Victorian Roller Derby League (Vancouver #1) vs Jacksonville Rollergirls (Columbia #3)
Victorian Roller Derby League of Melbourne, Vic., Australia (D1 Vancouver #1, WFTDA #2) dominated Jacksonville Rollergirls of Jacksonville, Fla, USA (D1 Columbia #3, WFTDA #10) in Game 7 of the 2016 International WFTDA Championships, and in doing so squashed any hope of another upset for the New Jax City Rollers. Victorian outscored Jacksonville 231–98 to advance to semifinal play on Saturday night.
Many agree that having the first round bye can be both a blessing and a curse, as teams miss out on developing any momentum from Friday to carry into Saturday play. The Victoria All-Stars needed no such momentum for their game against Jacksonville; in fact, the Australians created their own momentum by winning lead jammer status 16 of 19 jams in the first half. In only two of those 16 jams did Jacksonville outscore Victoria, and the differential in those two jams amounted to only 13 points. Power jams were a wash between the two teams — both had three — and both teams scored 37 points during their jammer’s singular time on the track.
“We all flew in on Wednesday and practiced on Thursday to make sure the bye wouldn’t affect our level of play,” Serelson said. “Practice also gave us the opportunity to feel out the sport court.”
With just 4:27 left to play in the first half, the officials called a timeout to discuss the level of play and the legality of hits, as Jacksonville’s Patti Smithereens received a warning for an out of play penalty. Victoria captain Shaina Serelson called for an official review on the same hit, requesting an expulsion. The official review was denied and play resumed. Victoria continued to gain lead status and held Jacksonville to four points in the final four jams of the period; during that time, Victoria scored 18. The period ended with a 66 point spread, 122–56, in favor of the Australian team.
During the second period, Jacksonville tightened up their offense to gain lead status as many times as Victoria. Unfortunately, the team from Florida failed to capitalize on the improved status; they scored 42 points — 14 fewer than they did in the first period — despite gaining lead in 10 jams.
Victorian jammers Giles and Christy Demons led the Australian jammers with 58 points each, while Erin Jackson of Jacksonville scored 44. With nearly 10 minutes of play remaining, Jacksonville managed to blank Victoria in five consecutive jams, during which they scored seven points. While Victoria accumulated more penalties than Jacksonville — 28 over Florida’s 26 — the Australians were able to spread theirs out over more skaters. The New Jax City Rollers lost blocker Patti Smithereens when she fouled out in the last jam of the game on an out of play penalty. The clock read 1:54 going into the last jam and transfer Super Maria lined up on the jam line for Victoria while Jamsterella wore the star for Jacksonville. A track cut on her initial pass put Jamsterella in the penalty box, and Super Maria scored 19 points; she checked the clock, and as it hit :00, she called the jam, ending the game. The spread was 133 points with Victoria at 231 and Jacksonville at 98.
“Jacksonville played an intense game, but we worked to stay calm and not let their play affect us,” Serelson said.
Victoria moves on to play in the semifinal match on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. PST against the winner of Rose City Rollers and Texas Rollergirls.
Victorian Roller Derby League (D1 Vancouver #1, WFTDA #2) 231
Jacksonville Rollergirls (D1 Columbia #3, WFTDA #10) 98