2010 Championships Preview: Team Profiles
Oly (#2 WFTDA West, #3 DNN nationally )
First Bout: vs. Nashville, 7:15 Friday
2010 WFTDA record: 12-1
2010 biggest win: 267-19 over Tucson, October 1 (West Region Playoffs)
2010 biggest loss: 127-86 to Rocky Mountain, October 3 (West Region Playoffs)
2010 closest bout: 121-101 win over Rocky Mountain, May 22
2010 background: Up until the final of the West Region playoffs, Oly spent the year repeatedly doing what they'd done all through 2009: winning and putting just enough space between themselves and their opponent to make it convincing but not dominating. Oly played a fairly strong strength of schedule this year, facing 6 teams that made it to this year's Championships and defeating all of them (though RMRG, of course, would get revenge in the end).
Tournament history: Oly debuted in WFTDA play last year and swept to victory in both the regional tournament and Nationals. With their march to the final game of this year's Regionals as well, they hold the best postseason winning percentage in the sport at 8-1 (3-0 in national-championship play).
Lowdown: The Olympia crew has long been a fan of relatively small-ball derby -- though they obviously have the speed to put up huge scores, they often prefer to take repeated single-or-double pass jam wins and call instead of going for the hugely lopsided jams wins. Oly did some have some tactical weaknesses exposed in their game against Rocky Mountain, where they lost situational advantages by calling too early or allowed a leading Rocky Mountain to drain precious time off the clock by playing jammer defense at inopportune times. That hadn't previously been a problem from Oly because usually the score was never close enough to put them in danger of losing -- but Rocky Mountain didn't hand them any similar advantages, contributing to the upset. Notably, Oly's next game against Windy City represented a much higher point than usual as Oly rolled to a 220-61 rout, raising the possibility that the Rocky loss inspired a change in plans.
Players to watch: Like Rocky Mountain, Oly is a fount of ludicrous skating talent. Sassy, often found at the front of the pack, has possibly the most effective one-on-one booty block in the game with an incredible ability to hold opposing jammers just within the engagement zone, and Tannibal Lector excels at trapping players out of bounds with near-instantaneous block-out-and stops (often adding in some fancy footwork to avoid opponents trying free their jammer from the trap). Heffer and Atomatrix, the 2009 DNN Reader Choice for Most Valuable Player, lead the jamming attack with support from 2010 transfers Licker N Split (previously of Rose City) and Harmony Killerbruise (previously of Minnesota). The only apparent change on the Oly lineup from the Westerns 20-skater roster is ex-Rose City skater Chest Nutz replacing Punchin' Judy.
Road to the championship: While it would certainly not be accurate to say that Oly has an easy road to the final game, they do probably have the path of least resistance. Their first round opponent, Nashville, has never faced a team of Oly's abilities before, and the most likely following opponents, Windy City and Philly, have both already lost to Oly this year. Any scenario that doesn't see Oly in this year's championship game would have to be seen as an upset by any measure. If they do indeed arrive there, they will very likely be either in a rematch of the West final with Rocky Mountain, or in a rematch of one of 2009's best games at Nationals, where Oly got past Gotham 136-105.
Roster: 03 Atomatrix // 2 Sassy // 2TON Heffer // 2X Scara ta Death // 4X4 Wheel-Her // 5 B Tease N // 8 D-Bomb // 9 Tannibal Lector // 9MM Clitty Clitty Bang! Bang! // 18 Femme Fatale // 22 Riot Girl // 27 Trickk Tracy // 28 Blonde an' Bitchin // 29 Rettig to Rumble // 38 Deadly Aim // 75 Harmony Killerbruise // 127 Chest-Nutz // 523 Licker*N*Split // 911 Intended Anger // 1964 Mary Stoppins