The youngest rink at the Jiffy Lube Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts showed its age.
The Avonair Curling Club foursome of skip Karynn Flory of St. Albert, third Richelle Nanninga, second Sydney Lewko and lead Sarah Brown dropped down into the C event after losses of 13-1 to Holly Baird of the Saville Community Sports Centre and 10-3 to Nadine Chyz of the Glencoe Club.
“All you can do is learn and grow. It’s hard but losing is how you learn because then you realize what you need to do to make that next step,” said Flory, 24, after Thursday’s result against Chyz in nine ends at the St. Albert Curling Club.
The lineup of former Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference curlers shook hands with the Baird team after a steal of five in six during Wednesday’s tournament opener. Baird led 6-0 after counting four in one and a steal of two the next end.
“I don’t know if it was nerves, maybe a little bit,” Flory said. “We got a little frustrated and got down and couldn’t get back up.”
Chyz posted three-enders in three and eight and a steal of one in six made it 7-2.
“It was a better game, just a couple of shaky ends and you can’t come back from that,” Flory said. “We really tried to push through. You do as well as you can when you’re already down.”
In the C bracket, Flory played Holly Scott of the Saville on Friday but the score was unavailable at press time.
Other than some “unlucky breaks” at provincials, Flory noted the team’s communication was top notch.
“I would say that’s been our main focus and it’s been really positive,” said the 2013 Alberta junior champion.
At the 2015 Alberta Scotties in Lacombe, Flory’s NAIT rink of Nanninga, Amanda Moizis and Katie Roskewich lost three straight after qualifying out of the B event at the Northern Alberta Curling Association playdowns.
“It’s been better than two years ago. We’re having a better feeling for the ice and the girls are doing a good job with communication,” said Flory, who skipped her Avonair club team to victory at the 2015 Edmonton and area Tournament of Champions.
Last year at northerns in St. Albert, Flory’s team of Nanninga, Lewko and Roskewich lost the A and B finals before finishing 3-3 in the six-team draw.
This year Flory won five and lost one as the B qualifiers at the 10-team northerns in Fort Saskatchewan. It was the second competition as a foursome after Brown was brought on board for the Alberta Tour stop in Lloydminster in late November.
In the ACAC circuit, Brown was a skip for Augustana University College and Lewko, who is based out of Grande Prairie, played for the MacEwan University Griffins. Flory, the 2015 ACAC women’s curler of the year, and Nanninga were rinkmates at NAIT as former ACAC champions and Canadian Colleges Athletic Association medallists.
So far it’s been a bittersweet experience for Flory at the Alberta Scotties in St. Albert.
“That’s what makes it harder emotionally because it’s in front of the home town,” said the Bellerose Composite High School alumna. “It’s great and l love it here but it’s hard when you’re not doing as well as you want to be doing.”