Brandywine Roller Derby (D2 #1) vs. Charlottesville Derby Dames (D2 #2)
The 2016 International WFTDA Championships in Portland, Ore. started with grappling play between Division 2 teams, the Brandywine Roller Derby Belligerents of Downingtown, Pa., USA (D2 Wichita #1, WFTDA #50) and the Charlottesville Derby Dames All-Stars of Charlottesville, Va., USA (D2 Lansing #2, WFTDA #52). The point pendulum shifted from one team to the other up until the final minute of the game. In a show of blocking strength and jammer confidence, Brandywine pulled out a win, 205–200, over Charlottesville.
Brandywine took an early lead, pulling ahead by 26 points after a 16-point jam from Raggedy Aneurysm, despite the efforts by Charlottesville blockers B-One Bomber and LeeLoo Dallas Multismash. An official timeout only three jams into the game gave Charlottesville a chance to reconsider strategy, coming out at jam four with 25 points from River Styx Phoenix, aided by two trips to the box by Brandywine jammer Buenos D. A$$. Charlottesville then went on a 24–0 scoring run for the next four jams.
The skaters slowed to a halt at the 21:39 minute mark when a scoreboard malfunction paused play for over seven minutes. Prior to the pause, Brandywine found themselves in foul trouble, as Buenos D. A$$ took two trips to the box, followed by a trip by teammate and jammer Lurz Lemon.
Play resumed, and it looked like Brandywine had reconfigured its offensive strategy, holding back jammers Boom! ShakeTheRoom and Spank Puncherella from Charlottesville, allowing jammers Raggedy and Buenos to score 32–4 over the All-Stars. From jam 11 to jam 14, jammers from each team had a total of six penalties, and the score continued to see-saw from jam to jam. With only eight minutes left in the first, Charlottesville’s offense and defense synched, however, and the team scored 65 unanswered points to slide into a comfortable, 44-point lead. Jammers River Styx Phoenix and Boom! scored 20-point jams and team captain Machete put up 18 for the team, giving Charlottesville a lead of 128–72 over Brandywine going into the half.
“We took a breath [during halftime], and we realized we were playing their game,” Brandywine jammer Raggedy Aneurysm said. “We worked on focusing on offensive with clear objectives each jam.”
During the first period of play, not a single jam saw both teams scoring simultaneously. That trend was bucked in the second period, however, starting from its first jam, in which River Styx Phoenix nabbed lead, but Buenos D. A$$ managed a tight follow-up as she scored 12 to River’s 14. Charlottesville had a successful official review in the second half, asking for a point to be removed from Brandywine’s score in the fourth jam. The points were adjusted, and Charlottesville maintained its strong lead, 151–101 with 22:57 left in play.
The tides of play changed in Brandywine’s favor as the team had outscored the All-Stars out of Virginia 44–26 by the sixth jam. That’s not to say the Charlottesville blockers were sitting down on the job; during the middle of the second period, blockers The Big Bangarang and Revenga d’Nerd managed to put Slamshine Allie in the box for a back block and help jammer Machete pick up 23 points.
With just over eight minutes left in play, Brandywine had tightened the gap to a mere 19 points, a bridge they prepared to cross on their way to victory and a chance at play in the Division 2 Championship game on Sunday. During the final five jams, Brandywine managed to put up 33 points to the nine that Charlottesville put on the scoreboard. In the final jam, Brandywine blockers Ke$ha Later, ThumpHER, Rapid ArrhythMIA, and Slamshine Allie put on a blocking clinic against Charlottesville jammer River Styx Phoenix, never letting her pass, as Raggedy put up just enough — 10 points — to take the victory. As the clock wound down, Raggedy called off the jam, securing her team’s victory.
“Because I was able to trust my teammates, I was also able to make some potentially risky moves as a jammer,” Raggedy Aneurysm said. “We gel well as a team. And ultimately, I knew that if I just trusted them it would all work out in the end.”
Brandywine moves on to play the winner of the Division 2 game between Calgary Roller Derby Association (D2 Lansing #1, WFTDA #48) and Blue Ridge Rollergirls (D2 Wichita #2, WFTDA #43) in the D2 Championship game on Sunday at 2 p.m. Charlottesville will play for third on Sunday at noon.
Brandywine Roller Derby (D2 Wichita #1) 205
Charlottesville Derby Dames (D2 Lansing #2) 200