Though the two teams had met before in unsanctioned play, the Windy City Rollers (seed #8) of Chicago, IL, USA and Team United Roller Derby (seed #5) of Des Moines, IA, USA had their first formal matchup Saturday afternoon at the 2016 International WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs Madison. Despite a low-scoring start to the game, Team United ultimately pulled away with the lead and ended victorious against Windy City, 197-82.
Windy City’s Mia Go Hamm earned the first points of the game in jam 2 with a quick 4-0. Team United met the challenge with 14 unanswered points from EnerGEEzer Bunny in the first and only lead change of the game. From there, Team United held Windy City to 13 points for 14 consecutive jams while racking up a massive 85 points for themselves.
Early on in the game, Team United jammer CROWE landed a huge apex jump, and the audience exploded in cheers. Two passes later she attempted again, but was unsuccessful and called off the jam after hitting the pack awkwardly. Windy City used their official review to protest the lack of back block call on CROWE, but the no-call was upheld.
Team United continued to earn lead jammer status through the first half, completing multiple passes and holding Windy scoreless. CROWE and Lolo Gunz displayed impressive footwork, dipping low and flipping around the outside lines, which the Windy blockers struggled to anticipate and control. The Whip cracked open the lead for Team United on a power jam in which she put up six scoring passes and a total of 27 points while Killanois was held scoreless with eight minutes left in the first half.
Fighting to get back in the game, Zoe Trocious picked up lead jammer for Windy, but was sent to box on a back block call. Upon returning to the track, she grabbed 5 points, which sent cheers through the Windy City fan section. But on her next pass, Zoe hit the pack hard and fell to the ground while clutching her face, forcing an injury call-off from the officials. Mia Go Hamm next wore the star for Windy City and picked up the second lead jammer status in a row for the Chicagoans. The two back-to-back leads for Windy City were met with loud support from the crowd, but the momentum soon swung back in favor of Team United as Killanois was assessed an illegal procedure for a uniform violation during an attempted Windy City star pass. Through the ensuing confusion, United jammer CROWE completed multiple scoring passes—including another huge apex jump—which earned her a total of 28 points in the jam. This stretched Team United’s lead out to 127-26. Bambi Bloodlust quickly followed up with eight points for Windy City, bringing the score to 127-34 at the end of the first period.
Windy City seemed to return from the locker room stronger and more focused. Their defense stepped up mightily in the second half, showing off adept defensive skills when at full strength and holding United scoreless for multiple jams in a row. Their jammers also had early success, and Killanois was able to take advantage of distracted United blockers, picking up 10 unanswered points for her team.
Lolli Pop Ya of Team United was a standout blocker, throwing heavy hits on Windy’s jammers and forcing call offs. To combat the merciless defense, in the final six jams of the game, Windy City switched to a two-jammer rotation with the fast-footed Mia Go Hamm and Killanois. But the strategy wasn’t enough to recover, and Team United closed the game with a final score of 197-82. CROWE was the top scorer with a total of 81 points, while Windy City veteran Killanois led her team’s efforts with a total of 26 points.
The Windy City Rollers will play for 7th place against tournament hosts Mad Rollin’ Dolls (seed #10) of Madison, WI, USA at 12 p.m. Sunday. Team United Roller Derby will fight for 5th place at 2 p.m. Sunday against Helsinki Roller Derby (seed #6) of Helsinki, Finland.
Team United Women’s Roller Derby (#5) 197
Windy City Rollers (#8) 82