Sweeting shoots for 1st career Grand Slam title

The Team Sweeting "tripod" of (from left) lead Rachelle Brown, skip Val Sweeting and second Dana Ferguson reached their first career Grand Slam of Curling final at the Masters (Photo: Anil Mungal).

SELKIRK, Man. — Val Sweeting has a chance to win her first career Grand Slam of Curling title when her Edmonton rink takes on Sweden’s Margaretha Sigfridsson in the women’s final Sunday at the Masters.

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Sweeting made a sudden lineup change on the eve of the Masters when third Andrea Crawford, who joined the rink over the summer, left the team. For the Masters, Sweeting added Winnipeg-born Cathy Overton-Clapham, who has captured one world championship, five Scotties and two Players’ Championship titles.

Overton-Clapham fit right in with the “tripod” of Sweeting, second Dana Ferguson and lead Rachelle Brown. They finished 3-1 in the round robin with their only loss coming against Olympic champions Team Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg. They topped Switzerland’s Alina Paetz 5-2 in the quarterfinals and ensured a new team name would be added to the Masters trophy when they defeated two-time defending champion Rachel Homan 4-3 in the extra end of the semifinals.

It’s the first career Grand Slam of Curling final appearance for Team Sweeting but their third World Curling Tour final on the season. They were runner-ups at both the HDF Insurance Shoot-Out and the Prestige Hotels & Resorts Curling Classic earlier this year.

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Sochi Olympics silver medallist Margaretha Sigfridsson makes her second career trip to a Grand Slam of Curling final. Sigfridsson’s team from Skellefteå, Sweden, fell to Scotland’s Eve Muirhead at the 2013 Players’ Championship.

Sigfridsson skips from the lead position and is joined by fourth Maria Prytz, third Christina Bertrup and second Maria Wennerström.

Team Sigfridsson had a back-and-forth round robin — finishing with a 2-2 record — and needed a 6-4 win over Russia’s Anna Sidorova in the tiebreakers to qualify. The team continued to pick up steam and defeated reigning world champion Binia Feltscher 8-4 in the quarterfinals and edged home province favourite Jones in a rematch of the Sochi Olympics gold medal game.

Sigfridsson won a title on home soil earlier this season taking the Stockholm Ladies Curling Cup with playoff wins over Jones and Homan en route to the championship.

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