Victorian Roller Derby League (#1) vs. Rose City Rollers (#1)
Victorian Roller Derby League of Melbourne, Australia (Seed #1, WFTDA #1), will be returning home with the Hydra trophy after beating the Rose City Rollers of Portland, Oregon, U.S. (Seed #1, WFTDA #2), in the final game of the 2017 International WFTDA Championships with a final score of 180-101. This is the first Hydra win for Victoria, and the first time a team from outside of the U.S. has placed taken gold in the championships.
Victoria had a powerhouse weekend. The team played its first game of the tournament Friday night, besting Montréal Roller Derby of Montréal, Québec, Canada (Seed #3, WFTDA #9), in a 253-99 victory. The teamwent on to defeat Denver Roller Derby of Denver, Colorado, U.S. (Seed #2, WFTDA #5), by a score of 287-65 in the semifinal matchup on Saturday. Victoria was able to carry the momentum of those wins into the final game against the defending champion Wheels of Justice from Rose to take an early, commanding lead that it maintained for the majority of the game.
Victoria jammer Lady Trample, named the tournament MVP after the game, put the first points on the board with a 3-0 lead over Rose’s Loren Mutch. Fellow Victoria jammer Christy Demons followed suit in the next jam by adding another 4 unanswered points of her own.
Portland jammer Brute had a successful run to tie the score as blockers Jessica Chestnut, Gal of Fray and Simonis kept Victoria on lockdown. But with great footwork off the lines and coordinated assistance from their blockers, Victoria’s jammers were able to capture most of the lead statuses of the half and added to their score to end the first 30 minutes with a 99-32 lead.
Victoria started the second half in much the same way, holding Rose to that same 32 points for several jams. Blockers on both sides played a huge role in the game, stopping scoring passes from their opposition, killing power jams and leaving several jams without a lead for a minute or more.
However, jammers from both teams remained undeterred even after bone-shaking hits,. VRDL jammer Sarah Chambers had the highest-scoring jam of the game with 18 points halfway through the second period, but Rose City jammer Bonnie Thunders answered two jams later with 17 points of her own.
Thunders’ jam gave Rose the momentum needed to mount a last-minute comeback push, as Rose’s jammers somehow found a way to through impossibly tiny gaps in the pack and emerged with lead jammer status in five of the last seven jams in the game, holding VRDL to 14 points as the remaining minutes ticked down into single digits. But VRDL’s sizeable lead and tenacious blocking held strong, and with a lead jammer call for Chambers as the period clock expired, VRDL earned the right to call the jam off and end the game victorious.
Victoria jammer Lady Trample was the highest scorer of the game with 61 points, followed close behind by teammate Christy Demons with 60. Bonnie Thunders scored the most points for Rose City with 46.
Victorian Roller Derby League (Seed #1, WFTDA #1): 180
Rose City Rollers (Seed #1 WFTDA #2): 101