CURLING: Minnesota women score big at 2008 U.S. Club Nationals

March 03, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 3, 2008 Minnesota rink scores seven-ender at U.S. Club Nationals (STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - Norma O'Leary's Minnesota team scored a seven-ender this afternoon en route to a 14-1 win over Arizona to improve to 2-0 at the 2008 U.S. Club Nationals in Mankato, Minn. O'Leary (Silver Bay, Minn.) and Duluth Curling Club members Pam Cavers, Mary Johnson and Patti Luke (all of Duluth, Minn.) came up one rock short of an eight-ender, which in curling is as rare as a hole in one in golf. Arizona's Karen Tait rink never recovered as they would give up steals in the next three ends before scoring one point in the fifth end and offering the handshake to end the match. Three other teams also improved to 2-0 with wins this afternoon. Maryland's Ann Drummie rink of the Potomac Curling Club defeated North Dakota I's Beth Bohlman team, 10-7, after breaking open a close match in the ninth end with four points. Joyance Meechai's New York squad handed Texas a 10-6 defeat. Meechai (New York, N.Y.) and teammates Pauline Davies (Irvington, N.Y.), Sandra Gaffner (White Plains, N.Y.) and Lisabeth Sugahara (Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.) built an early 7-0 lead after three ends but Judy Willingham's Texas team started to climb back into the game with three straight points to close the gap at 7-3. After scoring a single in the seventh end, the Texas ladies scored three points to inch closer but New York sealed the win with a deuce in the ninth. Wisconsin's Joy Pahl team used multiple steals to stave off Ohio's Else Festersen team, 10-6. After tying the game at 1-1, Pahl and Green Bay Curling Club teammates Erin Wallace, Chloe Pahl and Kimberly Rhyme (all of Green Bay, Wis.) stole the next three ends to take the lead for good. Tracy Lawless led her Illinois team to a 7-2 win over North Dakota II's Mary Jaster team to improve to 1-1. The action continues today with draws at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. The round robin concludes Friday afternoon. The top four teams qualify for Saturday morning's semifinals. The men's and women's championship finals are set for 2 p.m. Saturday. The U.S. Club Nationals, now in its fourth year, does not lead to the World Championships, rather rewards the top league-playing team in the U.S. The winners of the recent U.S. National Championships in Hibbing represent the U.S. at the Worlds. Game scores: Maryland 10, North Dakota I 7; Wisconsin 7, Ohio 4; New York 10, Texas 6; Illinois 7, North Dakota II 2; Minnesota 14, Arizona 1 Standings: Women: Maryland (Drummie) 2-0 Minnesota (O'Leary) 2-0 New York (Meechai) 2-0 Wisconsin (Pahl) 2-0 Illinois (Lawless) 1-1 North Dakota 1 (Bohlman) 1-1 Arizona (Tait) 0-2 North Dakota 2 (Jaster) 0-2 Ohio (Festersen) 0-2 Texas (Willingham) 0-2 Men: Illinois (Wright) 2-0 Maryland (Edie) 2-0 Minnesota (Harris) 2-0 North Dakota (Tangedal) 2-0 Wisconsin 1 (Brown) 2-0 Colorado (Gleeson) 0-2 Ohio (Cohen) 0-2 Oregon (Schaak) 0-2 Washington (Rasmussen) 0-2 Wisconsin 2 (Journeaux) 0-2 USA Curling is sponsored by AIT Worldwide Logistics, AmerAust Technologies and Nike as well as by AT,T 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).