D2 Playoffs

Kalamazoo, MI

Game 17: (1) Santa Cruz Derby Girls v (2) Sac City Rollers

August 25, 2013

Santa Cruz Wins D2 Playoffs: Kalamazoo

By Shelly Shankya

Santa Cruz Derby Girls (#42, seed #1) drew first blood against Sac City Rollers (#45, seed #2) in the Championship game of D2 Kalamazoo tournament, grabbing a quick 5 points. The points went back and forth in the opening minutes of the California battle royale, however, with Sac City edging out Santa Cruz in the first five minutes. Back-and-forth power jams, first with Sac City with the advantage and then Santa Cruz in the following jam, set an early precedent in the game; the two teams fought tirelessly for the opportunity to play the Champions of Des Moines in the first D2 tournament of 2013, the Jet City Rollergirls. Ten minutes into the first period saw Santa Cruz ahead by a slim 25 points, 53-28.

After initial power jams and micro pack action, the two teams settled into the game as penalties started to dwindle. In jam 12, however, Santa Cruz lost their jammer to the box, giving Sac City jammer La Lucha a chance to bring the point differential to a negative three points, putting Sac City in the lead, 62-60. The power jam acted as a catalyst for the ladies from Sacramento, scoring on a power jam in the preceding jam. Santa Cruz refused to lie down after some tough calls, their push lead by jammer Pippi Hard Socking. The fast-moving play had Santa Cruz with a growing margin at the end of the half, 99-76, after Hard Socking went down in turn two as the whistle called for the close of the period.

Fortunately for Santa Cruz, the team started the second period on a power start, as Sac City’s jammer had moments left in the box. The jammers for both teams did a switch out, both packs seeming a bit shaky from the half. Sac City’s Spankenstein dropped in opening minutes of the half with an injury, giving the half a slow start, only two minutes into the period. The break for the injury didn’t slow the pace of the pack, however, with Sac City’s full cadre of blockers able to effectively hold the Santa Cruz jammers at bay over the course of a few jams. When given the chance to run away with the points, Santa Cruz did so. With 20 minutes left in the period, Sac City used a power jam, giving jammer Too Short a chance to help her team to reach the century mark, the score 130-100 in favor of Santa Cruz.

Too Short did the work to put Sac City within striking distance, but Sac City jammer Quick Fire sat in the penalty box for two-straight jams, both on track cuts. Santa Cruz used the unopposed opportunity to bulk up their lead, finishing the two penalty minutes ahead 174-109, after enjoying a 2-4 pack advantage. Sac City blockers stayed at two on the track for a few minutes, giving Santa Cruz a leg up, having only two blockers to beat. With teams fighting tooth and nail, the point spread stayed consistently around the 70-point range, until the six-minute mark when Sac City had a 3-1 pack advantage on top of a power jam for Too Short, during which time she scored 30 points, shrinking the spread to 39 points.

It was too little, too late for Sac City, however. In a point-for-point exchange in the final minutes, Santa Cruz let the period clock run down to clinch the lead and deny Sac City a chance to get off another jam in a timeout. Santa Cruz came out victorious, 230-185.

Santa Cruz will play the Jet City Rollergirls for the first ever D2 Championship title during the WFTDA Championships weekend in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Nov. 8-10. Sac City will face the Blue Ridge Rollergirls at that tournament to determine the Third Place finisher for D2.

Real. Strong. Athletic. Revolutionary.