Team USA set to compete in Japan

By Terry Kolesar | March 11, 2015, 12 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2015

2015 World Women's Championship begin Saturday in Japan

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - Aileen Sormunen (Duluth, Minn.) is set to lead Team USA at the 2015 ZEN-NOH World Women's Championship beginning Saturday at the Tsukisamu Gymnasium in Sapporo, Japan.

Sormunen and teammates Monica Walker (Brighton, Mass.), Tara Peterson (Eagan, Minn.), Vicky Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska), and Becca Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.) will compete in a field of 12 teams in hopes of getting the U.S. back on the podium for the first time since 2006. The team is coached by 2006 Olympic bronze medalist Scott Baird (Bemidji, Minn.) and two-time Olympian Ann Swisshelm (Chicago).

The American ladies will compete in an 11-game round robin against Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, and Switzerland. This is the first women's world championship appearance for most of the U.S. team members but they all competed at prior World Junior events throughout their careers. Peterson served as Team USA's alternate when the team finished sixth last year in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. The U.S. has only won gold once at this event, in 2003 in Winnipeg. Switzerland is the defending world champion after defeating Canada last year. Russia won the bronze medal, marking the first-ever medal for Russia at the women's world championship.

Three of the U.S. round robin matches will be broadcast live via the World Curling Federation's YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV. The USA-China game on March 15 as well as the USA-Japan and USA-Canada matches on March 17 will be streamed live.

Universal Sports Network will present more than 42 hours of multi-platform coverage of the upcoming 2015 World Curling Championships. Coverage of the women's championship from Sapporo, Japan, begins with USA vs. Japan on Monday, March 16 at 8 p.m. ET live online and continues through the gold-medal match on Sunday, March 22, at 3 p.m. ET. The men's world championship will air March 30-April 5 from Nova Scotia, Canada. In addition, matches from both the women's and men's events will be streamed live at UniversalSports.com. Broadcast schedule below shows the TV air time on Universal Sports and the live streaming schedule.

Universal Sports Network Schedule: 2015 World Curling Championships:
All Times Eastern - Subject to change

Date                       Event                                                      TV time                         LIVE Streaming
Tue., Mar. 17        Women: USA vs. Japan                       1 p.m. 1DD                   8 p.m. (Mar. 16)
Tue., Mar. 17        Women: USA vs. Canada                    8 p.m. SDD                     1 a.m.
Fri., Mar. 20          Women: Playoff Match #1                 1 p.m. SDD                     6 a.m.
Sat., Mar. 21          Women: Playoff Match #2                 8 p.m. 1DD                    8 p.m. (Mar. 20)
Sat., Mar. 21          Women: Semifinal Match                   3 p.m. SDD                     4 a.m.
Sun., Mar. 22        Women: Bronze Medal Match          8 a.m. 1DD                     8 p.m. (Mar. 21)
Sun., Mar. 22        Women: Gold Medal Match              3 p.m. SDD                     2 a.m.
1DD=1 one day delay
SDD-same day delay

Mon., Mar. 30       Men: Sweden vs. Norway                   6:30 p.m. LIVE               6:30 p.m. 
Tue., Mar. 31        Men: China vs. USA                             6:30 p.m. LIVE               6:30 p.m.
Fri., Apr. 3             Men: Playoff Match #1                       6:30 p.m. LIVE               6:30 p.m.
Sat., Apr. 4             Men: Playoff Match #2                       1:30 p.m. LIVE               1:30 p.m.
Sat., Apr. 4             Men: Semifinal Match                         6:30 p.m. LIVE               6:30 p.m.
Sun., Apr. 5           Men: Bronze Medal Match                9 a.m. LIVE                     9 a.m.
Sun., Apr. 5           Men: Gold Medal Match                    3:30 p.m. LIVE               3:30 p.m.

In addition, NBCSN is scheduled to air the gold-medal game from the 2015 ZEN NOH Women's World Championship from 5-7 p.m. ET on March 22 and the gold-medal game from the 2015 Ford World Men's Championship on April 6 from 7-9 p.m. ET. 

Live scores, standings and photos also will be posted at the WCF website, http://wwcc2015.curlingevents.com/. You can also follow along on Twitter via USA Curling's Twitter feed (@usacurl) as well as the WCF's (@worldcurling or @WCFmedia) using the hashtags #WWCC2015 or #curling. 

This is the second time that Japan will host the women's world championship after hosting in 2007 in Aomori. The 2016 event will take place in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada.

The U.S. team qualified to compete at the world championship after earning the most Order of Merit points throughout the 2014-15 season.  The U.S. has only won this event once, in 2003.

Here is a look at Team USA's schedule for the 2015 World Women's Championship in Japan (all times local (EET), + 13 ET):
* Saturday, March 14: USA v. Russia, 2 p.m.; USA v. Switzerland, 7 p.m.
* Sunday, March 15: USA v. China, 2 p.m.
* Monday, March 16: USA v. Scotland, 9 a.m.; USA v. Germany, 2 p.m.
* Tuesday, March 17: USA v. Japan, 9 a.m.; USA v. Canada, 2 p.m.
* Wednesday, March 18: USA v. Sweden, 2 p.m.; USA v. Finland, 7 p.m.
* Thursday, March 19: USA v. Denmark, 9 a.m.; USA v. Norway, 7 p.m.
* Friday, March 20: Page playoffs, 7 p.m.
* Saturday, March 21: Page playoffs, 9 a.m.; semifinal, 5 p.m.
* Sunday, March 22: Bronze-medal game, 9 a.m.; gold-medal game, 3 p.m.

After the round robin, the top four teams in each division will advance to the Page playoffs, which get underway on March 20. 

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

Follow us on Facebook (search for USA Curling) and Twitter (@terry_usacurl). Be sure to visit the new USA Curling website at www.usacurl.org. 

(30)

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