Santa Cruz Derby Girls (#7) vs. Dallas Derby Devils (#10)
The Dallas Derby Devils’ Army of Darkness of Dallas, Texas, U.S. (Seed #10, WFTDA #34) pulled off the first upset of the 2017 International WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs Dallas in their game against Santa Cruz Derby Girls’ Boardwalk Bombshells, of Santa Cruz, California, U.S. (Seed #7, WFTDA #19). Dallas, the tournament hosts, came from behind in the last jam, ending the game 170–162.
The odds were stacked in favor of Santa Cruz for most of the first half. The Californian team defended their superior seeding with tenacity, steadily increasing their point differential, which peaked at 29. Meanwhile, Dallas displayed a strong defense as well, effectively killing a penalty by Miley Virus early on in the half and preventing Santa Cruz’s TARAism from scoring. Santa Cruz’s lead was threatened halfway through the first period, however, when Skirt Vonna-gut granted Dallas power jams in two consecutive jams, which allowed them to chip away at the point differential, coming within seven points at 52–45. The first lead change of the game occurred after a penalty from Santa Cruz jammer Yeti Or Not, Here I Come; which brought the score to 52–54 in favor of the host team. Dallas took this momentum and ran with it, holding Santa Cruz scoreless for seven consecutive jams. The score was 72–85 at halftime.
Santa Cruz emerged from the locker room reinvigorated and ready to reclaim their seeding, flipping the lead in the second jam of the period with a 10-point scoring jam by Queen Litigious that brought the score to 91–85. Dallas jammer Jett responded with five points of her own in the next jam of what was now a one-point game, 91–90. After getting Santa Cruz’s attention, three jammer penalties from Dallas in the first eleven minutes of gameplay and, at times, erratic defense, allowed the Boardwalk Bombshells to take a narrow lead for the next 13 jams — never by more than 17 points.
With a little over two minutes left on the period clock Santa Cruz’s Mystery Violence Theater was out for lead jammer but was outscored by Jett 4–2, ending the jam 162–148 in favor of the Boardwalk Bombshells. The crowd reached a fever pitch in the penultimate jam of the game as Anita Riot — a talented and seasoned jammer who had been jamming with mixed success throughout the game — brought the score to a tie at 162–162 after a 14-point jam with only 45 seconds left on the period clock. With renewed vivacity, the Army of Darkness cranked up the intensity in the last jam of the game as Santa Cruz jammer Queen Litigious went to the box on an out-of-bounds block. Dallas jammer Bayleigh Wheat capitalized on the power jam with eight additional points, ending the game 162–170 in a last-minute upset in favor of Dallas.
The Santa Cruz Derby Girls have had a strong season and their hard work was evident throughout the game, with solid defensive formations and effective, aggressive jamming. Dallas, in turn, had a dramatic drop in the rankings late in the season after losing their past six games to high-ranked teams, including a 211-point defeat by the Texas Rollergirls, who they will face tonight at 8 p.m. Central Daylight Time in a game that is sure to excite local fans as both teams play in their home state of Texas.
Visibly exhilarated from her team’s win, The Little Murdermaid of the Dallas Derby Devils said of their fellow Texan team, “They’re awesome. They’re like sisters to me. I’m really excited to be able to play Texas in my last tournament.”
Santa Cruz will play the second game of the consolation bracket on Saturday at 4 p.m. Central Daylight Time against either Victorian Roller Derby League or Philly Roller Derby.
Dallas Derby Devils (Seed #10, WFTDA #34) 170
Santa Cruz Derby Girls (Seed #7, WFTDA #19) 162