hree teams have booked their tickets for the 2017 Scotties BC Women’s Curling Championship, Presented by Best Western.
Team Pewarchuk, Team Van Osch and Team Hudyma all qualified at a playdown event at Vernon Curling Club this past weekend.
The first to qualify was Victoria Curling Centre’s Team Pewarchuk who went undefeated to take the A event qualification. Skipped by Dailene Pewarchuk (nee Sivertson), the team features third Patti Knezevic (Prince George), second Adina Tasaka (Richmond) and lead Rachelle Kallechy (Victoria). Pewarchuk is a three-time BC junior champion, while Knezevic won the BC junior title once and the BC women’s title in 2015. Tasaka is also a former BC women’s champion, having won the title with Richmond’s Shelley Macdonald rink. The team is coached by Victoria’s Cindy Tucker, a former BC Women’s champion herself.
The curlers on Team Van Osch (Nanaimo/Vancouver) are also accustomed to the podium. Nanaimo-based skip Kesa Van Osch led her team to victory at the 2014 BC Scotties, while her sister Kalia (third on this rink) skipped a 2014 team to the junior title. This team features Shawna Jensen, from Tsawwassen, at second and Amy Gibson, from Vancouver, at lead. Marika Van Osch, the alternate for the team, won the BC Junior Curling Championship last year when she was part of Team Daniels and achieved a silver medal at nationals. Kesa and Marika were also part of a Mixed team that won the BC title in 2016. Jim Newlands from Nanaimo is coaching the team.
The third team to qualify for the 2017 BC Scotties is Team Hudyma (Vancouver/Victoria). Skip Lindsay Hudyma, from Vancouver, is on her second trip in a row to the BC Scotties, but this year will be calling the shots. She previously threw last rocks for Team Gibson but did not call the game. Vancouver-based Holly Donaldson and the Victoria duo of Stephanie Jackson-Baier and Carley Sandwith round out the team. Jackson-Baier is a three-times junior champion and, along with Sandwith, won the BC Women’s title in 2014 with Kesa Van Osch. Georgina Wheatcroft, two-time world champion and Olympian (Salt Lake City) is coaching the team.
The 2017 Scotties BC Women’s Curling Championship will take place at the Glen Harper Curling Centre, home of the Duncan Curling Club, from January 17-22. The final four games of the event will be televised on Shaw TV on January 21 and 22.
The teams join two teams that have already qualified.
Team Mallett, from Golden Ears Winter Club in Maple Ridge, with Marla Mallett (skip, Walnut Grove), Shannon Aleksic (third, Abbotsford), Brette Richards (second, Kelowna) and Blaine DeJager (lead, Prince George) earned their berth by collecting CTRS (Canadian Team Ranking System) points at World Curling Tour events.
The returning champions, Team Thompson of Kamloops Curling Club, feature Karla Thompson of Kamloops, Kristen Recksiedler of Coquitlam, Erin Pincott of Kamloops and Trysta Vandale of Port Moody.
There will be one more open event to decide the three remaining berths. The playdowns will take place in Abbotsford Dec. 16-18.
The Duncan event will showcase the top eight women’s curling teams in the province. Curlers will be playing for the opportunity to represent the province at the national Scotties Tournament of Hearts in St Catharines, Ontario, from February 18-26.