Hamilton’s Curling Team competed in its third bonspiel (tournament) hosted by RPI on Dec. 2-4 at the Schenectady, (N.Y.) Curling Club. Twenty teams from 10 different schools, divided into five groups of four teams, took part in the bonspiel.
Hamilton took two teams of four curlers. Team 1 included new team president Nelly Green '18 (skip), Alex Hirsu '17 (vice-skip), David Gagnidze '20 (second), Ryan Wall '20 (lead). Students on Hamilton 2 were captain Andrew Fletcher '17 (skip), Jack Kelly '20 (vice-skip), Sarah Hossain '18 (second), Megan Baumgartner '20 (lead).
Hamilton 1 went 1-2 in group, winning against MIT and dropping games to RPI 1 and SUNY 3. Although the team did not qualify for the playoff round it played competitively. Hamilton 2 went 3-0 in group, defeating Colgate, RPI 5, and SUNY 1, thus winning the group and becoming the #4 seed in the playoff round.
In the playoff round, Hamilton 2 defeated NESCAC rival Bowdoin (seeded #5) in another very close match. The team then dropped the semifinal game to RPI 1 (seeded #1), and lost in the 3rd place match against RIT 2 (seeded #7). RPI 1 won the tournament with a 6-0 record for the weekend, and Hamilton 2 finished at 4-2.
Fletcher said he hopes the team will finish in the top four at the remaining two bonspiels of the regular season. Then he expects Hamilton to be in the running for a top spot at the National College Curling Championships, to be held in Utica in March 2017.
Fletcher praised the four first-year students who competed at the weekend tournament. “This was Megan's second bonspiel, and Ryan's and David's first. They all played great, and our new curlers continue to impress me with their skill and character,” he said. “Jack has been curling for eight years before coming to Hamilton … he has already established himself as one of our top players. In the next few years, I have high hopes for him to emerge as a leader of the team,” Fletcher remarked.
Hamilton has two more regular season tournaments; one in Connecticut at the end of January, and the other hosted at the Utica Curling Club in February. The team then hopes to qualify for Nationals, which will be hosted at the Utica Curling Club in March 2017.