The Blue Ridge Rollergirls Allstars of Asheville, NC, USA (seed #7, WFTDA #55) punched their ticket to Portland with a 178-133 win over the Nashville Rollergirls Music City All Stars of Nashville, TN, USA (seed #3, WFTDA #46) in Game 12 of the 2016 International WFTDA Division 2 Playoffs Wichita on Saturday.
The victory sends Blue Ridge to November’s 2016 International WFTDA Championships in Portland. The seventh-seeded team, which missed WFTDA Playoffs last year, pulled off their second upset of the weekend to land in Sunday’s first place game.
“This isn’t a team we’ve ever had before. We have jammers who want it, blockers who want it,” Blue Ridge jammer Lady Rider said, whose teammate Hopi-wan described the win as “exhilarating.”
The North Carolina jammers started the game by rattling off a quick 25 points. Their blockers, led by Hopi-wan, Ashevillian, Boot Scootin Bully, and Dixie Kicks, left Nashville shut out.
Blue Ridge went up 33-5 —and that was before Music City’s penalty troubles began. Lady Rider had a 15-point run in jam 13 while her blockers Brutal, Coma N. Ducer, and Pocahotmess again refused to give up points.
But they were dealt a blow following jam 15 when Blue Ridge blocker Brutal was expelled from the game after coming into the penalty box too hard.
“We had to readjust our walls without her, she’s one of our best blockers,” teammate Hopi-wan said.
Nashville took advantage of the confusion and went on a 51-16 run that maintained through halftime. One change they made was to incorporate more offense from the jam start.
“When we figured out we could hold most of their jammers with three [blockers], they were so good in their walls we decided to send one as offense, and it worked for a while,” said Nashville’s Lady Fury.
Nashville was led by blockers Morgan Levy, Polly Pushy Pants, Gnarly Quinn, Electra Cal, and Tear O’Bite.
But when their lead dwindled to just 20 points, Blue Ridge adjusted, took advantage of three power jams, and put the game away.
They turned to jammer Dr. Octopushy — who almost left the game due to a back block call, but Nashville’s review was not upheld — and she scored 33 of her game-high 85 points in the final three jams.
“She is our very best jammer, and she doesn’t go to the box,” Lady Rider said of her teammate.
Blue Ridge was led by Dr. Octopushy, and Lady Rider with 63 points. Hurrycane Jackie had 22. For Nashville, Zip Drive had 56 points, Lady Fury had 32, and Cruella LaVelle had 27.
How they got here: Nashville squeaked out a final-jam victory over Tucson Roller Derby (seed #6), 152-149. Blue Ridge defeated Carolina Rollergirls (seed #10) and then upset Houston Roller Derby (seed #2), 182-137.
Next: Blue Ridge advances to face the Brandywine Roller Girls (seed #4) to claim first place in the Wichita D2 Playoff. That is Game 17 at 6 p.m. Sunday. Both those teams are guaranteed a trip to the 2016 International WFTDA Championships in November. Nashville will face the Jet City Rollergirls (seed #1) for third place in Game 16 at 4 p.m. Sunday.
Blue Ridge Rollergirls (#7) 178
Nashville Rollergirls (#3) 133