Arch Rival Roller Girls of St. Louis, MO, USA (seed #2) faced Tampa Roller Derby of Tampa, FL, USA (seed #4) at the 2016 International WFTDA Playoffs Madison to see who would take Third Place and claim a trip to November’s 2016 International WFTDA Championships.
Ten lead changes and two scoring ties made this game a white-knuckle fight to the very end. Arch Rival’s calculated defense, bolstered by Shear-Ra Powers’ and Salty’s solid line coverage, was answered by Tampa’s own formation with Stepheree and captain Little A at the helm, delivering precise, low-penalty play. Victory was within reach for either team up until the last jam, with Arch Rival barely defending their spot in the top three teams of the weekend with a 149-131 win.
Arch Rival captain Bricktator lead the charge with a 5-0 jam to start the game, and a commanding 100 percent lead jammer status the entire first half. But the Tampa Tantrums swung back in the second jam with an agile 17-0 score by Ana Cheng and held the lead until Jam 15. While Arch Rival’s defense buckled down to hold their southern opponents scoreless for six jams, Harmony Killerbruise cruised the outside line for a 20-0 jam to recover lead. But just three jams later, Tampa clapped back with two high-scoring jams of 15-1 and 13-3 to recover lead and end the half with a 94-79 advantage.
The halftime score belied Arch Rival’s walls, which were suffering from skating short with 19 penalties in the first half, compared to eight penalties for Tampa.
The second half looked to start off much like the first, with Arch Rival’s Bricktator taking lead jammer status, but a late jam call-off allowed Laryn Kill to snatch four points to nullify her rival’s efforts. After trading small point wins, Arch put up 14 points to come within one point of Tampa, 100-99. Another defense lockdown by the St. Louis squad stifled Tampa’s jammers for seven jams to take the lead one last time. Jams of 11-0 and 4-0 stretched Arch Rival’s positive differential to 18 points. Tampa seemed resolute to not give up the race for control of the last jam, but Arch Rival jammer Swanson achieved her mission just as the period clock expired and secured the win for her team by calling off the scoreless jam and ending the game at 149-131.
In her post-game interview, Swanson attributed all the work put into training and team bonding leading up to the tournament as what ultimately prepared her team to compete and earn a spot at championships in November.
Arch Rival Roller Derby (#2) 149
Tampa Roller Derby (#4) 131