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‘You see the intensity’: Viterra Scotties underway in Melville, Sask.

The 2020 Viterra Scotties Women Provincial Championships got underway in Melville, Sask. on Friday.
The 2020 Viterra Scotties Women Provincial Championships got underway in Melville, Sask. on Friday. File / Global News

Saskatchewan’s best women curlers are in Melville, Sask., vying for a chance to represent the province in this year’s Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw.

The 2020 Viterra Scotties Women Provincial Championships got underway at the town’s Horizon Credit Union Centre on Friday afternoon.

“Chatting with some of the players, you see the intensity already and knowing what’s up for grabs… a spot for Team Sask. in the Scotties,” said Mat Ring, CurlSask’s marketing and member services coordinator.

“Just knowing they can be a home-town representative.”

READ MORE: Team Silvernagle eyes 2nd-straight Viterra Scotties title

There are 12 teams participating in the tournament, with many familiar faces returning.

“Just some of the names… past provincial champions are back like Robyn Silvernagle, Amber Holland, Penny Barker, Sherry Anderson… it’s great field to see,” Ring said.

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“Hopefully they’ll draw some people out to come see the action.”

Sara England and Michelle Englot join forces
Sara England and Michelle Englot join forces

Former Saskatchewan champion Michelle Englot returns to the tournament with past junior provincial champions Sara England and Shelby Brandt along with former provincial mixed champion Nicole Bender.

Ring said it’s a good mix of youth and experience, which should result in some great competition. He said there’s a ton of excitement around the rink, and everybody is ready to enjoy themselves.

As host, Ring said Melville has, once again, outdid themselves.

READ MORE: Canadian men’s, women’s curling teams to play for same championship prize money in 2020

“[They] continue to blow us away and it isn’t their first event hosting. They hosted back in 2015 and 2017,” Ring said.

“They seem to have all their ducks in a line and it’s such a cool thing to be a part of.”

The Scotties takes place from Feb. 15-23.

Melville is also hosting the SaskTel Tankard Men’s Provincial Championship on Jan. 29 where Saskatchewan’s top men curlers will compete to play in the 2020 Tim Hortons Brier.

The Brier takes place from Feb. 29 to March 8.