In a perfect world, Julie Hastings and her Bayview Golf and Country Club rink would have been successful in retaining their title at the 2016 Scotties Provincial Tournament of Hearts in Brampton that will Sunday.
However, the skip and her team that included fellow Stouffville resident and lead Katrina Collins, second Stacey Smith and vice Christy Trombley failed in their quest to repeat as Ontario women's champions after concluding the round-robin segment Friday with three wins and six losses.
Despite their disappointing finish, Hastings was not about to make any excuses.
Just to be a part of the field, that included other top teams from across the province competing for the right to punch their ticket to compete at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Grande Prairie, Alta. next month was an honour and a moment she will look back on with fond recollections.
“Obviously winning helps,” Hastings, a Markville Secondary School graduate, said, “but we are really good at seeing the positive in each situation regardless of the game's outcome.
"Each and every time I step onto the ice with my team I feel like something special could happen. We had a lot of laughs this year both on and off the ice and although we didn't win, we have memories of a great time.”
In reflecting on their performance, Hastings felt one aspect that might have affected their performance was a shortage of highly competitive events to be in prior to the start of the provincial championships.
Having won last year’s title, Hastings’ rink received an automatic bid into the 10-rink field and did not have to qualify like the other participants were forced to do that might have given them some competitive edge.
“The toughest challenge was preparing for this provincial without participating in the qualifying events,” she said. “An automatic berth is great, but we had six weeks without competition prior to the provincials so it was tough to get back into mid-season form for this event.”
Going forward, Hastings said their team will reflect on what transpired at the provincials and try to identify the areas where they struggled.