CAMROSE — Once the RDC Queens got on a roll they were impossible to beat.
The Queens, skipped by Marla Sherrer, overcame a slow start to the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association curling championships to capture gold with a 7-6 victory over Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference champion Veronica Maschmeyer of Concordia.
Earlier RDC Kings skip Ryan Dahmer, along with Ty Parcels, Austin Kelts-Larsen, Jordan Smith and David Austin, captured bronze with a 10-3 win over Zach Shurtleff of Humber College of Toronto.
Sherrer, along with Sara McMann, all-star second Brett Day, Katie Primrose and Taylor Konschuh, won six of their final seven games, giving RDC gold in the women’s division for the second time in the past four years.
Coincidentally, the 2014 RDC gold medal winning team was skipped by Marla’s sister Kaitlyn with Katie Primrose’s sister Julie at third. And to make it similar to 2014, this year’s edition of the Queens lost their first two games and needed to win four of their next five just to make the playoffs.
“This year was certainly similar to 2014,” said RDC head coach Brad Hamilton, who was named the CCAA women’s coach of the year. “They had a couple of tough opening games against NAIT and Concordia, but once they got on a roll, they were tough to beat and saved their very best for their last two games.”
The Queens finished fourth in the round-robin with a 4-3 record and faced 6-1 Sara Westman of Fanshawe College of London. Ont., in the semifinal.
“It’s tough coming in as the fourth seed and needing to beat the top team, but when we got up that morning we said we have nothing to lose and we were determined not to go out easily,” said Sherrer, who added the first win on Thursday was key.
“We were a little nervous after the slow start, but the first win settled us down and we kept it rolling.”
Sherrer, who also competed in last year’s nationals, led Westman 5-2 after seven ends, but gave up a three in the eighth. The RDC foursome managed one in the ninth and put it away with a steal of one in the 10th.
The final also proved to be a battle. The RDC crew once again led 5-2 after six ends, but gave up a three in the seventh. They counted one in the eighth then did a good job of forcing Maschmeyer to take one in the ninth. In the 10th, Sherrer, made a great stick and hit with her first stone, leaving herself buried. When Maschmeyer couldn’t follow it was time to celebrate.
“It was a tough shot, but I had the right weight,” said Sherrer, who was solid when she had to be.
“Marla was lights out that last day,” said Hamilton.
The win was redemption after losing to Concordia in the ACAC final.
“It was gratifying,” said Sherrer, who had also defeated Maschmeyer twice before. “It was exciting to play them again, and the fact we had defeated them before made it more comfortable.”
Sherrer is in her third and final season at RDC, which made the win more rewarding.
“It was a great way to go out,” said the 21-year-old from Lacombe.
Dahmer, who was named all-star skip, posted a 6-1 record in round-robin play, but lost 8-1 to Logan James of Mohawk College of Hamilton, in the semifinals.
“They had one flat game at the wrong time,” said Hamilton. “I think they may have been a bit nervous, but did come back to win the bronze. It’s a little disappointing, but better than fourth and gave us two medals which made for a good day.”
Dahmer was in the game against James, tied 1-1 after four ends, but gave up one in the fifth and sixth. James took control with three in the seventh and two in the eighth.
In the bronze Shurtleff was up 1-0 after three. The RDC crew counted one in the fourth, then got rid of what nerves they may have had with two in the fifth and three in the sixth. After giving up a pair in the seventh, Dahmer counted four in the eighth.
Charlie Richard of Fanshawe won gold with a 7-4 win over James. Westman took bronze on the women’s side with an 8-7 victory over Emily Clark of NAIT.
Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His work can also be seen at Danny’s blog at rdcathletics.ca