Krista McCarville has made a change to her competitive women’s curling lineup.
On the CBC’s That Curling Show video podcast on Monday evening, the Thunder Bay skip announced her rink is adding veteran Andrea Kelly from New Brunswick for the 2023-24 season.
“We’ve had some really good successes, but our main goal is to win the Scotties (Tournament of Hearts) and we haven’t done that yet,” said McCarville, who has two silver medals and one bronze (won last month) in 10 appearances at the Canadian championship. “We think if we wanted to make some changes. The opportunity arose and we had some chats with Andrea and we thought she would be a perfect fit.”
Kelly, 37, will move from skip to play third on Team McCarville. No current members of the rink will leave the team as Kendra Lilly, Ashley Sippala and Sarah Potts will work rotating duties on the front end.
Kelly — who has competed in 11 Scotties — and her New Brunswick squad of Sylvie Quillan, Jill Brothers and Katie Forward announced last week they were disbanding. New Brunswick went 3-5 at the Scotties last month in Kamloops, B.C. In 2022, McCarville eliminated Kelly in the national semifinals held at Fort William Gardens.
“You know how fast these changes happen. We started have chats with Kendra and Krista and the rest of the team last week,” Kelly said on the That Curling Show which is hosted by Devin Heroux and Colleen Jones. “It’s really exciting. This really wasn’t on my radar, but after the Scotties this year — it wasn’t a great week for our team — there were things to consider on how I wanted to see the next couple of years go in my curling career. There’s many, many years ahead of me. I’m pretty thrilled.”
Monday’s announcement marks McCarville’s first roster move in eight seasons. Lilly, who is from Sudbury, joined the team in 2015 as McCarville was returning from a sabbatical from curling. The squad have been perennial contenders at the Canadian women’s curling championship since Lilly’s arrival. They’ve made the Scotties playoffs in each of their six appearances but have never stood atop the podium with final losses coming in 2016 and 2022 (on home ice).
McCarville admitted falling short at nationals in February took some time to get over.
“Coming home after the Scotties, you’re proud you have the bronze medal. To medal at the Scotties is always a huge accomplishment, but I just felt it wasn’t an accomplishment,” said McCarville, 40. “It just felt like, ‘When is it my turn?’ I want to win the Scotties so bad. We did make a few changes with practices and releases and things that we could make changes too. We did a really good job with those things. But again, here we are at the end of the season and still haven’t won. . . . We’re so close but not close enough. A change needs to be made.”
Kelly could be the piece that puts them over the top. Kelly said adjusting physically to sweeping twice an end shouldn’t be a problem.
“I am a physically-driven athlete to get that through curling as a skip. I’m definitely excited and looking forward to that part of it. I’m looking forward to having a different role on a team . . . and what I can do to support Krista and what I can do to support the rest of the team.”
Team McCarville will put together their cash spiel schedule later this offseason. McCarville said there are no plans as of now to ramp up the number of travel dates ahead of the 2024 Scotties, which will be held in Calgary.
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