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Moose Jaw’s Barker qualifies for Viterra Scotties with win at Regina Highland SWCT stop

Defending Scotties provincial champion holds solid lead atop Sask CRTS standings to earn one of four automatic qualification spots
Team Barker once again had a chance to do their celebratory leap after winning the Regina Highland stop on the Saskatchewan Women’s Curling Tour this past weekend.

Penny Barker apparently wants nothing to do with any kind of qualifying games when it comes to returning to the Viterra Scotties women’s provincial curling championship.

Barker and her defending provincial champion Moose Jaw Curling Centre rink have booked a spot in the Scotties beginning Jan, 25 in Estevan after picking up their second-straight tournament victory during the Nov. 25 weekend.

Barker, third Christie Gamble, second Jenna Enge and lead Danielle Sicinski dropped a single game in the round robin before rolling through the playoffs on their way to winning the Regina Highland Sask Women’s Curling Tour stop, taking a huge lead atop the SWCT standings in the process.

With the top four teams on the SWCT advancing to the Viterra Scotties and a single qualifying tournament remaining on the schedule, Barker has enough points to get the job done and will naturally be one of the favourites in Estevan.

After posting a 3-1 record in the round robin in Regina, Barker took a 5-4 victory over Nancy Martin in the quarter-final and followed with an 8-7 win over Jana Tisdale to book her spot in the final.

There, Barker ran into a familiar face -- none other than Sherry Anderson, who had also faced the local rink in the final of the Moose Jaw SWCT stop just under a month ago. The end result was much the same, as Barker picked up points in each of the first three ends and Anderson quickly shook hands. 

Barker had taken a 9-4 five-end win over Anderson in Moose Jaw.

It was also a good weekend for former Moose Jaw competitor Amber Holland. The former two-time Viterra Scotties champion snuck into the playoffs with a 2-2 record, but took a 6-1 win over Lorraine Schneider in her quarter-final before falling 8-3 to Anderson in the semifinal. She also sits in the top four in SWCT standings heading into the Player Championship during the Jan, 13 weekend.

Moose Jaw Skylar Ackerman is also on the cusp of outright qualifying for the Scotties, having just missed the playoffs with a 2-2 round-robin record in Regina. A consistent season saw Ackerman leading the Saskatchewan rinks on the Canadian Team Ranking System heading into Regina, with the top four CTRS teams also qualifying for provincials.

Rinks that finish outside of the top four on the SaskCTRS and national CTRS will play in the Last Chance Bonspiel during the Jan. 5 weekend in North Battleford, with the top four teams there rounding out the Viterra Scotties draw.

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