The RDC Queens curling team earned silver at the ACAC Curling Championships Sunday on home ice at the Pidherney Curling Centre in Red Deer. With the second-place finish, they advanced to the CCAA Curling National Championships later this month in Manitoba. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Queens Curling set to hit the ice at Nationals Wednesday

The RDC Queens curling team is set to prove they belong among the best of the best in Canada’s college curling ranks.

Five members of the Queens set out this week for Portage La Prairie, Man. in the pursuit of a Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Curling Championship title. The event gets underway Wednesday and runs until March 15.

The Queens earned silver at the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference Championship last weekend, after a loss in the final against the University of Alberta-Augustana Vikings.

Queens Curling coach Brad Hamilton still has high hopes for his team, none of whom have ever curled on the college national stage before.

“The goal is to make the top four and playoffs, and then battle hard in the medal round and have fun while we are doing it. It should be a great experience,” said Hamilton in a press release.

Curling for RDC at nationals are second-years Jaycee Bourke (lead), Erica Watts (second) and Hollie Vincent (skip). Third Emily Plett and lead/spare Carmyn Penner are each in their first ACAC season.

The Douglas Royals, from the PACWEST, will try to make it back-to-back CCAA titles. Three women’s teams from the Ontario Collegiate Athletic Conference will also vie for a medal. The Fanshawe Falcons, Humber Hawks and Sault Cougars will challenge for a podium placement.

Also competing from the ACAC are the Concordia University of Edmonton Thunder, the conference bronze medalist winning NAIT Ooks, and the gold medal champion Vikings.

“There is some comfort in playing three Alberta teams that you have played before. Alberta has always been competitive at nationals,” said Hamilton.

“Augustana won bronze last year with basically the same team. Ontario always sends good teams and the defending champs from B.C. are back.”

The Queens open the event Wednesday at 4 p.m. against the Thunder. RDC was 3-1 this season against Concordia, losing at the fall regional then rolling in the last three head-to-head matchups.

There shouldn’t be any surprises for either team,” Hamilton added.

The complete schedule and live scores can be viewed at!/competitions/6250.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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