While the parents are away representing B.C. at the Canadian Mixed Nationals in Swan River, Manitoba this week, Alysha Buchy and her junior girls curling squad are going through final preparations for their one and only chance to qualify for the provincial Junior Girls championship.
Alysha Buchy (skip), Kaila Buchy (third), Hayley Farquhar (second) and Gillian Cousineau (lead) head to Osoyoos the week of November 24 for playdowns. There they will hope to grab one of two spots available to qualify them for provincials.
It’s a new qualification system that dad and coach Tom Buchy doesn’t entirely agree with.
“They’re trying to eliminate regional play downs, which I disagree with,” Buchy said. “I think every region should have a representative.
“With this format, two spots are available to advance to an eight team playoff. Four teams are already decided through junior tour points.
“Our team doesn’t have enough points, because it is so expensive to travel to enough events, so we take our chances on an open event.”
Buchy says this will be the team’s only chance to qualify. There is one more qualification event planned but it’s on Vancouver Island, so would be prohibitively expensive to attend.
The team has a slightly different look this year as Gillian Cousineau of Cranbrook has stepped into the lead position.
This team, except for Cousineau, achieved a great deal of success as a high school squad, but now the girls have graduated and it is a little more difficult, as jobs and school have taken them in different directions.
Hayley Farquhar is attending Simon Fraser University, so mostly practices on her own, although she did get back to Kimberley to practice with the team a few weeks ago.
“It’s tougher this year,” Buchy said. “But the girls are working extremely hard. We’re really hoping they can grab a playoff spot.”