Western Regionals Capsule Recaps
De Ranged is focused on the track as Begeman goes in for a hit. Photo: Jules Doyle
Blonde an' Bitchin races to get by Valtron 3000. Photo: Jules Doyle
Frieda Beater and Scratcher in the Eye line up on the jam line. Photo: Jay Vollmar
Oly blockers Sassy and D-Bomb surround Duke City jammer Meep Meep. Photo: Jules Doyle
Rocky Mountain blockers RoboFlow and Anne Shank making a wall to hold back Tuscon jammer Luce Bandit. Photo: Jules Doyle
Championship Bout: (1W) Oly 119, (8W) Rocky Mountain 64 -- In a very high-speed final, Olympia WA's Oly Rollers proved themselves best in the West by denying the hometown 8 seed Rocky Mountain a satisfactory end to their Cinderella story.
Oly took a 13-0 lead in the first two jams of the bout, though Rocky's Frida Beater took lead jammer and a quick 2-0 to get the hometown heroines on the board -- but Oly answered with a 1-0 of their own to make it 14-2 after four jams.
Rocky suffered a sudden unexpected setback in the fifth jam -- their new star De Ranged took lead jammer, but before any points could be scored, RMRG blocker Annia Lateher went down on injury. Though she was able to skate off under her own power, that jam went 0-0. The strength of the Oly jammers seemed to be a significant advantage for them, as larger, more powerful jammers like Atomatrix, Heffer and Tannibal Lector were able to block their own holes open in the pack while the smaller RMRG jammers like She Who Cannot Be Named and Whipity Pow had more trouble shrugging off hard hits. For the first half, Oly dominated the lead jammer battle. In the jammer position, only De Ranged's mix of speed and strength seemed particularly effective throughout the bout for RMRG.
After about 13 minutes, Oly held a small 21-9 lead, but it was a De Ranged powerjam that finally got Rocky Mountain on the board in a big way, as she rumbled for a 14-0 that put Rocky in the lead 23-21 about halfway through the opening 30.
Blonde n Bitchin', D Bomb and Tannibal Lector had De Ranged's number on her next turn with the star, though, and Oly took back the lead 25-23 on the back of a 4-0 turn from Atomatrix. Oly continued to increase their lead through the following few jams, but couldn't drop any big jams.
While Oly had cleaner jamming through the first half and was rarely stuck with the star in the box, Rocky Mountain was fairly effective at speeding up the pack to avoid big losses on those powerjams. Oly was only able to pick up about 4 or 5 points when they had unopposed opportunities, and they were often forced to call jams while unopposed because the RMRG blockers had complete control of the speed of the pack. That left the score at Oly 40, Rocky Mountain 23 with 5 minutes left in the half.
Rocky Mountain finally got a long-delayed lead jammer call for Whipity Pow in the half's second to last jam, and had a powerjam on top of it, but while it got some more points on the board for RMRG, the margin hadn't changed too much by the half. Oly was up 47-35 at the break.
Ten minutes into the second half, Oly had managed to increase that lead a little bit, particularly with the help of a 9-0 powerjam going to Heffer at the 25:00 mark. That placed the score at Oly 69, Rocky Mountain 46 with 19:24 left to play. However, it was right about here that Oly began to assert control over the bout. They dropped 28 unanswered points on Rocky Mountain over 7 jams before Rocky Mountain's De Ranged finally got the home team back on the board, but by that time Oly held a 101-48 lead with 11:30 left on the clock.
Apparently sensing the game was about to slip away, Rocky Mountain started handing the jam star to De Ranged over and over again, running her almost every other jam for the next series. Mostly on De Ranged's jamming, RMRG did narrow the margin slightly to 101-63, but Oly's Atomatrix continued to put on a clinic of her own, dropping a 11-0 with 5 minutes left to play that was the nail in the coffin. Oly was up 112-63 at that point, and there wouldn't be enough time for the hometown crew to close the gap.
Oly's first place finish gives them a bye in the first round of November's Nationals; they will draw the winner of Gotham / Detroit in the tournament's second round. Rocky Mountain will face down the South Central's third seed, Houston, in the first round.
3rd place: (2W) Denver 172, (4W) Rat City 94 - Denver quickly redeemed themselves after their heartbreaking controversial loss to rivals Rocky Mountain on Saturday, using their speed and pack control to consistently open up the margin on a penalty-prone Rat City.
The first half of this bout was easily the most penalty-laden of all the tournament's bouts, as both teams' penalty box filled up in the very first jam and Denver's jammer Heather Juska ended up jamming in the first three jams due to ending the first two penalized. Regardless, Denver had a lead in the end of the sequence, up 15-4 after five minutes, and they never let that lead go.
More penalties rained down for the subsequent 25 minutes, but they fell on Rat City much more often, garnering quite a bit of booing from the partisans in the stands. It seemed that Rat City had 2 blockers in the boxes for nearly the first 10 minutes of the bout, as the queue backed up and many Rat City blockers had to await their turns in the box. Denver's skill at drawing back-blocking penalties on Rat City jammers with last-second lateral movement from their blockers was a major part of that.
At halftime, Denver held a 81-43 lead, still doable for the Rat crew, but they could not close against a Denver team -- partially due to Denver's defense but also due to Rat City's propensity for consistently losing powerjam opportunities when unopposed Rat City jammers hit the box. Rat City was within striking distance at 109-85 with 12:33 to play, but Denver slammed the door on them at that point, dropping 48 unanswered points to make the margin an insurmountable 157-85 with 4:10 left on the clock.
Denver finished in 3rd place for the tournament and will face Kansas City in the first round of Nationals; Rat City misses the Nationals for the first time in their existence.
5th/6th Place: (5W) Bay Area 105, (6W) Duke City 103 -- Recap to come.
See DNN's archived boutcast here.
9th/10th Place: (9W) Tucson 185, (7W) Pikes Peak 91 -- Tucson opened up a significant lead in the first half of this one with jammers Sami Automatic and Luce Bandit leading the charge, and they also got a little bit of help from some questionably timed jam calls on the part of PPDD lead jammers -- more than a few times, PPDD held lead but waited too long to call it, allowing potential 4-0 jams to become ties. The Tucson lead hovered around 20 points for the first part of the half until they opened it up on a big 15-0 for Myna N Possession, making it 57-20 with ten minutes left in the half.
Pikes got something going at the very end of the period -- they faced a 73-32 deficit with five minutes to play, but two powerjams in a row went 9-0 for Pikes, and they ended with a 4-0 for Kamilla Bloodspilla to make it just a 19 point difference at 73-54.
Unfortunately for Pikes, the second half was practically all Tucson, and on top of that Pikes Peak jammers took a number of avoidable penalties, particularly big track cuts that left them boxed while Tucson blockers Deadlock Doe Holiday, Helen Wheels and Sunni Sideup blasted open holes for their own jammers. Tucson outscored Pikes in the second half 112-37, cruising in a much easier final 30 minutes.
Tucson finished in 9th place, keeping their original seeding; Pikes Peak was the only team to finish the weekend winless at 0-3, and landed in last place for the tournament.