Simonson (Minnesota) 2-0 Phil DeVore (Minnesota) 2-1 Paul Pustovar (Minnesota) 2-1 George Godfrey (Wisconsin) 1-1 Merlin Orvik (Minnesota) 1-2 Duke Grimshaw (Michigan) 0-2 Michael Parry (Massachusetts) 0-3 Pool B: Stuart Graves (Massachusetts) 2-0 David Russell (Wisconsin) 2-0 George Austin (New York) 1-1 Lionel Locke (Minnesota) 1-1 Seppo Sormunen (Minnesota) 1-1 Jeff Wright (Illinois) 1-1 Walter Ehlert (Wisconsin) 0-2 David Garber (Wisconsin) 0-2 Women's standings: Pam Oleinik (Wisconsin) 1-0 Star Pfiffner (Wisconsin) 1-0 Delores Montgomery (Ohio) 0-1 Jamie Hutchinson (Massachusetts) 0-1 USA Curling is sponsored by AIT Worldwide Logistics, AmerAust Technologies and Nike as well as by AT,T, General Motors, The Home Depot, and Bank of America through a joint marketing program with the U.S. Olympic Committee. (30) For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling,, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell).