Weekend Preview: 8/24/2012
photo: Axle Adams
Top WFTDA Action
(10) Minnesota @ (12) Rose City (Friday), (10) Minnesota @ (5) Oly (Saturday), (10) Minnesota @ (6) Rat City (Sunday) -- Minnesota (6-4-1) goes on their final road trip of a very effectively scheduled season as they hit the Pacific Northwest to try their luck against some of the best of the West. Tonight's clash between Minnesota and Rose City should be a particularly interesting one, as both teams appeared at late July's Rollercon, did not face one another and went winless on the weekend, with Minnesota losing to Denver, Philly and Rocky Mountain and Rose City losing to Denver and Philly. Rose City, though, now has two very important offensive weapons back on the track, as White Flight comes back from a minor meniscus injury and Soulfearic Acid is again available -- with those key elements back, Rose's chances look a lot better than they did immediately following Rollercon.
Saturday finds Minnesota up against Oly -- Oly made big news this week by announcing the return of 2011 stars Atomatrix and Hockey Honey and the addition of Team USA captain Joy Collision to their 20 skater charter this week, but none of the three will be playing in this game. Though Oly went all the way the final game of the WFTDA championships last year, Minnesota represents their first top-ten competition of 2012. Thus far this year, Oly's most highly ranked opponent was Naptown (#15 DNN, 3NC WFTDA), who Oly dispatched by 160 points. Currently Oly is 5-0 on the year and hasn't really been challenged yet.
MNRG wraps it up on Sunday against Rat City, who have had a very strong August -- they blew out tough Charm City 281-186, also handily defeated Steel City and DC, and came within 25 points of the #3 MRDA team, Puget Sound, when Puget Sound won a closely contested men vs women exhibition last weekend, 218-193. Rat City is 7-2 in WFTDA sanctioned play for the year.
Minnesota vs Rose City will be streamed live tonight courtesy of Rose City. Action begins at 8pm Pacific (11pm Eastern) on Friday, August 24.
(11) Texas @ (6) Rat City (Saturday), (11) Texas @ (5) Oly (Sunday) -- Minnesota won't be the only out-of-region interlopers in the Pacific Northwest this weekend, as Texas also comes in to play two of the same opponents. TXRG is coming off a tough weekend at the Star of Texas Bowl last month, where they went 0-3 with losses to Windy City, Bay Area and Gotham; that arrested the momentum of a strong season that had seen them open 7-1.
History suggests the losing streak might continue through this weekend.Texas has not been able to defeat Rat City since a classic playoff battle in 2008, and has lost to Oly in both their meetings; once during the regular season in 2010 and once in the final game of the 2009 WFTDA Nationals. On the other hand, Oly is looking quite a bit different than they were in 2010, and Rat City's last two wins against Texas -- by 16 and 8 points -- could have easily gone the other way.
(2) Denver @ (9) Windy City -- This is the final game of the regular season for both the squads, and is a rematch three years in the making. When the teams last faced each other at the 2009 WFTDA Nationals, Denver was a surprise upstart and Windy City, coming off a 2nd-place finish at the 2008 Nationals and a nearly undefeated 2009, had their eyes on a return to the championship game. But as they'd done to Kansas City in the opening round, Denver unveiled a then-revolutionary slow and reverse-direction game that baffled the more traditional opposition, booting WCR out of the tournament in their first game -- a pattern that has continued for Windy City every year since.
This year's Windy City has seen a series of memorable up and downs -- a late comeback win against Texas, late-comeback losses to both Bay Area and Rose City, a surprisingly stiff upset loss to Charm City and a completely unprecedented tie against Minnesota -- and sits at 4-4-1 in sanctioned play. Denver looks to be having one of their best years ever, though, with triple-digit wins over Bay Area, Kansas City, Minnesota and Rose City (though Rose was depleted at the time and had beaten them earlier in the season. Currently Denver is 6-2.
Windy City rosters a couple of mid-season call-ups in Ska Face and Phoebe Fi Fo Fum, both of whom made their WFTDA-sanctioned debut at Star of Texas. Key Denver blocker Gabrielle Begeman is pregnant and presumably finished for the season.
Denver vs Windy City will be streamed live courtesy of Windy City. Coverage begins at 6pm Central on Saturday, August 25 with undercard of WCR Second Wind vs. DRD Bruising Altitude; Windy City vs Denver at approximately 7:30pm.
General WFTDA Action
West: Houston (25 DNN, 3SC WFTDA) goes out of region to take on 16W Santa Cruz (Fri) and 10W Sacred City (Sat); 30W Choice City also has a two-bout weekend against 33W Junction City (Sat) and playoff-bound 9W Wasatch (Sun); #34W Pueblo goes to unranked Ark Valley (Salida, CO).
South Central: 27SC Little City will likely have their hands full with 5SC Nashville; unranked Tragic City goes to 18SC Hard Knox; the East region's 26th-ranked Charlotte plays 9SC Tallahassee, 28SC ICT is up against 20SC Assassination City; unranked Red Stick plays 22SC Big Easy.
North Central: 17NC Killamazoo, fresh off of their first-ever defeat of Grand Raggidy last weekend, plays 27NC Derby City; the South Central's Mid Iowa, who just barely missed the playoffs by ranking 11 in their region, venture into the North Central to play 19NC Old Capitol City.
East: There are also just two WFTDA games in the East region this weekend as 12E Queen City goes to 22E Central NY and 28E Lowcountry visits 16E Columbia.