Rose City Rollers (#1) vs. Arch Rival Roller Derby (#3)
The last of the quarterfinal games at the 2017 International WFTDA Championships Philadelphia saw the Rose City Rollers of Portland, Oregon, U.S. (Seed #1, WFTDA #2) face Arch Rival Roller Derby of St. Louis, Missouri, U.S. (Seed #3, WFTDA #7), a matchup that had not occurred since 2014. Arch Rival had emerged victorious from their first game the previous day, with a blowout win against the London Rollergirls of London, England (Seed #3, WFTDA #8). This was Rose City’s first game of the tournament. While Rose dominated almost from the beginning, Arch Rival picked up the pace in the second half, chipping away at the point differential. The game ended at 237–109 for Rose City.
Rival’s Bricktator opened the game, earning lead jammer status and putting the first five points on the board. St. Louis continued to lead for the next three jams but soon lost their grasp on the game as Reptar got the first of her jammer penalties, allowing Loren Mutch to go on a 25-point scoring run that resulted in a major lead change. For rest of the period, Arch Rival’s defense, though strong and reactive, struggled to contain Rose City’s powerful jammers. A well-executed arm whip from Jes Rivas early in the game had fans cheering as Loren Mutch sped around the track, cutting through Arch Rival’s blockers with ease. Rose City held their opponents scoreless for as many as nine jams at a time, with stellar blocking from defensive trio Sarah Gaither, Tarantula, and Elicia Nisbet-Smith. With three minutes left in the half, and just as Arch Rival’s blockers were beginning to become scattered, Rose City jammer Frisky Biscuits went to the penalty box on a track cut. Arch Rival’s Swanson took the opportunity to score 14 points — the most Saint Louis had scored in a single jam up to that point — and effectively double their score. The score at halftime was 143–31 for Rose City.
Although Rose City would continue to lead the second half, Arch Rival emerged from the locker room with newfound confidence, bringing more vigor to what had already started as an intensely physical and fast-paced game. Ex-Gotham powerhouse Bonnie Thunders, aided by Rose City’s sweeping offense, put up a 24-point jam early in the second period. Soon after, a star pass to another Gotham transfer, Vicious Van Go Go, now skating mainly as an Arch Rival pivot, earned the St. Louis team a 17–4 jam. With renewed focus, Arch Rival began running longer jams, matching Rose City’s points, and preventing them from scoring for several jams at a time. They put up a total of 78 points, compared to the 31 they had eked out in the previous period. The damage had already been done, however, and the game ended 237–109 in favor of Rose City.
Bonnie Thunders and Loren Mutch were the highest-scoring jammers for Rose City, with 75 and 74 points respectively. Swanson was the top scorer for Arch Rival with 35 points, followed by Bolt Action with 29. Both teams were missing key jammers due to injury, with Licker n’ Split absent from Rose City’s rotation and Arch Rival’s Harmony Killerbruise recovering from an injury from the previous day.
Beyond ThunderDame, a Big Easy Rollergirls transfer and recent addition to Rose City’s jammer rotation, reflected on Rose’s standing as WFTDA Champions for the past two years: “There are so many great teams. We don’t take anything for granted and have made sure we put in even more work this year, knowing that people are going to be gunning for us.”
Arch Rival will play the Crime City Rollers in the consolation bracket Sunday at 2 p.m. EST. Rose City advances to the semifinal against Gotham Girls Roller Derby tonight at 8 p.m. EST. The winner will play the final game at 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Rose City Rollers of Portland, Oregon, U.S. (Seed #1, WFTDA #2) 237
Arch Rival Roller Derby of St. Louis, Missouri, U.S. (Seed #3, WFTDA #7) 109