Jet City Rollergirls of Everett, WA, USA (seed #1, WFTDA #42) came to the track with fresh legs to battle the Boulder County Bombers of Longmont, CO, USA (seed #8, WFTDA #58) for a berth to the semi-final game at 2 p.m. Saturday. In a game that Jet City dominated, Boulder County rallied in the final moments, but came up short; Jet City advances in tournament play after winning 175-160.
Despite the 16 WFTDA ranking points that separated the two teams, Boulder County Bombers held their own against the Jet City Bombers throughout the first 10 minutes of play; in fact, Boulder County kept a slight lead. This lead was thanks to their jammers taking lead status four jams out of the first six and the strong blocking from Brassica I’llRaceYa, The Original Skankster, and Trixie Von Teaze. The eighth jam, however, saw Jet City jammer I’llah Smashya pull away from the pack with a 17-point run as Boulder County jammer Sauce went to the box on a cut forced by Jet City blockers Nasty Nikki Nightstick and Rock N Rolla Chola. The lead change that occurred in jam eight held true for the rest of the half.
After Sauce’s trip to the penalty box, Boulder County jammers spent time in the penalty box for the next three jams in a row. At one point, however, Boulder County jammer Smashalotapus came out of the penalty box, grabbed lead, and managed to siphon 10 points to Jet City’s 5. With that, Boulder County managed to bring the point spread to nine points, the closest they would come to catching Jet City in the half. The Bombers from Washington managed to expand their lead throughout the next nine jams, scoring 47 points to Boulder County’s 16.
Penalties for the Boulder County Bombers jammers continued to be a problem throughout the first half, as the team saw six total jammer penalties. The team’s blockers, however, stayed clean, with only one trip to the box. Blocking from CatastroPhoebe and Just Dash kept Jet City’s jammers at bay, but damage had already been done, and Jet City entered halftime with a 40-point lead, 87-47.
“We prepped ourselves for this tournament,” Jet City captain and blocker Nasty Nikki Nightstick said. “We didn’t know who we’d be playing, but we worked to heighten our skills and build with what we have, regardless of our opponents. We also played Rat City as often as we could.”
The bulk of the second half was a repeat of the first. Jet City came out and scored 32 points in the opening jams to Boulder County’s five points. Blocking from Boulder County’s blockers also remained strong, as blockers Dinah Fire and CatastroPhoebe managed to hold jammer I’llah Smashya for nearly the entirety of jam five, as X-Ray Vixon picked up 20 points.
With just eight minutes remaining in the game, Boulder City started a comeback that would bring them to the brink of a win, scoring 20 points from jammers Feist E. One and Smashalotapus. After that jam, the 13th of the period, Boulder County took a timeout to plan the last minutes. In the jam after the timeout, Jet City scored three, but then Boulder County grabbed another 20 points, followed by nine more. In fewer than four minutes, the team from Colorado scraped together 49 points, bringing the gap to just 20 points, 171-151. Jet City took a timeout, scored four points from veteran jammer Ivana Hercha on the following jam, and then gave up nine on the succeeding jam.
“What was key for us, after they had such momentum, was what happened during our final timeout,” Nightstick said. “We told each other to calm down, we Zenned ourselves out, and we went back to the track calmed down.”
Going into the final jam, the game clock read just 10 seconds. Jet City fielded top-scoring jammer Ivana Hercha, and Boulder County countered with Smashalotapus, the top-scoring jammer for Colorado. Both teams had a full cadre of blockers, and only 15 points separated the two. After the upset from the game just prior, the forum anticipated what could be. In a smash of blockers and jammers, Ivana Hercha sneaked through the pack in moments, grabbing lead, though being forced to the inside in doing so. The seconds ticked by, and Jet City called off the jam, ending the run Boulder County started. The game ended with Jet City maintaining their top seed position, 175 to Boulder County’s 160.
“We’re planning to have our ceremonial pool party [to prepare for the semi-final game],” Nightstick said. “We’re going to pretend we’re synchronized swimmers at the Olympics and then come back tomorrow ready to play.”
Jet City moves on to play the winner of Game 6 at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon in the semi-final match of Wichita D2 Playoffs. Boulder County moves to the consolation bracket to play the winner of Game 7 at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Jet City Rollergirls (#1) 175
Boulder County Bombers (seed #8) 160