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Israel Gets Baptism of Fire in Switzerland at Curling Championships

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Jeff Lutz, left, playing for Israel with Larry Sidney and Andrea Stark in Bern, September 2015.Credit: Celine Stucki / World Curling Federation

Israel’s delegation at this week’s World Mixed Curling Championships in Bern, Switzerland, endured a baptism of fire against fierce competition yet also held its own on a number of occasions.

The team finished Group B competition Thursday with a 1-7 record. The squad was comprised of Jeff Lutz and Elana Sone, who shared skip duties, as well as Larry Sidney and Andrea Stark.

“We really put together our best games versus the best curling competition and we are proud of our result because of the strength of our group,” the Israel Curling Federation’s Simon Pack told Haaretz Thursday. “There were many other strong curling nations that finished with only one or two wins as well.”

Pack noted this week’s competition was a learning experience for the squad.

“This particular Israeli team also had only curled together once before this event,” he said. “We will take a lot from this event and try to get our teams together much earlier so they can gel on the ice.”

Israel’s high point came against Wales on Monday, when the team got off to a slow start but ended up pounding its opponent 10-5. However, that victory would prove to be its only win as the team came close but could not topple other opponents.

After falling to Finland 9-3 and Latvia, the team gave Canada a tough time Sunday before succumbing 5-3. Taking on Group B coleader Germany on Tuesday, the team rallied late with three points in the last end but came up short, 6-5.

After losing 8-4 to Spain, Israel played even with Norway on Wednesday, but the Scandinavians grabbed the final point for a 6-5 win. Israel’s final match against Australia Thursday afternoon got off to a rocky start, as the crew from Down Under pulled away for a 13-6 victory.

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