MORRIS -- By the time her St. Vital squad reached last year's final, it was physically and emotionally spent.
And Kristy Jenion lost her second straight, this time to Fort Rouge's Janet Harvey.
"We were sick; we were tired; we weren't ready," Jenion readily admitted. "So this year, a lot of it's been eating the right food and working out more and getting better sleep when we can."
And that preparation has paid off, as Jenion improved to 4-0 at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts provincial women's curling championship with a 10-6 triumph over Springfield's Jan Sandison at the Southern Manitoba Convention Centre yesterday.
"You can't ask for anything more than that," Jenion said. "At the same time, you can't let up. You can't lose because the next three games are the most important games, so we've just got to stay vigilant and keep on top of everything."
Jenion, 27, also preached patience.
"We've had some nightmares the last couple of years, but we also know that if we keep trying, keep working, it'll happen eventually," she said. "It may not be this year, but we'll try. That's all we can do. And when it happens, we'll get drunk and then we'll cheer and feel really good about it."
After losing last year's final, the foursome went to a personal trainer and a nutritionist, as they are determined not to repeat last year's letdown.
"We did not play well, and it hurts, especially with it being in my hometown (Thompson)," said Roy, who suffered an eye injury in the summer before the provincials. "Going through the year we went through last year, it would have been a nice way to cap off the season."
Meanwhile, Bowsman's Linda Stewart surprised Harvey, the defending champ, 6-5.
"It was a great game, and we probably could have played a little more aggressively and put more pressure on them," said Harvey, who fell to 2-2.
"But, to their credit, they made pretty much every shot. That's the way it's gone this year, and there's not much we can do about it except keep playing well, hopefully win the rest of our games and get some help from the rest of the teams."
But she cannot afford another loss.
It was Stewart's first win in four games.
"We knew if wanted any chance of playoffs, we had to win this game, so the girls played very well," she said. "We had a team meeting before, and the word that came to mind was a little bit of desperation."
Meanwhile, St. Vital's top-seeded Jennifer Jones cracked a four in the ninth end to pull out an 8-5 come-from-behind victory over Brandon's Liza Park.
"They played very well, but it was definitely not our best team game," admitted Jones, who improved to 3-0 heading into the late draw against East St. Paul's Colleen Kilgallen. "We had a lot of misses that we don't characteristically have."
Park was nonplussed.
"We had one unfortunate end," she said. "But I'm not disappointed in that game at all.
"The score doesn't reflect how we played as a team, and we're confident still."
Joelle Brown and Shauna Streich, both of Fort Rouge, improved to 3-1. Park, Kilgallen and Fort Rouge's Darcy Robertson were 2-1 heading into the late draw.
GAME OF THE DAY
- Bowsman's Linda Stewart was winless when she went into the game against Fort Rouge's defending champion Janet Harvey. But the desperate Stewart eked out a 6-5 victory, dropping Harvey to 2-2 and in danger of missing the playoffs.
TODAY'S FEATURE MATCH
- Sisters Barb Spencer and Darcy Robertson, both of Fort Rouge, face off at 8:30 a.m., and Robertson could conceivably knock Spencer out of playoff contention.