Jacksonville Roller Derby (#3) vs. Rat City (#6)
In the final game of day one of the 2017 International WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs Seattle, what was a slow start for the Rat City Rollergirls of Seattle, Washington, U.S. (#6, WFTDA #16) ended up as locked-down success against Jacksonville Roller Derby (#3, WFTDA #9) of Jacksonville, Florida, U.S. with the hometown heroes taking the 186-170 win in the first upset of the tournament.
The two teams had met twice before, including Jacksonville’s decisive win against Rat City in May of this season. It was Rat City’s second game of the day after handing a 225-83 defeat to the Mad Rollin’ Dolls of Madison, Wisconsin, U.S. (#11, WFTDA #37).
Despite Rat City’s Luna Negra earning lead jammer status in the first jam, Jacksonville dominated the next several minutes of the game, holding the Seattle team to a mere seven points as jammers Snot Rocket Science, Leanne Groll and Krispy Kreme-Her racked up 37 points. Things took a turn for Jacksonville after a forearm penalty sent Leanne Groll to the box and allowed Rat City’s Renegade Ruthie to earn 15 points, closing the score gap, 40-22, still in Jacksonville’s favor.
Rat City continued to eat away at Jacksonville’s lead over the course of the next five minutes, including a solid 11-point jam by Luna Negra, bringing the score to 48-37, with about 13 minutes left in the half. Rat City’s Alyssa Pray seemed to take lead jammer status but earned a forearm penalty, allowing Jacksonville’s Snot Rocket Science to nab the spot. However, strong defensive blocking from CeeCee kept Snot at bay and only able to earn eight points. Seattle’s Luna Negra came out strong in the next jam, putting 10 points on the board, and inching closer to Jacksonville, 56-47.
Jacksonville gained momentum the last 10 minutes of the first half, even with a huge 17-point jam by Rat City’s Alyssa Pray. Strong blocking by her teammate Carmen Getsome leveled Jax’s Snot Rocket Science and caused a track cut penalty in the last few seconds of jam 14. Snot came out of the penalty box strong, earning lead jammer status and nine points, while enjoying a power jam after a forearm penalty on Seattle jammer Luna Negra, bringing the score to 83-64 with Jacksonville still in the lead.
Even though Jacksonville was able to add two more points in the next jam, Rat City then held their opponents scoreless over the next seven jams while jammers Alyssa Pray, Luna Negra, Renegade Ruthie and Evergreen Jean added 26 more points to their total and a lead change in their favor – 88-85 – in the final jam of the first half.
The second half was a tough, physical game in which Jacksonville enjoy a brief lead change within the first minute. However, jammer penalties on Snot Rocket Science and Leanne Groll allowed Rat City to take back control, putting 24 more points on the board thanks to Renegade Ruthie and Luna Negra, bringing the score to 118-92 with about 24 minutes left in the game.
Jacksonville blockers Tic Tac Toni, Kayci “Scooter” Gallion and Eirinn Go Brawl helped Jacksonville learn lead jammer status in the next four jams, closing the point gap 123-119, still in Seattle’s favor. The two teams would jockey lead jammer status back and forth over the next seven minutes. An incredible 14-point jam by Jax’s Leanne Groll would almost even out the score, 142-141, with 10 minutes left in the game.
But Jacksonville would never overcome the hump, despite jammers Krispy Kreme-Her and Leanne Groll earning lead jammer status in the last two jams of the game. Rat City’s Luna Negra and Alyssa Pray scored a combined 32 points in the last four minutes of the half , solidifying the hometown team’s win over their higher-seeded opponent, a spot in Sunday’s medal-round games and a trip to the 2017 International WFTDA Division 1 Championships Philadelphia.
First, Rat City will take on the Angel City Derby Girls of Los Angeles, California, U.S. (#2, WFTDA #4) in Game 11 at 6 p.m. Saturday. Jacksonville will face the Charlottesville Derby Dames of Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S. (#12, WFTDA #39) in Game 10 at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Rat City Rollergirls (Seed #6, WFTDA 16) 186
Jacksonville Roller Derby (Seed #3, WFTDA #9) 170