September 6, 2015
By Lexistential Crisis
Today’s 3rd Place game determined the third team to earn a spot at the 2015 International WFTDA Championships in St. Paul, Minnesota. Arch Rival Roller Girls (Seed #3) of St. Louis, Missouri have never placed higher than 6th in a Regional or Playoff tournament. Their huge win over Team United on Friday sent them into the semifinals and guaranteed that they would finish at least 4th. Comparatively, Denver, Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Rollergirls (Seed #4) have appeared at Championships four times, including the past two years. Rocky controlled the first half of the game, but Arch Rival dominated the second half to take 3rd Place and a trip to Championships.
The first jam of the game turned into a power jam when Arch Rival’s Brickyard earned a low block on her initial pass. Sweet Mary Pain took advantage of a small Arch Rival pack to earn 14 points. Phantom Menace also found success while Arch Rival’s blockers rotated through the box. At the end of the second jam, Arch Rival had yet to score while Rocky earned 29 points. In a quick jam, Bricktator put Arch Rival on the board with three points. Jammer penalties created problems for both teams in the following 10 minutes. For five jams straight Rocky had jammers sitting in the box after committing a total of five penalties. Harmony Killerbruise, Brickyard, Mighty Mighty Boston, and Bricktator took advantage of the chaos to add a collective 42 points to Arch Rival’s total. This brought the score to 53-63, as Rocky’s jammers were also able to add to their score.
At the halfway point, Swanson committed a back block penalty and gave Susy Pow an opportunity to regain some points for Rocky. Both Swanson and Susy Pow were able to score during the two-minute jam, but Rocky came out ahead with 22 points to make the score 64-85. Rocky built up to their largest lead of the game even though their jammer Sweet Mary Pain committed two back blocks in one jam. She still managed to score 14 points, making her the top scorer of the first half with 44 points. Arch Rival cut down Rocky’s a bit through the rest of the half, ending the half with a score of 93-123.
Rocky had to adjust their jammer rotation for the second half as Sweet Mary Pain already had six penalties. They started the half with Phantom Menace, who earned lead and three points. Lead jammer status alternated between the two teams for the first 10 jams of the half. Throughout the second half Rocky’s jammers had trouble finding their way through Arch Rival’s dynamic defense. They were limited to single-digit jams until the very end of the game, and only scored a total of 62 points in the second half. With 17 minutes left in the game, Rocky’s jammer started in the penalty box and their blockers started on the pivot line. Arch Rival lined up on the outside of the track and quickly swarmed the Rocky wall. Brickyard was able to get through the strung out pack and earn lead and eight points. This gave Arch Rival the lead for the first time in the game with a score of 141-136.
In the next jam Rinehart worked with a solid, flush Arch Rival wall to knock Rocky’s jammer out of bounds. She re-entered the track illegally and gave Arch Rival a power jam opportunity. All of the blockers worked together to allow Mighty Mighty Boston the space to score 15 points, increasing their lead to 20 points. Bricktator took advantage of another Rocky jammer penalty in the following jam for her third 18-point jam. Arch Rival kept their strong walls together and on the track to keep a lead of at least 30 points for the rest of the game. Going into the final jam, Arch Rival led 208-164. Phantom Menace earned lead jammer status quickly for Rocky, but Bricktator also found a way through the pack. Fiona Grapple kept Bricktator in the pack a little longer during her scoring passes, which allowed Phantom Menace to outscore her with 21 points to 16. As the jam and game ended, Arch Rival celebrated their first trip to Championships with a score of 224-185.
Both teams maintained their seeding, as Arch Rival finished 3rd and Rocky finished 4th. The overall penalty counts were almost equal, as Arch Rival had 39 penalties and Rocky had 40. However, Rocky had double Arch Rival’s jammer penalties with 14. Bricktator was the top scorer of the game with 78 points, and Phantom Menace earned 70 for Rocky.
Arch Rival Roller Derby (#3) 224
Rocky Mountain Rollergirls (#4) 185
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Real. Strong. Athletic. Revolutionary.