The fickleness of competitive sports is what makes it compelling to follow, but also often emotionally painful to play.
Just when you think it’s going your way, there’s a shocking twist that flips the script.
That was the centre point of the women’s semi-final of the BC junior curling championships in Vernon Monday morning between Vernon’s Megan McGillivray and Victoria’s Taylor Reese-Hansen
A chipped guard on a takeout attempt in nine by Reese-Hansen seemed to open the door for a bump back for four for McGillivray, but the Vernon skip’s last shot sailed and ended up chipping her own counter out leaving a steal of one for Resse-Hansen.
It was a heartbreaking end to a brilliant run for the local team who started with a win over the defending champs and a 5-2 round-robin record.
Reese-Hansen ran McGillivray out of rocks in 10 and the final score was 7-4. She advances to face Sarah Daniels of Delta in the final Tuesday at 10 a.m.
“We had a couple of tough breaks and a couple of missed opportunities but I still think it was a close game, and that’s how you want a semi-final to be,” McGillivray said after the game.
“I’m still really proud of… that’s actually the best that we’ve done in the past four years.”
McGillivray was already able to see perspective and positives in the run her team had, even that soon after the semi-final loss.
“Honestly going into playoffs just knowing that we were getting a medal was definitely still a reassurance. Obviously, you always hope for better but at the same time, you’ve to look at it as they’re still placing you on the podium, which is a good thing,” she said.
After all, there was a team that went 0-7 in the round-robin despite playing fairly well all week.
“You know what, that was us the first year, too, so we can see how much we’ve grown. This is my last year too so just being able to get a medal was really good,” McGillivray said.
“It really proved to us that if we stick together we can really make it as a team and I think we did a really good job of carrying through the whole week and really making a name for ourselves.”
Megan’s sister Katelyn, second on the team, was lifted by the hometown support.
“I loved seeing everyone… even who we play against in the ladies league teams, just everyone come out for the support. It really helps when you’re kind of down, you can look up and see everyone that’s there for you,” Katelyn said. ”Also, coming off the ice after that extra end shot that Megan made [in the last round-robin game] and having everyone there was just amazing. We loved playing at home. I loved playing there.”
One couldn’t help but notice the legitimate camaraderie on display among the women’s teams all week, something that McGillivray truly appreciated.
“We feel honoured and privileged being able to play against some great players and also just being able to be friends off of the ice and then competitors on the ice. You know that there are no hard feelings and it’s strictly just to curl,” Megan said. “I think that’s really good, especially in curling, when it’s such a small community — and in B.C. curling — and being able to have that friendship. We really saw it this week where it’s about the sport and the sportsmanship and I think that’s a huge thing going forward.”
McGillivray partly credits that inclusive vibe with her team’s growth over the years.
“You get the older players who show that and for the young players, it’s being a good role model. We noticed that throughout the years, you become really good friends,” McGillivray said.
“We’re all from B.C. and whoever comes out on top we’re going to stand side-by-side behind them.”
Reese-Hansen will face Delta’s Sarah Daniels in the women’s final Tuesday at 10 a.m.
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