South Central Region Playoffs
Oct 5–7, 2012 — Lincoln, NE Hosted by No Coast Derby Girls

Bout 17: Texas Rollergirls vs Atlanta Rollergirls

October 7, 2012

Texas (#1) barely holds back Atlanta (#6) to take first place in the tournament

By Shelly Shankya

Atlanta Rollergirls (#6) fought hard to take down #1 Texas Rollergirls, and nearly succeeded in the final bout of South Central Region Playoffs.

The game for South Central Champion had an inauspicious start for Texas, as their jammer Olivia Shootin' John was held for 1:40 behind the tight Atlanta wall and then took a trip to the box for a major track cut. Atlanta jammer Merchant of Menace scored 20 in the first jam alone. Atlanta blocker Wild Cherri landed a particularly tough block on Texas for which Texas used their official review. Luckily for Atlanta, the reffing crew didn't find any illegality to the hit, and Atlanta used it to further widen the gap.

The two teams traded lead jammer status almost equally through the first half, almost as equally as the two teams traded monster hits. Texas won the battle against the penalty box, however, spending far fewer minutes sitting than Atlanta. On several occasions the Dirty South Derby Girls took to the track with fewer than five skaters, and the swarm of Texas black worked in the Texecutioners' favor. Atlanta blocker Queen Loseyateefa was expelled in the seventeenth minute as Texas marked their lead change (45-44); she was escorted out of the arena for an intentional low block. This loss to the Atlanta line affected the Dirty South skaters for the remaining minutes of the period, scoring only 10 points in the seven jams that followed, compared to 27 for the Texecutioners.

It was a literal back-and-forth of lead jammer status during the opening jams of the second, Atlanta never grabbing the status more than one jam in a row until the eleventh jam. However, before that happened, Atlanta got a power jam after Killbox's major back block. Texas made the point scoring even easier for Atanta jammer Nora Gretz as the Texas blockers went to the box, keeping only two on the track. Nora scored enough to secure a lead change for the Dirty South Derby Girls, 94-91. At that point the crowd at Pershing Arena erupted in a cacophony of cheers.

After Atlanta capitalized on the power jam, they got yet another on Olivia Shootin' John's low block major. Atlanta jammer Hollicidal lost the advantage when she cut the track around a Texas blocker, springing OSJ for Texas. Atlanta won the jammer swap-out as Hollicidal scored 9 to OSJ's 5. To say the score was neck-and-neck was an understatement; nearly each point contested, the NSO and reffing crews reviewed calls repeatedly. The pack speed initiated by Atlanta blockers was faster than a fan spinning on a muggy Atlanta summer's night, and the blocker hits nearly as dangerous as those blades.

Merchant of Menace took a beating from the Texas blockers when Vicious Van GoGo went to the box for a missed apex jump initiating contact with Atlanta bocker. But the power from the power jam was soon drained as Merchant tried to call off the jam, accruing an illegal procedure, her fourth minor. Texas put in veteran Smarty Pants for the power jam, and her experience paid off; she scored 12 points tying the game with 1:40 left on the clock.

Atlanta had a full cadre of blockers on the line with high point scorer Merchant of Menace. Texas put Vicious Van GoGo on the line, after she was able to effectively grab lead jammer for the team throughout the bout. When Merchant of Menace got a major back block and went to the penalty box, Vicious nabbed lead jammer and let the period clock run out to seal the team's championship status. Vicious scored 20 points in the final jam, putting Texas up 144-124.

Texas maintains their first place seed and Atlanta finishes the tournament at second after coming in as the sixth seed. The crowd at Pershing chanted "ATL!" as the team took its consolation lap. Both teams will represent South Central at the WFTDA Championships in Atlanta on November 2-4.

Texas Rollergirls (#1) 144 - 1st Place
Atlanta Rollergirls (#6) 124 - 2nd Place

Real. Strong. Athletic. Revolutionary.