Sports

B.C. champs throw rocks at nationals

Kalia Van Osch, left, Marika Van Osch, Sarah Daniels, Megan Daniels and Ashley Sanderson, not pictured, are B.C. junior champions. - GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin
Kalia Van Osch, left, Marika Van Osch, Sarah Daniels, Megan Daniels and Ashley Sanderson, not pictured, are B.C. junior champions.
— image credit: GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

They’ve beaten all comers so far this season, and there’s no reason they can’t continue to do so.

Kalia Van Osch’s junior women’s curling team begins play at nationals this Saturday (Jan. 18) in Liverpool, N.S.

To win their British Columbia jackets, the girls had to beat all the rest of the province’s top junior teams. They had to beat a fierce rival in the final. This fall they won against every skip in Nanaimo, and even won most of the games they played at World Curling Tour events.

“All the girls worked super hard to get where we are now and it’s been a great season,” said Kalia Van Osch.

The skip is teaming this year with her sister Marika, as well as Sarah Daniels, Ashley Sanderson and Megan Daniels.

The Van Osch sisters curled with Sanderson before, but the Daniels sisters, former opponents, are new to the mix.

“I’d rather play with them, because they’re amazing players and I’d trust them with any shot,” Megan said.

Preparations for a winning season started at the beginning of last summer; when some teens were hitting the beach, Team Van Osch was hitting the ice.

“We played spiels in the summer, spent time together so going into the season we were 100 per cent comfortable as a team and we were really able to focus in on the curling,” Kalia said.

Things went to plan. As anticipated, the B.C. final came down to the Van Osch rink against the Corryn Brown rink of Kamloops. The game came down to an extra end, but Kalia and company played it cool and they didn’t even need to throw their last rock.

“We played really good throughout the week,” Marika said. “I haven’t seen our team play any better than that.”

All the team members have won championships before, but it’s always meaningful to win a set of the coveted white B.C. jackets and advance to nationals.

“It’s been what we’ve been working for this whole year and it’s really pushed us to accomplish our goals,” Sarah said.

The B.C. final, played in front of a big crowd and TV cameras, gave the team a sample of what’s to come in Nova Scotia. Some of the distractions at nationals are part of the fun.

“If you just take it for what it is and enjoy it, then it’s not going to be too big of a deal,” Kalia said.

There are going to be a lot of good games and great curling and yes, some pressure, but the team has shown it can handle that just fine, and still win.

“We know we’ve made all these shots before,” Megan said.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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