Saunders pulls off the ol' switcheroo

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:26 AM ET

Sheryl Crow knows "a change will do you good" and Bronwen Saunders' rink is heeding the singer's advice.

When Saunders and her team take on Lethbridge's Nanette Dupont this morning in the Southern women's curling playdowns at the Olds Curling Club, she won't be throwing skip stones.

It'll be Crystal Rumberg calling the shots and tossing the final rocks for the Calgary squad as it tries to get into the provincial Scott for the third time.

After not getting the type of results they expected, a change had to be made and they made it late last year, said Saunders.

"We've been in this order since the end of November," said Saunders, the team's third, adding Rumberg took the reins at the Abbotsford Curling Classic, where the team went 6-3, good for third place. "It's going well. We weren't finding huge success and as a team we decided that we felt we needed to make a change and this was the change we made. It's given us a new focus, just something a little different."

They did well in Abbotsford and also qualified for Southerns, getting out of the B draw from the Calgary playdowns.

But Saunders admits it wasn't easy handing over skip duties, a responsibility she'd handled for several years.

"You could say it was but my best interest has always been for the team," she said. "I've always felt this was something that could maybe turn our season around and it's more important to me that we find success and do some winning."

Now the new-look rink, which also includes Erika Hildebrand and Tara Runquist, will be tested against some of the best female curlers in Alberta, including Calgary's Cheryl Bernard and Renelle Bryden. With three spots up for grabs into the provincial Scott, which goes Jan 25-29 in Edmonton, Saunders figures her team's got a good shot at grabbing one, especially with Shannon Kleibrink skipping this year's event to play in the Olympics.

"They've had a superb last few years and going to the Olympics, that's great and to be the best you want to play the best but, at the same time, it's nice to have a little bit of breathing room," said Saunders.


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