The last day of the 2016 International WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs Madison started with two teams hungry for their first win of the tournament. The battle for ninth place pitted seventh seed No Coast Derby Girls from Lincoln, NE, USA against ninth seed Ohio Roller Derby from Columbus, OH, USA. Historically, the Nebraskans were undefeated in this matchup—until today, when Ohio delivered an upset and their first-ever victory against No Coast with a 227-188 win.
“These are my first sanctioned games with Ohio. I had the confidence that my team knew what we could do,” said Ohio Roller Derby’s Gorges Curves. “I kept telling myself it’s just a wall. We’re just playing derby. Play smart. Play conservative.”
Ohio jumped out to a 23-5 lead in the first five minutes with big jams from The Smacktivist and Zee “Loraine Acid” Gulertekin. But No Coast gained some control on a two minute jam between Sunshine and The Smacktivist. No Coast blockers were able to shut down The Smacktivist’s apex jumps and the jam ended 10-8 in Ohio’s favor, bringing the score to 33-13, with Ohio still leading.
Blockers from both teams started getting into some penalty trouble—No Coast and Ohio would trade scoring passes back and forth through fast packs and short jams with only two blockers on the track for either team. With ten minutes left in the half, Ohio was leading 75-42.
Ohio started to pull away from No Coast when a back block call on Sunshine in jam 19 allowed Gorges Curves to put away 11 points, bringing the score to 86-44.
But No Coast was given the opportunity to rebound when Kitty Liquorbottom picked up a track cut after receiving a star pass from Wayman, and Slam—top scorer for No Coast with 94 points earned in the game—ran four scoring passes with the help of powerful offense from her blockers. Slam grabbed 19 unanswered points for her efforts, narrowed Ohio’s lead to 86-63.
After trading a few quick jams, No Coast took advantage of another opportunity to close the gap when Wayman again was stuck on her initial and passed the star to her pivot, Zee “Loraine Acid” Gulertekin. Gulertekin went to the box on a low block, for which she would be ejected from the game, and Anna Maniac lapped the pack to give No Coast another huge 19-0 jam. This brought the score to 91-90 and delivered the first lead change of the game, which No Coast held until halftime.
“Our captains were clear that every jam counts. Make it worth it,” said Gorges Curves. “Every time we did something good we all rallied and any time something went wrong it was just one jam, we gotta get back out there.”
Ohio quickly snatched back the lead with a 5-0 scoring pass from The Smacktivist at the start of the second period and they held that narrow margin for the next few jams. But No Coast would take it once more, 108-101, with 13 points from Slam. Ohio looked poised to regain the lead again when No Coast’s penalty troubles forced them to start a jam ahead only by three points and with just one blocker on the track. But Ripa drew Wayman to the line and pulled a track cut, allowing No Coast to expand their lead with ten points from Anna Maniac, which brought the score to 118-105.
“Lone blocker is never fun. I just wanted to get the jammer to the edge and pop her out. That was my only strategy,” said No Coast Captain Ripa. “We managed to take a hard situation and switch it. It was a great boost and motivator for the bench as well.”
Ohio rallied the next time there was only one No Coast blocker on the track. A huge 25-0 jam from The Smacktivist put them back in the lead, 143-131, with fifteen minutes remaining. Ohio held their lead until the last whistle, pushing ahead with multiple scoring passes and aggressive defense in the final quarter. Despite great efforts from the No Coast jammers, Chainsaw, Burnadeath, and Bigg Rigg locked down Ohio’s defense, securing their lead and ending the game 227-188, with Ohio Roller Derby taking the win for the first time in their history of matchups against No Coast.
No Coast Derby Girls (#7) 188
Ohio Roller Derby (#9) 227