Young rink looks to bring excitement to Scotties

Lead Karlee Korchinski, second Krista Fesser, third Kourtney Fesser and Skip Sherry Anderson pose with the provincial championship trophy following their victory at the 2018 Viterra Scotties Tournament of Hearts play downs in Melfort on Sunday. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

For Karlee Korchinski and twin sisters Kourtney and Krista Fesser, the thought of curling on one of Canada’s biggest stages so early in their careers is a little surreal.

A mere two years ago, all three were representing Saskatchewan at the Canadian Junior Women’s Championships in Stratford, Ont. Now, they’re headed to the 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts with veteran skip Sherry Anderson after a victory at provincial play downs in Melfort.

Just qualifying for the national tournament was an amazing experience for the young group, but even more so given their age.

“It’s something that a lot of people work towards for a really long time,” said Korchinski shortly after their final victory on Sunday. “For us to be achieving this at 22 and 23 … it’s pretty amazing.”

“It’s surreal,” added Krista. “We knew that we had a lot of tough games ahead of us. It was a really good field and to just pull it out in this last game is an amazing feeling.”

All three will be among the youngest competitors when the 2018 Scotties kick off in Penticton, B.C. later this month. While the temptation to get star struck on the big stage is always there, Anderson said she’s not too concerned about how her team will react.

“For being so young, they’ve very seasoned,” said the veteran skip, who made her first appearance at the Scotties in 1994, when she curled out of the Prince Albert Golf and Curling Club. “They’ve been to national juniors and national mixed (tournaments), so it’s just (about) trying to keep them loose.”

Staying loose in high-pressure situations is something the rink got a lot of practice at during the provincial finals. The team won a series of close matches to emerge victorious, including a 7-6 extra ends win in final contest.

Anderson said her young team pulled through when they had to in Melfort, and that showing is a sign of things to come in Penticton.

“Their performance here today showed that they can compete with the best of them,” she said. “We’ll just try to continue on from that.”

For Anderson’s three teammates, staying loose during the lead up to the Scotties is their top priority, and they’re willing to help their veteran skip anyway they can.

“We’re going to keep her young, maybe give her a new look for the event,” Krista chuckled. “She’ll bring the experience. We’ll bring the excitement.”

@kerr_jas •