It was a bit of a David vs. Goliath matchup from the start, with the bottom seeded Rocky Mountain Rollergirls, fresh off a nail-biter win earlier this morning, taking on the second-from-the-top seed Texas Rollergirls.
But, with a strong showing against the seventh seeded Finnish challengers, Kallio Rolling Rainbow, in Game 1, Rocky proved they shouldn’t be counted out early.
Texas took an early and definitive lead, with the likes of Olivia Shootin’ John, Freight Train and Nicki Ticki Timebomb blasting through any form of defense Rocky put up.
The Texas blocking duo of Bittercup and Stone Her pummeled jammer after jammer, offering little glimpse of respite as Jackie Daniels cleared a wide path for the Texas jammers through Rocky’s forward formations.
Rocky put out all it had in an attempt to slow down the relentless Texas jamming machine.
Blocker May Q. Pay finally found a crack in the armour, slowing down Texas’ Bloody Mary, seemingly tired from lapping the pack several times, with some impressive one-on-one backward blocking. But the impediment was temporary.
Texas slowed the pack to a crawl, making it that much less arduous for its jammers to pile on the laps and the points.
Despite the physical play, both teams pulled off a clean half with a handful of jammer penalties for Rocky and three for Texas.
It was the last of these Texas penalties that finally gave the struggling 10th seed their first points on the board.
Nicki Ticki Timebomb, determined to make one more pass, failed to call off the jam before stumbling into a Rocky blocker, picking up a low block.
Rocky jammer Fiona Grapple, head down, with the Texas blockers’ hips in her sight and the crowd at her back, squeaked by to grab three points before she was swept out of bounds, throwing her hands up in victory as she lay flat out on the floor.
The first half came to a close with 220 for Texas to Rocky’s 3.
After the halftime break, a refocused Rocky came out swinging, with Harper Bizarre gaining the first lead of the period over Nicki Ticki Timebomb, more than doubling their score as Nicki sat stuck in a circle of defense.
While their ability to take a notch out of Texas’ jammers improved over the course of the game, Rocky struggled to spring their own jammers from the immovable Texas walls.
And then there was Freight Train, who put up 91 points in the first half alone. The Texas jammer barely tapped the brakes as she weaved through Rocky’s blockers, who were left scrambling to put any obstacle in her way as she eased past the pack time and time again.
While they lacked the speed and sheer force of their opponents, Rocky’s blocking cohort in the second half did show more of the moments of brilliance that secured them the win this morning.
Rocky’s pivots also proved to be more than capable of pulling off double-duty, grabbing the star and trying to bust through some tough Texas twosomes who had been holding back the opposition nearly every jam.
Triple threat Dickie showed fearless one-on-one blocking, chasing down the Texas jammers at the front of the pack, while repeatedly taking the star from her jammers while donning the stripe. Fellow pivot Fiona Grapple seemed to quickly decipher a way to pick up the star as well, and to evade the laser focus of the Texas defense long enough to escape the pack.
In the end, Rocky put up a good fight, but just couldn’t shut down the formidable Texas Rollergirls, who now advance for a shot at one of the coveted top three positions that will advance them to championships. They’ll play Bay Area Roller Derby at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Rocky will head to the consolation bracket, where they’ll take on the winner of tomorrow’s Game 7 at 4 p.m.
Texas Rollergirls (#2) 391
Rocky Mountain Rollergirls (#10) 32