Sonnenberg advances to Olympic trials in Winnipeg

(Photo by Heather Davidson)
(Photo by Heather Davidson)

KITCHENER, ONT — It seemed like everything was in the cards for third seed Renèe Sonnenberg of Grand Prairie, Alta, Saturday evening as she faced off in a rematch against eighth seed Kelly Scott of West Kelowna, B.C in the Capital One Road to the Roar in Kitchener.

In a matchup that had only transpired a couple days before, both teams were facing off again — but this time, the stakes were higher, and the Olympic trial berth was just within reach.

Last game, both teams traded stone for stone until the seventh end when Scott stole two points from Sonnenberg to take the lead 6-3, and then carried the hammer coming into the final end to win the draw 8-5.

“We got caught a little bit on the ice on sheet 5, it’s a little swingier over there, and we didn’t really like the rocks we had,” Sonnenberg said about the ice conditions in her previous draw versus Scott. “ A couple of them were curling a little bit more and I just made a mental mistake when we gave up that steal of two so the game was actually closer than what the score showed.”

“We knew if we just came out and executed a little bit better and trusted our stones on the ice today that it would all be fine.”

This time would be different.

It began the same; both teams were trading stone for stone for the first half of the game, keeping it really close. It was not until the sixth end when Sonnenberg managed to score a crucial four points on her hammer, taking the lead, and control of the draw 7-3. She capitalized again in the eighth end by scoring another three points, totalling her score to ten and building a comfortable lead.

“Huge difference for our team,” Sonnenberg said. “We’ve seen a million teams come back this weekend, in fact we did one yesterday. We weren’t going to let up an inch and we didn’t, and we’re very proud of ourselves.”

Scott managed to gain a point in the seventh, but that was all she could muster. Sonnenberg captured the draw in nine ends, and thus an Olympic trial.

“I know I can’t believe it. I love curling in Winnipeg, and on arena ice again in front of a huge crowd, with those phenomenal teams,” Sonnenberg gushed on returning to Winnipeg for the Roar of the Rings Olympic trials. “It’s what every curler dreams of.”

When asked if she felt like she caught onto ice conditions quicker than Scott did during the draw, Sonnenberg said that “It may have been an advantage that we played the final there.”

“We knew that side was a little straighter and the other side swung a whole bunch. That definitely helped us. The girls played great, we put our rocks in great positions today.”

Sonnenberg joins six other women’s teams in Winnipeg to compete for a chance to represent Team Canada in Sochi, Russia at the 2014 Winter Olympics. She will be joined by the winner of the draw of seventh-seed Val Sweeting of Vegreville, Alta, versus Kelly Scott, who will get a second opportunity for a trial berth. The draw begins at 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.

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