The UPEI Panthers women's curling team looks to better last year's second-place finish when the Subway Atlantic University Sport (AUS) curling championships begin today in St. Andrews, N.S.
Last year, the Panthers lost 7-5 in the final to Saint Mary's but reached the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) nationals because the CIS takes the top two teams from the AUS.
The Panthers returning foursome of skip Veronica Smith, third Jane DiCarlo, second Emily Gray and lead Aleya Quilty, along with coach Paul Smith, aim to make the nationals as the first-place team.
UPEI opens against Mount Allison at 5 p.m.
Also in the women's draw is host St. F.X., Acadia, Dalhousie, Memorial and UNB.
The men's side includes Acadia, Memorial, defending champ UNB, St. F.X., Saint Mary's and Dalhousie.
Teams compete in a round robin with the semifinals scheduled for Sunday, at 9 a.m., followed by the finals at 1 p.m.
Top nationals are March 20 to 23 in Kelowna, B.C.
UPEI finished fourth at the CIS championship last year. DiCarlo was selected as second team All-Canadian.