FARGO, ND - There was a storm inside Scheels Arena this week and its name was Team Sinclair.
Led by skip Jamie Sinclair, the foursome stormed through round-robin play at the 2018 USA Curling Nationals with an undefeated 7-0 mark. Team Sinclair also earned the top seed into Saturday’s winner-take-all final and the opportunity to compete as Team USA at the 2018 Women’s World Curling Championships in North Bay, Ontario.
Sinclair will face the winner of Team Christensen-Team Farrell Saturday afternoon at 12:30 pm (CST).
“Definitely goal number one was accomplished to qualify for the playoffs and it worked out well that we have the bye into the finals,” Sinclair said. “We’re really happy with how the team is playing and very confident out there. We’re making a lot of shots and feeling very comfortable out on the ice.”
Team Sinclair didn’t seem to miss a beat after a layoff due to the Olympic break. They opened the tournament with an 8-3 win over Emily Anderson’s rink on Sunday and capped it with a resounding 8-1 victory against Fargo native Ann Podoll’s rink. Their closest games were 7-4 over Beth Podoll’s rink and 8-5 over the Cory Christensen led squad.
“Definitely just kind of getting back into the groove of things,” Sinclair added. “We’ve practiced a ton but it’s different out there playing a game, especially 10-end game. It’s been nice to work out the kinks throughout this week.”
Cora Farrell and Christensen each posted 5-2 marks to advance to the playoffs. Farrell defeated Christensen 8-5 in round robin play to earn the No. 2 seed and hammer advantage in Friday’s semifinal at 2:00 pm (CST).
“Going into the playoffs as the number two seed is more than we expected, so we’re really happy about that,” Farrell said after a 7-0 win over Emily Anderson to close out round robin play today.
One of the two U.S. junior high performance teams, Farrell benefitted from skip Nina Roth sitting out Nationals due to recent Olympic duty as well as experience gained playing in her first U.S. Nationals last year in Everett, Wash.
“Last year was a great experience for us in that we could learn more about playing on the arena ice and the stage playing at Women’s Nationals,” Farrell said. “That experience has really helped.”