2010 Championships Preview: Team Profiles
Kansas City (#1 WFTDA South Central, #11 DNN nationally )
First Bout: vs. winner of Philly / Madison, 1pm Saturday
2010 WFTDA record: 8-4
2010 biggest win: 353-25 over Northwest Arkansas, June 12
2010 biggest loss: 149-55 to Philly, August 14
2010 closest bout: 125-114 win over Omaha, May 22
2010 background: Of the teams that made it to Chicago, probably only Bay Area has seen a bigger turnaround in their fortunes over the course of this year. KCRW barely beat Omaha this year to kick off their year (Omaha ended up finishing 9th in their North Central tournament), and then lost to Atlanta to lose the #2 slot they'd held in the South Central since its 2009 inception. For the rest of the season, they alternated wins and losses and only got one win over a DNN top-25 team in a 40 point game over Cincinnati -- however, they played their best games at the end of the South Central tournament, beating Atlanta and outlasting Texas to win the tournament and take the top seed.
Tournament history: Kansas City has seen both the highest and lowest emotional points in postseason play. They took a stirring victory in the first WFTDA Nationals in 2007, stringing together 3 straight upsets over Gotham, Carolina and Rat City, but were then shocked in their first game at 2008 Western Regionals by Duke City and did not proceed to that year's Nationals. They went on to place second to Texas at 2009 Westerns and go one-and-out at that year's Nationals. This year, they once again got to be on the pleasant side of a huge upset when they took down Texas in the final of the South Central playoffs. KCRW holds an all-time post-season record of 12-5 (3-1 in national tournament play.)
Lowdown: After getting thwarted multiple times by slow-pack tactics over the last couple of years, Kansas City has visibly been working on those skills and deployed them very effectively against multiple opponents this year. Their win over Texas, in particular, came down to a single huge powerjam in which effective traps sprung Kelley Young for a 29-0 run. KCRW is also noticeably very effective in shorthanded situations -- even when reduced to two blockers on the track, they are very good at not allowing their blockers to get separated or lose control of the front.
Players to watch: Captain and primary blocker Bruz-Her had a spectacular performance in their regional playoffs, playing in almost every jam and constantly leveling opponents; she's joined in big hitting from Annie Maul and Eclipse. Kelley Young and Track Rat both have blazing speed and very good footwork that gets them through holes that often look too small for freedom, and quickly developing backup jammer Case Closed had a very good run of her own in Lincoln.
Road to the championship: Though Kansas City has been looking very good recently, they've still got a very difficult path to a second title. Their first-round bye will probably put them up against Philly on Saturday, a team which beat them by nearly 100 points in August. If they were to get past Philly, they'd still be stuck going up against Oly or Windy City in the semis. Though it's been two years since the last KCRW / WCR meeting, Windy City is responsible for giving KCRW their most lopsided loss ever, a 155-39 rout in 2008. Oly and Kansas City have never met, but given what Oly did to Windy City in their meeting just three weeks ago, it certainly doesn't seem that Oly would be any easier of a challenge.
Roster: D13 Dementia // 0 Eclipse // 4 Kelley Young // 8 Extremely Frank // 11 Jessika Rabid // 20 Dominant Jean // 22 Ruth Canal // 26 Bella Fire // 30 Hall Balls // 34 Case Closed // 42 Red Ripper // 44 Damsel of D'Tension // 69 Track Rat // 84 Tuff Noogies // 111 Annie Maul // 244 Bruz-Her // 816 Jade Lightning // 911 Patti Wackin // 999 Bad Omen // 2012 Evolution