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Marymount Regals slide home with second place finish at OFSAA Curling
2024-03-28
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Throw a pair of very competitive curlers in with a duo of high-schoolers who are more than willing to learn and improve and you have the makings of an OFSAA medal winning team.

With Northern Ontario (NOCA) champions and sisters Kameron and Kelton Tellier handling the back-end duties and lead Emily Riddle and second Abby Hall committed to giving it their very best shot, the Marymount Regals returned from Kingston last weekend as all-Ontario silver medal recipients.

Considering this was the first ever OFSAA appearance for the foursome, the result was more than a little noteworthy.

Truth be told, the two-time city champions were charting a new pathway this year.

"We definitely were a little bit on the fence in terms of knowing what we were going to be facing," said Abby Hall, a 17 year-old senior who first started with the sport back in grade five at St Paul's in Coniston - but has limited her involvement over the years to simply the school experience.

"We kind of got a feel for it on the first day - but going into the event, we were on the less aware side of knowing what the competition would be like," added Hall.

In fact, day one, if anything, might have given the NOSSA representatives an inflated sense of their overall competitiveness after the Regals steamrolled, in succession, the Iroquois Falls Tigers (8-2), the Bishop Allen Academy Cardinals from Etobicoke (13-1) and the Napanee Golden Hawks (9-1).

"It boosted our confidence a lot and got us in the mindset that we are a competing team," said Hall.

That Marymount was - but there would be others.

On Thursday morning (day two), the Regals were up 2-1 on the West Niagara Wolfpack from Lincoln, but surrendered three in the third and a steal of two in the fourth en route to an 8-4 loss, suddenly dropping Marymount back into the logjam of rinks in the 18-team field that had a chance to advance to quarter-final play.

The resiliency of the local quartet was apparent in their final round robin encounter, trailing the Eastview Wildcats from Barrie 2-1 after three ends and 5-1 after the fourth.

The Regals countered with three of their own in the fifth and brought the game home with a steal of one in each of the sixth, seventh and eighth ends, stopping the Wildcats 7-5 and finishing preliminary play at 4-1.

With only the South Carleton Storm from Richmond running the table at 5-0, Marymount was one of five foursomes sliding in a 4-1, with a group of four another game back at 3-2.

"In our last (round robin) game, we really needed to come together as a team," said Hall. "I thought we did that really well."

Now fully aware of the top level of curlers in the field, the quartet coached by Kacey Tellier and Dan Bartolucci started quickly in their semi-final with the Uxbridge Tigers, jumping out to a 3-0 lead after two ends.

Giving up four in the third might have been super costly had the Tellier-skipped rink not rebounded with three of their own in the fourth, leading 7-5 coming home and closing the books with a steal of three.

A medal was ensured in somewhat fortuitous fashion Saturday morning as the Regals trailed 7-5 coming home in the semis versus the South Carleton Storm, but were aided by a key miss from their counterpart on their last shot to open the door to a draw of three for the Marymount win, advancing to the final thanks to an 8-7 nail-biter.

In the end, Marymount would do battle with skip Katelin Langford (competed at Ontario U20 Championships) and the I.E. Weldon Wildcats from Lindsay, down 6-0 after four ends and falling 7-3 to the gold medal COSSA crew.

Disappointing for the local girls, for sure - but not enough to detract from what was a very memorable run.

"It was a great experience; really cool to see that and be part of that, for sure," said Hall.

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