Devereaux defends title with new-look team

John
John Browne
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Scotties provincial women’s championship begins today at Re/Max Centre

— Fans watch curling action in this Telegram file photo

If Stacie Devereux is going to defend her provincial Scotties women’s curling championship, she’ll have to do it with half of last year’s team.

And, even though two of her four teammates from 2011 have changed, Devereaux says she doesn’t foresee any problems heading into the 2012 provincial Scotties, which begin today at the Re/Max Centre (St. John’s Curling Club).

Devereaux has added third Erin Porter and second Alysha Renouf, two curlers from Memorial Sea-Hawks Atlantic University Sport (AUS) championship team, to the team  that swept the competition last year.   

Third Porter, who skipped MUN, and second-stone Renouf replace Sarah Paul, who is throwing third rocks with Beth Hamilton’s foursome and Stephanie Guzzwell who has moved to Halifax.

Heather Martin returns as lead for the Devereaux rink that went undefeated in last year’s event, including a 9-8 win over Shelly Nichols in the final.

According to Devereaux,  the newcomers haven’t changed the team’s tactics or style of play.

“There’s a learning curve with every new team,” said Devereaux, “but I don’t see any problems at all. We’re playing really well as a team and we’re happy where we are.”

She said Porter and Renouf have provincial experience and are used to playing under pressure.

“We’ve been learning about each other; how the team is going to work and how to be successful,” she said.

So far it seems to be working out pretty well.

The Devereaux foursome went 3-3 in a tournament in early November in Kentville, N.S., and holds a 7-2 record in the Bally Haly Re/Max SuperLeague.

Coming off her first provincial women’s curling title, Devereaux isn’t expecting an easy ride this time around.

While she is “pretty anxious” to get back to the nationals she’s “definitely not” looking past the provincials.

“”We have four other excellent teams to play against this week,” she said.

In the meantime, Devereaux said her nationals experience is priceless.

“You go to your first one (nationals) and you realize you can compete with the top teams because you’ve always had it in the back of your head that you could,” said Devereaux.

“But when get up there you realize what it takes to win at that level,” added Devereaux who finished with a 1-10 record at the 2011 Tournament of Hearts in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

The provincial tournament is a five-team round-robin affair with the top three teams advancing to the playoffs.

Teams finishing second and third will play against each other to face the round-robin winner in the final.

If a team goes through the round-robin undefeated, that team will need to be beaten twice in the finals.

The winner will represent Newfoundland and Labrador at the national Scotties in Red Deer. Alta., Feb. 18-26.

jbrowne@thetelegram.com

The teams

Re/Max Centre

• Laura Phillips, Marian Templeton, Marian Dawe, Jeanette Hodder

• Shelly Nichols, Michelle Jewer, Kelli Turpin, Colette Nichols, with coach Jean Blackie

• Beth Hamilton, Sarah Paul, Jillian Waite, Adrienne Mercer, with coach Wayne Hamilton

Bally Haly Curling Club

• Heather Strong, Laura Strong, Jennifer Cunningham, Stephannie Korab, with coach Jamie Korab

• Stacie Devereaux, Erin Power, Alysha Renouf, Heather Martin, with coach Craig Withycombe

The schedule

Today

Draw 1: 12:30 p.m.

Draw 2: 9 p.m.

Thursday

Draw 3: 1:30 p.m.,

Draw 4: 9 p.m.

Friday

Draw 5: 1 p.m.

8:30 p.m., Tie breaker/semifinal

Saturday

1 p.m., Tie breaker/semifinal/final

 8 p.m., semifinal/final

Sunday

11 a.m., final (if necessary)

Organizations: Max Centre, Curling Club, Memorial Sea-Hawks Atlantic University Sport AUS

Geographic location: Kentville, Charlottetown, Newfoundland and Labrador Red Deer

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