November 10, 2013
By Whacks Poetic
In an exciting addition to this year’s WFTDA Championships, four Division 2 teams made the trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to vie for the top three places of D2. In the first bout of Sunday morning, the Blue Ridge Rollergirls from Asheville, North Carolina, played the Sac City Rollers from Sacramento, California, for third place in D2. Blue Ridge finished second at the D2 Playoffs in Des Moines in August and Sac City finished the same in D2 Playoffs Kalamazoo. These two teams, coming from opposite sides of the country, faced off for the first time today in an intense battle on the track.
"This has been a wonderful experience. It’s been the best season ever for Blue Ridge," said Boot Scootin Bully. "Before this year, we’d only played in one-day tournaments. We couldn’t be more honored and thrilled to be here. We’re so thankful for having the D2 Playoffs."
The game was one well worth being played on the main stage of flat track roller derby with the first jam resulting in a five point pass for Blue Ride jammer, Caslamity Jane as she lapped Sac City’s Quick Fire. Blue Ridge predominantly ran a three-jammer rotation with Caslamity Jane, Skelley-Tor and Lady Rider donning the star for the women in black and blue. Sac City preferred a two jammer line up with Quick Fire and Too Short scoring points for the California team. At the end of 60 minutes, Blue Ridge took third place, 215-188.
Quick Fire picked up Sac City’s first lead jammer status in the third jam of the game and gave Blue Ridge their first power jam as she was sent to the box on a track cut while trying to call it off. Lady Rider, donning the star for Blue Ridge, skated cleanly and drew several blocker penalties off of the California team, putting up 19 points for her team against a 2 blocker Sac City wall. After five minutes of play, Blue Ridge led 28-7. Jam number five was the first one that Sac City won, with Quick Fire again securing lead jammer and masterfully juking all four Blue Ridge blockers prior to calling it off. Twelve minutes into the bout, Blue Ridge was awarded their second power jam of the game scoring 20 points as Quick Fire rested in the penalty box. Fifteen minutes in, Sac City closed the gap in score to 62-37, drawing a track cut off of Skelley-Tor and allowing Too Short to score 18 points unopposed before being sent to the box for a back block. Too Short would spend too short a time on the track, however, heading straight back to the box for a track cut after being released. Blue Ridge’s Lady Rider faced a tough Sac City blocker line up and managed only 15 points while skating unopposed for almost two minutes.
With just over ten minutes left in the first half, Blue Ridge switched up their jammer rotation and put Dixie Kicks on the line. She called the jam slightly late, allowing Too Short to pick up three points at the end of the jam bringing the score to 86-40 for the Carolina team. The remainder of the half saw another power jam for Blue Ridge and another two for Sac City. Blockers for both teams upped their game and performed admirably to limit the scoring when only one jammer was on the track. Overall, however, the first half was a story of penalties with Sac City jammers going to the box six times and Blue Ridge point scorers only visiting thrice. This disparity allowed the Carolina team to end the first half with a 50-point advantage, 125-75, and Sac City faced the possibility of losing one of their two main jammers, Too Short, who had amassed four penalties in the first thirty minutes.
The second half saw a refreshed Sac City team gaining lead jammer in the first three jams and scoring 27 points in the process. The fourth jam meant a full blocking contingent on the track for Blue Ridge and Sac City jammer, Too Short, found herself unable to escape their strong walls for over a minute. That jam would prove to be an anomaly, though, as Sac City continued to skate clean and keep Blue Ridge scoreless for the next seven jams and bring the game to within a single pass, 135-132, with seventeen minutes to go.
Blue Ridge managed to adapt as Skelley-Tor got the team’s first lead jammer status in eight jams and Too Short went to the penalty box for the fifth time. With a quarter of the game remaining, the score read 150-132. The next jam saw Too Short retuning to the penalty box again while the Sac City blockers beat up Lady Rider limiting her scoring to eight points. Too Short was released from the box early as Caslamity Jane received a blocking with the head penalty. Sac City brought the gap to single digits once more to 162-156 with ten minutes left before Quick Fire went to the box on her own high block penalty and Caslamity Jane added 19 points. With less than five minutes to go, Sac City faced a 29-point deficit to make up, both jammers would make trips to the box on their initial pass which meant a two minute jam and a 4-2 pack advantage for Blue Ridge. Both jammers scored 8 points in the jam, leaving Sac City with only two minutes to score 30 points if they wanted to win. Too Short donned the star for Sac City sitting on six penalties.
"Too Short is one of our best jammers so we had full faith that she would play clean. All of her training and all of our training together showed on the track," said Sac City Captain Aleithal Weapon. "Unfortunately, penalties, not only for Too Short but for all of our skaters is really what inhibited us in that game."
Too Short skated cleanly, but Caslamity Jane picking up lead and 4 points for Blue Ridge. In the final jam, Too Short returned to the jammer line once more facing off against Skelley-Tor for Blue Ridge. Skelley-Tor was penalized for a forearm and Too Short found herself as the lone scorer on the track. It wasn’t quite enough, however, and Sac City would fall to Blue Ridge 215-188.
Blue Ridge Rollergirls (Des Moines #2) 215 - D2 3rd Place
Sac City Rollers (Kalamazoo #2) 188 - D2 4th Place
Real. Strong. Athletic. Revolutionary.