Santa Cruz Derby Girls (#7) vs. Philly Roller Derby (#8)
The Santa Cruz Derby Girls Boardwalk Bombshells of Santa Cruz, California, U.S. (Seed #7, WFTDA #19) and the Liberty Belles of Philly Roller Derby of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. (Seed #8, WFTDA #25) proved to be as evenly matched as their seedings would suggest in the second consolation game of the 2017 International WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs Dallas. Philly ultimately took the win, 156–106.
Santa Cruz was upset by the home team Dallas Derby Devils of Dallas, Texas, U.S. (Seed #10, WFTDA #34) on Friday in their first game of the tournament, while Philly had taken a win against Arizona Roller Derby of Phoenix, Arizona, U.S. (Seed #9, WFTDA #27) that same day before falling to tournament top seed Victorian Roller Derby League of Melbourne, Australia (Seed #1, WFTDA #1) by 264 points.
The Santa Cruz-Philly game started off with slow, grinding packs that prevented both teams from scoring for the first five minutes of game play. Santa Cruz’s Mystery Violence Theater put the first three points up on the board as both teams locked down their defense early on. The next jam saw the first and only lead change of the game as Philly took the narrow lead they would continue to carry through to the second half. Both teams continued to be strategic and methodical as they denied each other from going on significant scoring runs, keeping the score low and the walls tight. The first half ended 65-48 in favor of Philly.
Both teams pumped up the energy in the second half of what continued to be a low-scoring game. Santa Cruz began to eat away at at Philly’s lead early in the second half but Philly soon clapped back, enjoying a more comfortable 50-point lead for most of the period. Jammers were forced to dig into the floor as both teams continued to play staunch, physical defense, ultimately relying on speed to put points on the board. Philly blocker ZipBlok demonstrated tremendous control in her positional blocking while Russian Bayou delivered hard and effective hits.
The last jam was very representative of the game as a whole, running the full two minutes with watertight defense on both sides. Philly’s Buenos D. A$$, the highest-scoring jammer in the game, was out of the pack first but did not pass all blockers legally and could not earn lead jammer status. Yeti Or Not, Here I Come — who transferred to Santa Cruz from Twin State Derby this season — went to the penalty box on a blocking-with-the-head penalty, allowing Philly to score nine unanswered points and take the game 156–106.
Santa Cruz has been training with Bay Area Derby of San Francisco, California, U.S. (WFTDA #10) in the offseason in preparation for this tournament.
“It’s really helped us bring our game up and it’s something I definitely hope to continue in the future,” said Boardwalk Bombshell blocker Shamrock N. Roller.
Philly has had a rough season this year, falling from the Top 20 in the WFTDA rankings for the first time in history. This has been the last game of the weekend for both teams. Philly will be hosting the 2017 International WFTDA Championships Philadelphia from Nov. 3–5.
Philly Roller Derby (Seed #8, WFTDA #25) 156
Santa Cruz Derby Girls (Seed #7, WFTDA #19) 106