2017 D1 Playoffs Dallas Game 3: Atlanta vs. Wasatch

Atlanta Rollergirls (#5) vs. Wasatch Roller Derby (#12)

Game 3 of the 2017 International WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs Dallas saw the first-ever matchup between the Wasatch Roller Derby Midnight Terror of Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S. and the Atlanta Rollergirls Dirty South Derby Girls of Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. After playing for two years in Division 2, Wasatch pulled themselves up the rankings this season to No. 40, allowing them to make the D1 tournament cutoff and earn a 12th seed in Dallas. Their seeding pitted them against the veterans of Atlanta (Seed #5, WFTDA #13) in their first game, and while Wasatch put up a strong effort in their return to Division 1 play, they could not hold back the Dirty South’s considerable blocker and jammer talent and Atlanta came away with a commanding 412-68 victory.

Atlanta started off the game with two quick leads where they picked up a couple of points and called it before the Wasatch jammer could try to score. For most of the first half, Atlanta ran a dominant five jammer rotation of Afro Dykee, Trouble MakeHer, Slams McKenzie, and Jammunition that held the Salt Lake City Team scoreless. That was until almost seven minutes into gameplay, when a late call off from Trouble MakeHer allowed pivot-turned-jammer Sookie Slaphouse to sneak in one point — the first point on the board for Wasatch in the game. The score was 24-1, Atlanta.

Atlanta continued to dominate, putting up multiple scoring passes while holding Wasatch to that single point. It wasn’t until almost fifteen minutes into the half that the Midnight Terror earned their first lead jammer status of the game. Wasatch jammer Wreckless spun her way along the outside line on her toe stops, but wasn’t able to add points on the board as Afro Dykee was hot on her heels. Wreckless had to call the jam and leave the score 56-1.

Wasatch started strategically running jams long the few times when they were able to snatch lead, which gave them some room to add more points in their favor. With these long jams, the score grew to 129-30. But Atlanta responded with a couple of huge jams to keep the differential heavily weighted in their favor. One-on-one blocking from Queen Loseyateefa and Blaque Jac stymied the Wasatch jammers while the elegant jamming style of Ana Cheng gave the Georgians a 34-0 jam with just over two minutes left in the half. Ana Cheng, a recent transfer from Tampa Roller Derby, had a standout performance throughout the game. Ana’s former Tampa teammate and current Atlanta teammate, Blaque Jac, speaking of Ana’s transition to Atlanta said, “Ana is aware and smart. She plays cleanly and has a smooth jammer style. These things have definitely transferred to our team. We skate more cleanly and patiently.”

2017 International WFTDA Playoffs: Dallas - Game 3: Atlanta vs Wasatch
Danforth Johnson

The score at half was 193-30 in favor of Atlanta. Wasatch looked to be trying to take the momentum right away in the second half as Sookie Slaphouse, Wasatch’s highest scorer with 38 points, juked around Atlanta Blockers Baller Shot Caller, Madditude Adjustment, Queen Loseyateefa, and Blaque Jac to put up 14 points while Afro Dykee sat the box.

Atlanta, however, would draw from their first half success and return to shut down every jammer Wasatch threw at them. Blaque Jac explained, “With Ana coming to Atlanta, it gave us a different style of jammer to practice with and against. It made us more adaptable.” Ana Cheng continued her stellar performance by putting up 18 point, 34 point, and 25 point jams in the second half —  ultimately closing the game with 143 points to her name.

As the second period carried on, Atlanta blockers really locked down on Wasatch jammers while Jammunition, Slams McKenzie, and Afro Dykee all had massive jams of their own for the Dirty South, putting up 23, 32 and 20 points in a single jam respectively. The coordinated offense when the opposing jammer was in the box really showed as Atlanta capitalized on power jams, helping them to end the game with a solid 412-68 victory. On playing offense, Blaque Jac said, “I’ve always known what Ana likes and because she’s so communicative. The rest of the team learned quickly and adapted to her style of jamming, and our other jammers picked up on what she did that’s successful.”

Atlanta moves on to face the Minnesota RollerGirls of Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S. tomorrow at 9 a.m. CDT to determine which team will be going to 2017 WFTDA Championships. Wasatch will next play Sunday morning in the consolation bracket.


Atlanta Rollergirls (Seed #5, WFTDA #13) 412
Wasatch Roller Derby (Seed #12, WFTDA #40) 68

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