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Kentville curlers prepping for nationals

Mary Mattatall, Marg Curcliffe and Coldbrook residents Jill Alcoe-Hollland and Andrea Saulnier will be representing Nova Scotia at the national senior women’s curling championship in Ontario later this month.
Mary Mattatall, Marg Curcliffe and Coldbrook residents Jill Alcoe-Hollland and Andrea Saulnier will be representing Nova Scotia at the national senior women’s curling championship in Ontario later this month. - Submitted

KENTVILLE - Two Glooscap Curling Club members are among a team of four that will soon be representing Nova Scotia at Canadian Senior Women’s Championships for a second year in a row.
Mary Mattatall, Marg Curcliffe, and Coldbrook residents Jill Alcoe-Hollland and Andrea Saulnier started out the season with back-to-back national appearances in mind. They knew this was a lofty goal heading into the recent qualifying tournament in Amherst, where they’d go head to head with teams that had competed both nationally and internationally in the past.

“I think we all expected it would be close all the way through, so we just knew we had to stay tough,” said Andrea Saulnier, the team’s lead.

“It’s pretty tough to get out of Nova Scotia.”

The team won five straight games in Amherst, with the championship game decided in the last shot.

“It’s a great relief to win and go back again because last year was our first time… and you can always do better when you return,” said Alcoe-Hollland, who noted that they narrowly missed out on a chance to advance to the medal rounds by four inches at the close of their debut at nationals.

“Last year had to be our best year because we went to the Scotties and the senior nationals. That was a record in Canada… and plus we were the oldest team ever at Scotties,” she added, noting that the average age on the team was 56.

Alcoe-Holland, the squad’s second, is looking forward to having another shot at making the medal rounds while representing their home province in Stratford, Ont. from March 24-29. In the meantime, the team is seizing every opportunity to get out on the ice leading up to nationals.

“We’re playing games and throw rocks at least six out of seven days,” she said.

Saulnier has high hopes for the experienced team leading up to upcoming competition.

“We just have to be more rested than we were last year. Last year we were just back from Scotties and were a little tired, and over the week it takes its toll. This year we will be more prepared,” she said.

“Our sights are set on winning.”

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